No matter his attempts to assign himself Alfred Hitchcock’s famous nickname, Wes Craven can’t seem to grasp a horror film that can reach the full potential indicated by his classics. After a relentless marketing campaign that ensured everyone would catch a trailer, and a rather imaginative piece of cover art for Scream 4, Craven’s latest attempt still yields to animated feature Rio, which grossed an impressive estimated $40 million this weekend now widely recognized as the largest of 2011. Now, the interesting thing is that famous stars are always attached to animated pictures, in this case Jesse Eisenberg of The Social Network, which not only amassed countless critical acclaims and fans, but also about $184 million in profit worldwide. But children, the target audience, wouldn’t know that of course. As it happens, Rio didn’t seem to have very much going for it, limiting its marketing in such rigid ways one could hardly tell what exactly the film was going to be about. General implications of plot. However, Rio’s ace-in-the-hole was that it’s from the creators of Ice Age—which in 2002 made $383,257,136 on a $59 million budget. Most children, and indeed most viewers are aware of the existence of Ice Age, and that’s a good thing. Ice Age hasn’t really been regarded in negative connotations since its opening day.

My Soul to Take was a financial failure, falling $5 million short with the reasonably little budget of $25 million. The film left bad taste in mouth for Craven fans, whom seemed convinced that he had lost the capability to wield a successful horror story. Red Eye was a success with $69 million in profit, but it wasn’t written by Craven. Not encouraging enough, since no matter the visual talent, an awful script can still be an awful thing to watch. Take Sucker Punch, for example. But this time around, Scream 4 has been financially unsuccessful, and simultaneously rated higher than any other previous Scream film on IMDb. It must have helped to have included familiar faces such as Courtney Cox, from the original film, and Anna Paquin, of well-received HBO series True Blood and the hugely successful X-Men series. It must have damaged that the preceding films for the target audience have received lowly productions such as The Roommate and The Rite. $19.3 million may be unsatisfactory, but it seems that fans of the original films are satisfied, so there may be hope yet for Craven.

Meanwhile, Soul Surfer doesn’t seem much worth mentioning (rated low, accomplished little), and Hanna has been sinking at as average a pace as Limitless recently did.  Hop sustains at a trill its success, holding surprisingly strong at third place against animated opponent Rio. It should manage to stay there, too, what with very few films actually worth seeing coming out next week. Tyler Perry may have found his own audience, but I think I’m not the only one insulted at his latest cover art. To even compare his works to The Godfather is something of an assault on cinema. I think it encapsulates well the decline in quality film over the years. Speaking of, Water for Elephants is Robert Pattinson’s latest endeavor to break out of the Twilight series, but unfortunately this should turn out badly since he has absolutely no acting talent. What is truly disappointing is that Christoph Waltz, newly formed villainous actor is going to be included. Waltz deserves better, and after The Green Hornet, he’s digging himself into a hole he doesn’t want to be in. Also, Water for Elephants sells sap drama, something no one in their right mind actually wants these days. Audiences want popcorn entertainment, and Robert Pattinson sure isn’t going to be the one to pull us out of the trend.

 

Title Weekend Gross
Rio $40M $40M
Scream 4 $19.3M $19.3M
Hop $11.2M $82.6M
Soul Surfer $7.4M $20M
Hanna $7.33M $23.3M
Arthur $6.94M $22.3M
Insidious $6.86M $36M
Source Code $6.3M $37M
Your Highness $3.89M $16M
Limitless $3.79M $69.7M