Monday, May 21, 2012

"The Avengers" Soars Again, Second Viewing Thoughts and More

It was bound to happen. The Avengers would inevitably take the #1 spot at the weekend box office again. Universal Pictures' Battleship was no match for Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye and Black Widow. While it didn't crush the third weekend record (Avatar holds that record), it still had a good hold for a blockbuster, dropping 46% from last weekend. The film has now grossed $457 million domestically and $1.180 billion worldwide, making it the fourth highest grossing film worldwide. The bigger question is, will it top Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2? (which made $1.328 billion) I think it has the potential to do so, because it hasn't opened in a few other markets yet, most notably Japan. Its current $724 million overseas total is nothing short of impressive. As for the final domestic total, I still think it has a shot at topping $600 million, as it would be lovely to see a non-James Cameron film passing that mark.

I saw it again on Saturday, and it was just as good if not better. I still have a few criticisms. I think the first thirty minutes or so are somewhat flimsy, though things fire on all cylinders when Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner and Thor are together. I also felt that Thor could've seen a little more development, though they did explain how got back to Earth briefly. I just hope they cover what was left out in Thor 2. The finale was even more enjoyable, even though I knew what was going to happen. Alan Silvestri's score stood out more this time around as well, especially the main theme. It's ridiculously catchy, and it's one that won't go away, and that's a good thing. Also, I saw this in IMAX 3D. I must say, it's worth it. Though it was post-conversion 3D, I think that it actually worked, and this is coming from someone who thinks post-conversion 3D is the devil. During the final battle, when the Chitauri Leviathans come flying at the screen, it feels like they are going to come out of the screen. Wait, this was post-conversion 3D?

The audience loved it, though the reaction wasn't as overly enthusiastic as the reaction it got when I saw it at another theater on opening day. Before the film began, someone yelled out "Avengers assemble!" Throughout the film, everyone laughed and even clapped during a few parts. The best scenes (and you know which ones I'm talking about) got the best reactions. The audience applauded at the end, and a lot of them stayed for both post-credits scenes. I missed the second post-credits scene because the folks I was with wanted to leave, but my father and I stayed. The second post-credits scene got a lot of laughs.

All in all, it was definitely fun on second viewing. Contrary to what some might say, this one won't wear thin for a while. Like I said in my first review, it's what other summer blockbusters should be. It's loads of fun and it's one of those films you have to see in theaters, for those who haven't seen it in theaters yet.

Trailers? Only four. We got The Dark Knight Rises, which looks amazing. What more can I say about it? We also got the very intense trailer for Prometheus, which also looks brilliant. They also had this trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man, which debuted way back in February. I found it kind of weird that they showed this, not the one that came after it. At first, I wasn't really looking forward to this, but with each new preview, I get a little bit more excited. I have a feeling this will do fine at the box office, but it won't outgross any of the Raimi films stateside. Last but not least, we got the Frankenweenie trailer. While I think this film looks brilliant, I just think it doesn't look like something you'd see in IMAX 3D. It somewhat confuses me that this is in IMAX 3D, but Pixar's Brave isn't. To me, that would be perfect on the huge screen.

Oh well, aside from The Avengers doing incredibly well, we have Battleship. I predicted that $50 million would be the maximum amount this film would gross on opening weekend, but it made only half of that. With just $25 million, this is pretty bad for a big budget summer blockbuster. It's already covered its $209 million budget internationally, but you'd think that something like this would score an opening of over $35 million or so just because it was another mindless summer blockbuster. Apparently audiences weren't fooled this time, and I don't want to sound like a broken record, but this looked like Transformers 3.5, but on water. I mean, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra opened with $56 million back in 2009, because it still looked like something worth seeing. This didn't, and reviews certainly seem to imply that. I haven't seen it, I don't plan on seeing it, and quite frankly, I'm probably not missing anything.

It was also obvious that it wouldn't come anywhere near The Avengers this weekend. I think that Men in Black 3 (changed from III to 3 so they could conveniently throw 3D into the title, I guess) will dethrone this film next weekend, since it looks like fun, it's a Men in Black film (regardless of how Men in Black II did) and reviews are decent so far. Also, it's Will Smith in an action film (he hasn't acted in a film since 2008's Seven Pounds). Audiences will show up. I think it'll score at least $70 million on its opening weekend because the previous film's opening weekend is $71 million adjusted, the first film's opening adjusts to $88 million. It'll also take away The Avengers' 3D and IMAX 3D screens.

On another sad animation-related note, Aardman's The Pirates! Band of Misfits sunk again. This time it dropped 49%, with a weak $1.5 million weekend total. While it has grossed $99 million worldwide so far, the fact remains: Another artistically interesting animated film has died at the domestic box office. Poor marketing killed what was already a hard sell. You'd think that someone at Columbia Pictures or Sony Pictures Animation would market it aggressively so it would make a tidy profit, since the film cost roughly $60 million to make. That's much less than what Sony Animation's own The Smurfs cost to make. If they hadn't watered it down for American children and audiences, sold it as a quirky comedy for family audiences (and not as a kiddie spoof of Pirates of the Caribbean) and released it in early April, they probably would've had a profitable film on their hands. Aardman split with DreamWorks for a reason, now those horror stories seem to be happening again. Executive meddling is ruining these films.

Well, those were my thoughts on this weekend's box office results. This one turned into a bit of a ramble, but a lot went on over the weekend. What are your thoughts on The Avengers' success? Do you think Men in Black 3 will be a success in the long run? Do you think The Avengers will be 2012's top grossing film? Sound off!

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