Welcome ladies and gents to a new Flick Crave weekly editorial. For those thinking that this is going to be a one to two-page rant on the lack of success a few of my indie darling films receive at the box office, then you good sir, or good lady, are wrong. Instead, this weekly segment will merely be discussing a few of the most significant topics of the week involving the box office. From the biggest weekend winners to record-breaking movies to predicting big debuts, The Box Office Rant will be a weekly dissection of the intricacies that are the modern day box office. It also helps that I enjoy charting and numbers, and kind of wanted an excuse to discuss it, so nonetheless here is the inaugural beginning to a weekly segment that is going to break down the winner and losers of the highly overvalued box office.
Does the box office matter? Obviously yes, but we may place too much stock into it sometimes, and a prime example of that would be that of “Jumanji 2: Welcome to the Jungle.” An average film that has some candid moments of genuine humor, but a film that is admittedly undeserving of its incredible success at the box office. For those who are unaware of this barrage of monetized success, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” became the proverbial success that the average moviegoer may believe it to be worthy of by becoming the fifth highest grossing film of the year in both the worldwide box office and the domestic totals. The enormous success this movie keeps receiving showcases just how much social media can affect filmmaking today, in my opinion.
With movies like “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which admittedly crushed “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” at the box office by a few hundred million dollars in both categories, being near murdered through a barrage of hatred and opposition to the changes that Johnson has made to the universe that we believe is ours and not his. Despite your opinions on that film, I believe if the revolt from displeased fans were avoided then you would not see “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” where it is now. There is a lot of topics of conversations that a film like “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” can promote, but to keep this editorial relatively short, let's not focus on those and I’ll just bow out and give “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” its day in the sun.
A movie that doesn’t deserve it’s day and the sun and perplexes me to my very core as to why it has achieved an ounce of financial success is the weekend box office winner in “Fifty Shades Freed.” A film that, admittedly, took me longer than it should’ve to review because of the struggle I had with mustering up the courage to go to the theatres once again to witness the trashiness that is this movie. Nonetheless, “Fifty Shades Freed” walked away from the weekend box office with $38 million domestic gross. If there was ever a weekend in which I wanted to “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” to stay atop of the box office, it was this one.
To provide a dose of objectivity though, I can’t entirely find this response of success to be a bit ridiculous or shocking because the competition the film had going into the weekend was nothing to be proud of. I have not seen “Peter Rabbit,” and I most likely won’t visit a theatre to see it anytime soon, but that film doesn’t have the built-in fan base that the “Fifty Shades” franchise does. “The 15:17 to Paris” is maybe even more undeserving of success than “Fifty Shades,” but that’s a different story for another time.
While “Fifty Shades Freed” may have had no competition this weekend it will find itself being ravaged by the much anticipated “Black Panther.” The proverbial Marvel hammer is about to wipe out anyone that is attempting to find themselves a goose egg to sit on at the box office, and I can’t wait to see it happen! Expect that review to arrive early Friday morning or at a very late hour on Thursday night. My anticipations are surprisingly more anxious than others, I believe, but I am expecting a possible $200 million opening.
The only reason I am placing that much stock into what seemed to be a throwaway episode of the never-ending Marvel television show is the incredible buzz this film has created before its release. The continuing countdowns from Marc Bernardin, the onslaught of Rotten Tomatoes reviews that describe the movie as beautiful or revolutionary, and the sheer amount of publicity given to a film that is another proverbial shattering of the glass ceiling that has shrouded over the landscape of filmmaking for far too long. Then again I am the crazy one that believes that “Avengers: Infinity War” will become the highest grossing movie of all time in about two months, but that's just me. Whether its $200 million or $150 million, “Black Panther” will grasp the prominent throne of the box office for the country of Marvel Studios this weekend, hopefully, the quality of the film merits that success.
“Black Panther” Trailer! In theatres Friday!