Entertainment Weekly's Joshua Rich reported on the weekend's box office returns for the latest releases on October 19 to let us all in on Hollywood's successes and failures, because, you know, Hollywood is important and all. We find that the Chihuahua movie is still going like gangbusters ($70 million in three weeks) and the horrid movie "Max Payne" led the weekend's receipts with $18 million. Oliver Stone's slamfest "W," though, earned a disappointing fourth place on its debut weekend.
So, what was EW's excuse for this disappointing finish? According to Rich, "W" is failing at the box office because of "tough economic times.” It’s curious, though, that people have spent $70 million on the Chihuahua movie in these same "tough economic times" -- and let us not forget that the latest Batman movie has made over $300 million. Still, the excuse for the fourth place finish for Stone's pseudo-biopic is "tough economic times," just the same.
But, Rich’s excuse is a claim that even Entertainment Weekly itself has recently disputed, at least as far as the box office goes. Only a few weeks ago, the weekend that right-wing comedy "An American Carol" debuted, the same Box Office Report column said that the "economy may be tanking, but the box office remains healthy, with probably the only year-on-year metric that's seen an uptick."
Amazingly, but a few weeks later, EW's Joshua Rich suddenly finds that these "tough economic times" are responsible for the failure of the movie that maligns nearly everyone in the Bush family?
Here is what Rich said of "W."
W. also did well given all that it had going against it. Oliver Stone's presidential biopic was voted into fourth place with $10.6 mil in 2,030 locations — not bad for a movie opening during tough economic times about a man whom many Americans blame for said financial strains. But will the film be able to overcome its low approval rating from audiences (in the form of an impeachable CinemaScore grade of C) in the long run? Not likely.
So, on October 5th, Entertainment Weekly says that there is no economic impact at the box office then only two weeks later, the same box office report column states that "W" can't make it because of these oh, so "tough economic times."
That's quite an industry wide downturn in only a few weeks, isn't it? So, astonishing is the claim in fact, that it easily appears as an excuse to explain away why Stone's movie is not so successful than it is any true reading of the status of the economy.
By the way, it is interesting to note that in the report of the box office take for the weekend that "An American Carol" opened, EW didn't actually report what the box office take for the comedy was (it was $3,656,000). However, it did see fit to print how much the anti-religion movie made by Bill Maher rang up in sales.
That is pretty interesting in and of itself.
By the way, I have been told that "An American Carol" will make enough sales to repay its investment. As far as Hollywood is concerned that is a success story... just in case you are interested.