Valentine’s Day couldn’t continue to fuel romance, as opposed to my conclusion that the new would do any good. In fact, the new did quite awful this weekend at the box office, with Safe House acquiring first place. It’s a wonder This Means War didn’t take it, what with its two leading men. Perhaps it was that wretched trailer, but does a Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich trailer look any different?

 

Maybe it’s even Reese Witherspoon—I mean, she last co-starred Robert Pattinson in…it doesn’t matter. Something awful. Co-starring with a Twilight actor does not a box office winner make, and it certainly does not help that the talent itself may not be entirely present. It however was absolutely no surprise that Ghost Rider 2 was going to lose number one. Nicholas Cage has downward spiraled, desperate for paychecks, and in the end will only result in a lack of scripts for him altogether.

 

By both critics and audiences, both new films Ghost Rider: SOV and This Means War were rated nearly equally in a kind of purgatory between wretched and almost good. I believe that both of these films are something like “in-between” films as it is—releases intended only to the push the weekends along between actual movies meant to actually make money. The Vow was too headstrong and stole the holiday leftovers from its genre opponent while an unsatisfactory origin story anchored the Ghost Rider sequel.

 

Nicholas made his fair share of entertaining films with charismatic and eccentric characters, and it was always going to be a good thing that Eva Mendes went away from the Ghost Rider series. However, although the End of Days plot really fits in well in the comic book world, it doesn’t make it any better of a premise.

 

Alfred Hitchcock used to say that the best films were conceived from a single scenario—but of course, said scenario must be at least minimally intriguing to function properly. Withering actor Nicholas Cage and withering directors Neveldine and Taylor couldn’t save it, which is in fact just too bad. It doesn’t matter whether or not you can make Crank; it’s whether or not you can in fact stay fresh. Of course, it didn’t exactly fail. It beat Safe House at least. In fact, it only seemed to lose because of February the 14th.

Jennifer Anniston in raunchy comedy Wanderlust is new ground. Could be interesting—and director David Wain’s latest feature Role Models did receive moderate ratings. Perhaps there’s room for a few more R-rated comedies, but it will have to do battle against Tyler Perry next weekend, who always does better than I want him to.

 

Is it okay that I hate Tyler Perry? Also Amanda Seyfried, that girl who kissed Megan Fox in Jennifer’s Body and starred in In Time? She should take those large eyes and find a new acting coach rather than continue releasing films like Gone. We wish she really was gone. And in the meantime, we receive a new war film—which is always a hit or miss, due to its intense personal attachments to so many viewers.

It very often depends on its fidelity to realism. War is often glossed over by Hollywood to make combat look even attractive, and that may not be very kind, but can certainly work well at the box office. It will be between Good Deeds and Act of Valor, oddly enough, for number one next week, as I doubt The Vow can hold on for three weekends. Unless people really find Channing Tatum that attractive.

 

TW

Title

Weekend Gross

Total Gross

Week

1

Safe House

$24,000,000

$78,300,000

2

2

The Vow

$23,600,000

$85,527,000

2

3

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

$22,000,000

$22,000,000

1

4

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

$20,085,000

$53,201,000

2

5

This Means War

$17,550,000

$19,160,000

1

6

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (in 3D)

$7,865,000

$33,738,000

2

7

Chronicle (2012)

$7,500,000

$50,979,000

3

8

The Woman in Black

$6,645,000

$45,256,000

3

9

The Secret World of Arrietty

$6,400,000

$6,400,000

1