(*For Now… UPDATE: Clash Holds Off Date Night FTW!)
In a tightly contested race for the title “Most Tolerably Above-Mediocre Movie of the Week,” Date Night and Clash of the Titans are neck and neck down the home stretch. Date Night is technically out in front by a nose with an estimated $27.1 million from its opening weekend to Clash of the Titan‘s estimated $26.9 million. Ah, but the key word there is “estimated”–these numbers are based on studio algorithms that estimate Sunday revenue based on Friday and Saturday numbers, and they will change tomorrow afternoon when the final tallies are released. Which means with only $200,000 between them, Clash could swap places with Date Night for the top spot.
(*BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: It’s now looking like Clash did come out ahead in the actuals, ending up with $26.7 to Date Night‘s $25.2–which also means Date Night could slip into third place behind How to Train Your Dragon. We’ll keep you posted on this exciting accounting story about numbers!)
(*EVEN MORE BREAKING NEWS!: The actuals are in! The actuals are in! Clash did in fact win out, and Date Night held off Dragon for second.)
Personally, I’d say if you want funny and action, skip them both and go see How to Train Your Dragon–the animated feature was in a close third place with $25 million. But what’s most impressive–and heartening, given that Dragon is one of the best wide-release movies out right now–is that the fire-breathing flick only slipped 14% from last weekend (when it only fell 34% from its opening weekend). What that means is that Dragon is–deservedly–getting great word of mouth and has “legs.” (Or “wings”… har har… See, ’cause it’s about dragons…) Trust me, trust your friends who’ve seen it–Dragon is terrific and easily your best entertainment bet in theaters right now. (And fear not its 3D–unlike Clash of the Titans, Dragon uses “real” 3D and it looks amazing–on par with Avatar in many ways.)
Last week’s other two new releases, Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too? and The Last Song, came in fourth and fifth. In addition to Date Night, this weekend saw two other films get semi-wide releases: the spiritual drama Letters to God opened on almost 900 screens (compared to nearly 3,400 for Date Night) and came in 10th with $1.25 million. And the lake-house horror film The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond was seen on just over 400 screens, but only brought in a quarter of a million dollars.
This coming weekend brings Death at a Funeral with Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, and Martin Lawrence–a remake of Frank Oz’s 2007 British original, and Kick-Ass, the hyper-violent comic-book adaptation about a wannabe-superhero. Both are rated R, so it’s possible neither will upset Date Night. However, I do predict Kick-Ass is going to do very well on anticipation, word of mouth, and repeat viewings both in and out of the film geek community–it’s poised to be this season’s break-out sleeper hit. (And the likely media controversy over its edgy content won’t hurt, either.)