Daily Archives: February 28, 2011
He is the Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah. Your party host for the new millenium. The best in the world at what he does. Now he’s the New York Times bestselling author of two nonfiction memoirs.
Following in the footsteps of 2007′s A Lion’s Tale, Chris Jericho recently released his second autobiography, Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps, which picks up exactly where the last book left off, with Jericho, newly arrived in World Wrestling Entertainment from rival company World Championship Wrestling, about to make his Monday Night Raw debut in a verbal sparing match against The Rock. Though Jericho writes of his disappointment with the segment, it remains one of the greatest debuts in the history of the industry. I remember staying up late at a friend’s house to watch Jericho’s arrival and believe me, it was a hugely exciting moment and one that sends still gives me goosebumps when I watch it.
Reading Undisputed, it becomes clear that the excitement of Jericho’s debut tapered off pretty quickly and left the wrestler in the position of finding his footing in a brand new environment. Jericho reveals how he managed to rub locker room leaders like The Rock, Triple H and The Undertaker (not to mention WWE owner Vince McMahon) the wrong way almost immediately and he honestly depicts the backstage politics he had to deal with in establishing himself one more time. Throughout the book, we see that while Chris Jericho could be a handful and opinionated personality, he was also more than willing to work with the younger wrestlers and was always looking to steal whatever show he was on.
Chris Jericho’s voice is as entertaining as a writer as it is as a live performer. A pop culture enthusiast, he colours his stories in Undisputed with all sorts of references that, if you’re on his wavelength, will have you genuinely laughing outloud (Y2J, I especially enjoyed the Vinnie Vincent lick it up line). Jericho has the innate talent to take his work seriously, but not himself. He writes self-deprecatingly of his drunken antics, his onstage hits and missed as a rock and roll frontman and of his run-ins with his own list of heroes, including Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He also doesn’t shy away from dealing with matters outside of the ring or Hollywood, such as the death of his mother, life as a father and the shocking actions of his close friend Chris Benoit.
Undisputed gives fans a look into the inner workings of one of greatest minds professional wrestling has ever seen. For anyone interested in the industry and what it takes to make it inside and out of the ring, Chris Jericho’s latest is a must read.
Now the wait is on for book three.
There was a big surprise at the box office this weekend as Gnomeo & Juliet, a film in that is in its third weekend of release and had finished no higher than 3rd place, is the #1 film in the land. It narrowly beat out the comedy Hall Pass for the honour. The other new release, Drive Angry, opened to absolutely disastrous results. I had a great weekend of predictions, guessing all five films in the top five, correctly guessing the spot where two of the films finished, and my worst prediction was off by less than $5 million. The box office was down from last weekend’s totals as well as year over year, which has been a continuing trend in 2011, but like I said last weekend, it just goes to show that the quality of films being released right now is not very good, as audiences are not coming out to support any film. Here’s how the weekend broke down:
For the third straight weekend, this film has been the surprise story in Hollywood. Moving up from 3rd place to 1st is Gnomeo and Juliet with a gross of $14.2 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $13.8 million). Gnomeo and Juliet had a per theatre average of $4,680 and was down only 25.8% from last weekend. The per theatre average was the highest of any film in the top ten. The film deserves a lot of credit for being the #1 film in North America in its 3rd week in release. It doesn’t happen very often that a film that did not open at #1 ends up getting the #1 spot a couple of weeks after its release, but it happened this weekend, so congratulations to Touchstone Pictures. After three weeks, Gnomeo & Juliet has grossed $75.1 million.
Debuting in 2nd place is the Farrelly Brothers comedy Hall Pass with a gross of $13.4 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $12.5 million). Hall Pass had a per theatre average of $4,549. The opening weekend was in line with the films that I used in my predictions for the film on Friday, which is neither good or bad, because the opening weekends for all the films that I used were average at best. See below:
2003 – Stuck on You – $9.4 million opening weekend
2005 – Fever Pitch – $12.4 million opening weekend
2007 – The Heartbreak Kid – $14 million opening weekend
2008 – Drillbit Taylor – $10.3 million opening weekend
2010 – How Do You Know? – $7.4 million opening weekend
2011 – Hall Pass – $13.4 million opening weekend
The Farrelly Brothers are not the comic powerhouses they were at the early point of their careers, and Owen Wilson is not a star that you can always expect big opening weekends from. Still, the film opened in line with where most people thought it would, so it met expectations. Hall Pass has its work cut out for it because the budget for the film is listed at $36 million, and it better hope for a strong hold next weekend if it wants to make back its budget.
Dropping from 1st place to 3rd place is the Liam Neeson thriller Unknown with a gross of $12.4 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $17 million). Unknown had a per theatre average of $4,086, and was down 43.1% from its opening weekend. The recent Liam Neeson thriller Taken only dropped 16.9% in its second weekend, so Unknown is not resonating with audiences like Taken did and the drop was a lot higher than I expected for the film. Still, after ten days, Unknown has grossed $42.8 million from a $30 million budget, so Warner Bros. is very happy with how the film is performing.
Staying in 4th place for a second weekend in a row is the Adam Sandler//Jennifer Aniston comedy Just Go With It with a gross of $11.1 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $12 million). Just Go with It had a per theatre average of $3,132 and was down 39.9% from last weekend. After three weeks of release, Just Go with It has grossed $79.3 million, and will make back its $80 million budget by Monday. The question now is can it reach $100 million? I say it will, but we’ll see if that’s true in the coming weeks.
Dropping from 2nd place to 5th place is the sci-fi adventure I Am Number Four with a gross of $11 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $10.1 million). I Am Number Four had a per theatre average of $3,497 and was down 43.3% from its opening weekend gross. The film is just not resonating with audiences, and the fact that the per theatre average is below $3,500 in only its second weekend, tells me the film is a bust. After 10 days, I Am Number Four has grossed $37.7 million and it will need a fair bit of help if it wants to make back its budget of $20 million.
Staying in 6th place for the second weekend in a row is the music documentary Justin Bieber: Never Say Never with a gross of $9.2 million (I predicted a 9th place finish and a gross of $5.9 million). Justin Bieber: Never Say Never had a per theatre average of $3,274 and was down 30.9% from last weekend. I’ll give the film credit, as the hold is a lot stronger than I predicted it to be, so it is is still finding an audience. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never has grossed $62.7 million in three weeks from a budget of $13 million.
Staying in 7th place for the second weekend in a row is The King’s Speech with a gross of $7.6 million (I predicted an 8th place finish and a gross of $6.2 million). The King’s Speech had a per theatre average of $3,193 and the film was down 16.7% from last weekend, which is the best hold of any film in the top ten for the fifth weekend in a row. After fourteen weeks, The King’s Speech has grossed $114.5 million from a budget of only $15 million.
Dropping from 5th place to 8th place is Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son with a gross of $7.5 million (I predicted a 6th place finish and a gross of $9.1 million). Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son had a per theatre average of $2,676 and was down 53.7% from last weekend, which was the biggest percentage drop of any film in the top ten. This installment of the Big Momma franchise will be the lowest grossing by a country mile. See below:
2000 – Big Momma’s House – $117.5 million total domestic gross
2006 – Big Momma’s House 2 – $70.1 million total domestic gross
2011 – Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son – $28.5 million domestic gross after two weeks
I think it’s safe to say that we will not be seeing another Big Momma film in theatres again, as it will become a profitable film (its budget is rumoured to be around $32 million), but it will be the least profitable film of the franchise.
Debuting in 9th place is the Nicolas Cage revenge flick Drive Angry with a gross of $5.1 million (I predicted a 7th place finish and a gross of $7.5 million). The film had a per theatre average of $2,241. What can I say about Drive Angry other than that it is a massive disappointment. Nicolas Cage is having a terrible run of films as of late, and his box office credibility is fading rapidly. Of the films that I used to make my predictions on Friday, none of them had an opening weekend as bad as Drive Angry had. See below:
2005 – Lord of War – $9.3 million opening weekend
2006 – The Wicker Man – $9.6 million opening weekend
2007 – Next – $7.1 million opening weekend
2008 – Bangkok Dangerous – $7.7 million opening weekend
2011 – Season of the Witch – $10.6 million opening weekend
2011 – Drive Angry – $5.1 million opening weekend
This film will be out of the top ten next weekend and Cage really might have to think about what films he signs onto going forward, because his recent ones have all been flops.
Dropping from 8th place to 10th place is The Roommate with a gross of $2 million (I predicted a 10th place finish and a gross of $1.8 million). The Roommate had a per theatre average of $1,188 and the film was down 47.6% from last weekend (the per theatre average was the lowest of any film in the top ten). After four weeks, The Roommate has grossed $35.9 million from a budget of only $16 million.
In limited release:
Of Gods and Men – This film follows eight Christian monks who have to deal with an outside conflict that will affect their lives and what they stand for. Of Gods and Men grossed $66,900 from 3 theatres giving the film a per theatre average of $22,300, which is the highest per theatre average of any film in release.
Diary of a Country Priest (Re-Release) – This classic film is about a priest who explores his faith in a small French village. Diary of a Country Priest (Re-Release) grossed $7,200 from 1 theatre giving it the same per theatre average.
Heartbeats – This film follows a young couple who meet a man that they both want to impress that leads to both comedic and dramatic results. Heartbeats grossed $7,300 from 1 theatre giving it the same per theatre average.
Public Speaking – Martin Scorsese directs this documentary about acclaimed author Fran Lebowitz. The film captures a show she had with author Toni Morrison and you get to hear Lebowitz’s views on a variety of different issues. Public Speaking grossed $6,700 from 1 theatre giving it the same per theatre average.
Grace Card – This film stars Louis Gossett Jr. and is about two cops from different backgrounds dealing with religion and race. Grace Card grossed $1.04 million from 352 theatres, giving the film a per theatre average of $2,955.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
Unknown – $17 million
Gnomeo & Juliet – $13.8 million
Hall Pass – $12.5 million
Just Go With It – $12 million
I Am Number Four – $10.1 million
And here are the actual numbers:
Gnomeo and Juliet – $14.2 million
Hall Pass – $13.4 million
Unknown – $12.4 million
Just Go With It – $11.1 million
I Am Number Four – $11 million
My predictions were off by $7.7 million.
Next weekend, Gnomeo and Juliet looks to be the #1 film for the second weekend in a row against four new films: The Matt Damon thriller The Adjustment Bureau, the Johnny Depp animated adventure Rango, the Topher Grace comedy Take Me Home Tonight and the modern day “Beauty and the Beast” tale Beastly. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!