Box Office Top Ten for weekend of the April 29th through May 2nd

Here is the box off take for this past weekend and breakdown, taken from CNN.com:

‘Hitchhiker’ trounces Ice Cube’s ‘XXX’

Sunday, May 1, 2005 Posted: 4:38 PM EDT (2038 GMT)

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) — “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” thumbed its way to the top of the box office, debuting at $21.7 million to beat out the explosive “XXX” brand.

Ice Cube’s action tale “XXX: State of the Union” opened a weak third with $13.7 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

“XXX” came in behind the previous weekend’s top movie, “The Interpreter,” starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, which slipped to No. 2 with $14.2 million, lifting its 10-day total to $43.6 million.

Hollywood’s pre-summer slump continued, with overall revenues down for the 10th-straight weekend. The top 12 movies grossed $84.8 million, off 10 percent from the same weekend last year, when “Mean Girls” and “Man on Fire” led the box office.

Adapted from the first of the late Douglas Adams’ comically philosophical books about the nature of our big, old goofy universe, “Hitchhiker’s Guide” follows the adventures of an ordinary Brit who catches a ride with aliens moments before Earth is destroyed to make way for an interstellar bypass.

Adams’ books have been cult favorites for decades, but the movie’s mix of cheeky humor, oddball ideas and singular visuals clearly hooked a mainstream audience. Reviews were mixed, some critics calling the movie a fitful gag reel that sapped the essence of Adams’ witty prose and others finding it a refreshing dose of whimsy and irreverence.

“Obviously, the thought process of the public was, ‘That looks interesting. I want to see it. It’s fresh and looks different,”‘ said Chuck Viane, head of distribution for Disney, which released “Hitchhiker’s Guide.”

Critics soundly trashed the new “XXX” flick, but they also disliked Vin Diesel’s original, which did more than three times the business over opening weekend than the follow-up.

What went wrong?

“I wish I could say,” said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for “XXX” studio Sony. “Certainly, we’re disappointed, because it’s a film we all believed in. We have Ice Cube, who is a big star, and I think he’s one of those rare actors who really can do just about anything. So I really don’t know.”

Ice Cube, previously known for the R-rated “Friday” movies and the saucy “Barbershop” comedies, broadened into the family market with this year’s hit “Are We There Yet?” But the absence of Diesel may have undermined the movie’s appeal, while fans may not have bought into rapper Ice Cube as an action hero.

“Ice Cube doesn’t seem like a sweethearted dad, either, but ‘Are We There Yet?’ did incredibly well,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. “Maybe people just associated Vin Diesel more with that role than anybody thought.”

I never saw the first ‘XXX’ but I had a feeling that the second one wouldn’t do as well (even with Vin Diesel). I think his time is done at the moment. Action heros are dead pretty much. There are no real action heros still left. Arnold is a governor, Sly is….I don’t know, but he isn’t making movies, Bruce Willis is making real movies, Wesley Snipes is whinning about Blade: Trinity, Jean-Claude Van Dam is making direct to home videos, and Steven Segal still just sucks. No one needs an action star when regular stars like Nic Cage, Johnny Depp, Will Smith, and even The Rock can be more versitile and not just do action, but drama, comedy, sci-fi, ect…the new age of action movies will not need actors like action stars but actors that can bring with them more of a diverse crowd that will bring with them those fans who went to see their other movies. It’s like its own advertising and it works.

Changing the topic slightly, I have a feeling that the next week the ten week slump should pick up slightly with ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ as well as ‘House of Wax’ coming out. Sadly, as much as it cost to make Kingdom of Heaven I have a feeling that the teenagers that run the business (by buying tickets to these types of movies). Kingdom of Heaven might have the bigger budget and better quality of a production, but those damn kids will buy tickets by the truckload for House of Wax (even if it is a bad movie or not, they will go on and tell all of their friends how scary it is and they’ll go see it, even if it not even remotely scary). Oh well, I hope that Ridley Scott along with Orlando Bloom can pull out a well made, critically acclaimed movie that does well. Because after the failures of Troy and Alexander (Troy actually did really well everywhere else but in the US) if Kingdom of Heaven fails too (and the chance of it going against Star Wars Episode III, Batman Begins, and War of the Worlds) then this genre may be over too. But hopefully, if all goes well, next Friday, Melissa and I will be sitting and watching the Crusades come alive right in front of us.

Melissa and I went to see ‘The Interpreter’ with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn and I thought it was really good. I mean, it was long, but it didn’t have the silly action scenes that you get in a lot of action movies but a series mature thriller.

Out of 10 stars I give this one 8!

8 out of 10 stars!!! WHOO!!!
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You don’t need to drop everything to see this, but you could go see it if you don’t have anything to do, other than that wait till its on HBO (or In Demand–you know the in thing right now).

Here is the weekend breakdown:

BOX OFFICE TOP 10

Following are the top 10 movies at the North American box office for April 29-May 1, according to studio estimates collected Sunday by Reuters. Final data will be issued Monday.

1. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” $21.7 million
2. “The Interpreter,” $14.2 million
3. “XXX: State of the Union,” $13.7 million
4. “The Amityville Horror,” $8.1 million
5. “Sahara,” $6 million
6. “A Lot Like Love,” $5.2 million
7. “Kung Fu Hustle,” $3.8 million
8. “Fever Pitch,” $3.75 million
9. “Robots,” $2.65 million
10. “Guess Who,” $2.2 million

That’s it for now, more to come tomorrow as my work continues.

–Socram

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