Insert your own "when it rains, it pours" joke right here. Darren Aronofsky's instantly controversial biblical epic 'Noah' overcame mixed buzz to win the box office this weekend, catering to both religious audiences and film buffs who like weird movies from unique, picky directors. But all was not well for everyone -- the latest film from a certain Hollywood action legend got washed away in 'Noah''s success.
If the main goal of 'Divergent' was to snag a large portion of the audience for 'The Hunger Games,' it looks like it succeeded. Although it didn't reach the absurd heights of Katniss' two movies, Shailene Woodley's dystopian adventure effortlessly nabbed the number one spot and, unless something bad happens next week, announced the arrival of a new big franchise.
After seven years of waiting, no one knew if a sequel to '300' would do the business of its predecessor. And now we have a definitive answer: yes. '300: Rise of an Empire' effortlessly took the number one spot at the box office, proving that America still loves shirtless Greeks murdering each other in slow motion.
This weekend saw a brutal showdown between Liam Neeson, the current god of action cinema, and Jesus Christ, the current god of millions of human beings. Since the box office is a "two may enter, but only one may leave" type showdown, the victory ultimately went to Mr. Neeson and 'Non-Stop,' which edged out the son of God and his movie, uh, 'Son of God' to win the weekend.
When 'RoboCop' got pushed from an August 2013 release date to February 2014, everyone assumed it would open stronger when far away from the busy summer months. If this is the better of the two options, then we can't even imagine how poorly it would have opened in the warmer months. The remake of the 1987 classic is definitely not a disaster, but it most certainly underperformed.
And here we are: five weeks into the new year and we already have our first major blockbuster of 2014. Early estimates had 'The LEGO Movie' opening big, but the animated adventure shattered all expectations this weekend, with universally positive reviews and word of mouth sending the film to a massive opening.
Unless you had a personal stake in a film being released this weekend, movies were far from the most important thing happening to you these past couple of days. You can blame the weekend's mostly anemic box office on one thing: the Super Bowl. Everyone spent their money buying snacks and preparing their parties and not going to see 'That Awkward Moment' and 'Labor Day,' both of which opened soft.
Ah, a week at the box office where the new release flies completely under the radar and everything else feels like it's just hanging out because there's nothing else to push it off the charts. Welcome to January. Welcome to the home of movies like 'I Frankenstein,' which was dead on arrival this weekend and will vanish into dollar theaters within the next week or so.