Box Office Results: September 23-25, 2011 (Simba Remains The King)

Good news! I got 5 of 7 spots right. Bad news, I didn’t guess the number one movie for the second straight week.

But hey, at least I’ve proven that I still have what it takes to be a box office oracle. Here are the top 7 movies this week! (estimates from box office mojo)

Number One Movie Predicted Correctly: 0 Weeks in a Row

Number of Times I Nailed the Top 7: 5

1.) The Lion King 3-D – Who would’ve thought a movie first released 17 years ago could actually spend two weeks at the top of the box office? I’ve been underestimating this film since it was released and now it looks poised to earn more than $120M at the box office. Add that to its previous total and this will now be one of the 10 highest grossing movies of all time!

Predicted Outcome: Rank 2, $17.5M

Actual Gross: $22.1M

Total Gross: $61.6M

 

2.) MONEYBALL – My bet for the top spot fell short of my expectations but it managed to earn a tad more money-wise. In fact, three movies reached the $20M mark this week. And thanks to this the week has become the highest grossing weekend for September ever!

Predicted Outcome: Rank 1, $18.5M

Actual Gross: $20.6M

Total Gross: $20.6M

 

3.) DOLPHIN TALE – There has been a high demand for family films lately, and it’s probably the cause of Dolphin Tale’s success. This also had the biggest opening ever for a live action animal-centric family film. Not bad!

Predicted Outcome: Rank 3, $14.8M

Actual Gross: $20.2M

Total Gross: $20.2M

 

4.) ABDUCTION – At a distant fourth place is Taylor Lautner’s wasted debut effort starring Lily Collins. To be honest, I love both actors, and it’s saddening to hear that the plot destroyed their chances for early success. Taylor better pick good offers now, because if this bad streak continues his career may be on trouble.

Predicted Outcome: Rank 4, $14.0M

Actual Gross: $11.2M

Total Gross: $11.2M

 

5.) KILLER ELITE – 2 films over-performed, while 2 others underwhelmed. People are starting to get tired with Jason Statham; and if he continues to do these types of movies, his demand will go downhill from here.

Predicted Outcome: Rank 5, $10.0M

Actual Gross: $9.5M

Total Gross: $9.5M

 

6.) Contagion – A couple millions dollars left until its domestic gross finally matches its budget.

Predicted Outcome: Rank 6, $8.8M

Actual Gross: $8.6M

Total Gross: $57.1M

 

7.) Drive – As expected, people weren’t exactly wowed by this movie as much as the critics did. Cheered by the critics, ignored by the masses.

Predicted Outcome: Rank 7, $7.1M

Actual Gross: $5.7M

Total Gross: $21.4M

 

TOTAL SCORE: 5 out of 7, with a variance of $2.4285714M per prediction

Box Office Predictions for September 23-25 (Brad Pitt Pitches For The Win)

I’ve been on a slump lately, getting only 1 of 7 and 2 of 7 spots right for the past two weeks. Think it gets better from here on out? Think again. Four new movies, plus three holdovers are so unpredictable it’s making my head hurt just thinking about it!

But my main goal for the week is to get the top spot correctly. It’s basically a match between Simba and Brad Pitt this week. But I think Brad will have the upper hand since a new family movie will be released.

Last Week’s Box Office Mojo Derby Rank: 272 (N/A) with a 66.316% (N/A%) accuracy

1.) MONEYBALL – $18.5M – Brad Pitt is in it to win it! It’s been a while since a sports drama last premiered in the big screen (The Blind Side), and even that one earned above $20M in its opening weekend. The only thing keeping this from doing so is its relatively low theater counts.

2.) The Lion King (in 3-D) – $17.5M – Here’s a fun fact. There are nineteen new movies all in all for the month of September, and it’s more than the number of movies which debuted in the past two months combined. However, those nineteen movies will only earn about half of what last month’s movies have earned. Booya!

3.) DOLPHIN TALE – $14.8M – I don’t understand why theater owners would want to have move screens for this movie that Brad’s Moneyball. I mean, sure it has a few great stars, but it’s not something that I’d want to see. If it manages to earn more than my prediction, I guess the theater count will be a big factor.

4.) ABDUCTION – $14.0M – I have a lot to say about this one. First of all, Taylor Lautner makes me bigorexic, and I’m a big fan of his but that doesn’t mean I consider him a great actor. Abduction is currently being panned at RottenTomatoes with an abysmal 8% rating. Some blame Lautner, some the plot, while others think the movie just keeps panning the camera to Lautner’s face. All these show that this won’t be the next Bourne franchise that people hoped it to be. Taylor’s off to a bad start, but he’s still got Stretch Armstrong. If he fails in that, his future will loom after Breaking Dawn ends. Too bad.

5.) KILLER ELITE – $10.0M – Jason Statham’s choice of acting roles prevents me from taking him too seriously. We’ll always see him wield a gun. And frankly, I’m getting a little tired of that. He’s got a solid fanbase though.

6.) Contagion – $8.8M – Hey look, 5 movies will reach double digits this week! The post-Summer slump is finally over!

7.) Drive – $7.1M – I’m hoping that this one gets released here in the Philippines. I wanna see it before awards season begins. Wouldn’t want to miss a critically acclaimed movie, would we?

Box Office (Late) Results: September 16-18, 2011

Sorry for the delay, I just had to finish a lot of stuff at school. Anyway, I’m set to go for the weekend so expect 3 new posts and maybe even a movie review if I still have time.

Last week was an off-week for my oracle powers as the number one film turned out to be The Lion King 3-D, which means my 5 week streak has been snapped. Here are the results!

Number One Movie Predicted Correctly: 0 Weeks in a Row

Number of Times I Nailed the Top 7: 5

1.) THE LION KING 3-D – Well, this is embarrassing. Disney’s re-release of their classic 1994 animated film managed to earn triple my prediction. That’s a 300% variance right there. 3D certainly is one of the factors of its huge success, but I feel like families just wanted to spend time with their kids, with the parents re-exploring their past while the kids discover this fantastic film for the first time.

Predicted Outcome: Rank 3, $8.9M

Actual Gross: $30.1M

Total Gross: $30.1M

 

2.) Contagion – Thanks to Contagion, I won’t be considering an early retirement. This saved me from actually getting all 7 spots wrong this week. Why am I telling this? Because from here on out the results will be far different from my expectations.

Predicted Outcome: Rank 2, $12.5M

Actual Gross: $14.5M

Total Gross: $44.2M

 

3.) DRIVE – I think in general I was a little to low with my predictions, except for this one. I actually had the weekend below $70M, good thing Simba, Timon and Pumba saved the weekend.

Predicted Outcome: Rank 1, $13.0M

Actual Gross: $11.3M

Total Gross: $11.3M

 

4.) The Help – 6 weeks into its release, it’s still keeping new movies from getting higher positions. Emma Stone should be happy to have her first $150M movie. Congratulations!

Predicted Outcome: Rank 6, $5.9M

Actual Gross: $6.5M

Total Gross: $147.4M

 

5.) STRAW DOGS – An abysmal opening weekend for a remake. ScreenGems is in panic mode right now.

Predicted Outcome: Rank 4, $8.4M

Actual Gross: $5.1M

Total Gross: $5.1M

 

6.) I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT – Performing even worse this week is Sarah Jessica Parker’s pic. With a concept like that, I can’t say I’m surprised.

Predicted Outcome: Rank 5, $8.1M

Actual Gross: $4.4M

Total Gross: $4.4M

 

7.) The Debt – It had a good domestic run. It even got ranked in the top 7 and held off Warrior, which was booted off from the top ten after just a week.

Predicted Outcome: Rank N/A, $M

Actual Gross: $2.9M

Total Gross: $26.5M

 

TOTAL SCORE: 1 out of 7, with a variance of $5.0428571M per prediction (year-low)

Box Office Predictions for September 16-18, 2011

Nyaha! It turns out I have an extra few minutes to sneak in a quick prediction! I’m doing this fast not because I’m rushing, but because there’s not much to talk about for the week.

Estimated total grosses for the weekend should be abysmal, as no new film is on track to earn above $15M. Drive could do that, but I’d rather be conservative. The Lion King re-release should probably earn a few million as well.

1.) DRIVE – $13.0M – Ryan Gosling should have enough star power to hold off the ensemble of Contagion and the kingdom of Simba. The only problem is people aren’t usually eager to see movies like this in their opening weekends. Oscar buzz will help this one though.

2.) Contagion – $12.5M – It has an 83% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes. But most people I’ve talked to weren’t too impressed with this pandemic thriller, stating that the actors’ performances were great but the plot was a bit lacking. I can’t say anything though, I watched Zombadings instead of this last week!

3.) THE LION KING 3-D – $8.9M – Almost everyone at the derby followed suit when box office mojo released their preview for the weekend and predicted that it would win number one. I’ll stick with my first guess.

4.) STRAW DOGS – $8.4M – Another remake lacking buzz. I admit I have no idea what this film is all about. James Marsden stars in this film.

5.) I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT – $8.1M – Sigh. These movies keep getting made but it’s out of our reach. It has a target demographic and it WILL earn, but not much

6.) The Help – $5.9M – It finally exits the top 5 after six weeks. It just crossed $140M in the US and it will accompany Bridesmaids as the most profitable movies of the year. Women empowerment!

7.) Warrior – $3.8M – I’m a little sad to see a Fresh movie earn less than what was expected of it, and early predictions weren’t even that high.

Box Office Predictions for September 16-18 Delayed!

Hello everyone! Due to yet another stressful week ahead, I have decided not to release a new post for Box Office Predictions this week.

But don’t fret! I’ve already sent my predictions at box office mojo, and I may be able to give you my predictions as well as the results in three days. If not, then I’ll include it in my article next week.

In the meantime, I would like to thank everyone who kept on reading my blog and supporting me for the past 10 months! It’s been a great time with you guys and without you I couldn’t have reached 20,000 views! Thank you so much!!! I promise to give you a better, more active blog come October 24!!!

Box Office Results: September 9-11 (Contagion Spreads, Warrior Lacks Punch)

After an unprecedented three-peat, The Help finally drops from the top spot as Contagion spreads worldwide. Though it seems less potent compared to other thrillers which have debuted during the 9/11 weekend.

In other news, the much hyped Warrior didn’t muster enough strength to knock out the movies at the top, while an adaptation from a Saturday Night Live sketch bombed in 15th place, 8 spots lower than what I actually predicted.

Number One Movie Predicted Correctly: 5 Weeks in a Row

Number of Times I Nailed the Top 7: 5

1.) CONTAGION – I don’t know how long this one will stay on top, but I guess it would be much easier for me if it rests here for a while. Why? The movie has lots of posters! (Uh, that’s it?). But it probably won’t as four new films vie for the top spot next week, including the highly anticipated Drive with Ryan Gosling which currently has an exceptional 95% Fresh rating on RT.

Predicted Outcome: Rank 1, $23.1M

Actual Gross: $22.0M

Total Gross: $23.1M

 

2.) The Help – With the combined star power of Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne and Marion Cotillard, this one is finally evicted from the top. But now that I think about it, it’s a little weird that it only earned $20M+. The Help dropped a bigger-than-usual 40% this weekend.

Predicted Outcome: Rank 3, $11.2M

Actual Gross: $8.7M

Total Gross: $137.0M

 

3.) WARRIOR – The box office performance of Warrior disappointed me. Contagion was the only one which posted double digits this weekend, making this 9/11 weekend the worst so far in 2011 with only $66M. Ouch!

Predicted Outcome: Rank 2, $11.5M

Actual Gross: $5.6M

Total Gross: $5.6M

 

4.) The Debt – It dropped by 50% this week. Looks like people spent more time indoors and cared more about paying respects to the victims of the tragic event 10 years ago.

Predicted Outcome: Rank 4, $6.0M

Actual Gross: $4.9M

Total Gross: $22.0M

 

5.) Colombiana – I guess I’ll end up getting only 2 out of 7 right. Oddly enough, Colombiana performed better than Rise of the Planet of the Apes this week.

Predicted Outcome: Rank 6, $4.6M

Actual Gross: $4.0M

Total Gross: $29.8M

 

6.) Rise of the Planet of the Apes – No word yet from the studio regarding a sequel. Hmm, how did Green Lantern get a nod again?

Predicted Outcome: Rank 5, $5.2M

Actual Gross: $3.9M

Total Gross: $167.8M

 

7.) Shark Night 3D – In the end the less worse horror flick prevailed. Shark Night 3D bled by 58%, whilst Apollo 18 crashed by more than 66%.

Predicted Outcome: Rank N/A

Actual Gross: $3.5M

Total Gross: $14.8M

 

TOTAL SCORE: 2 out of 7, with a variance of $2.28571428M per prediction

235th Movie Review: Zombadings 1 – Patayin sa Shokot si Remington

Witty, Effortlessly Funny and Unequivocally Gay; a New Star Is Born

[toilalou, twalay, faucey]

Caution: spoilers ahead!

Awaaaard! Thanks to Director Jade Castro, Writer Raymond Lee and the rest of Origin8 media, we finally have our first zombie-themed movie in the Philippines, and a good one at that! The guys behind the film managed to combine a potpourri of genres including Comedy, Musical, Sci-Fi, Horror, and Coming-of-Age and molded it into a colorful yet ridiculous extravaganza full of incredible performances by up and coming and veteran actors!

Yes this is a gay movie, but the gayness executed here was neither weak nor strong which makes the film more enjoyable and less discouraging for the males who are interested in seeing this movie. Honestly, I was supposed to watch Contagion today, but after seeing the trailers near the theater I ended up tagging along with my sisters to catch this movie. And 100 minutes later I realized I was fortunate enough to watch this one in the big screen before I lost the chance!

At first glance, one may think that this would be the same old Filipino indie-movie victimized by pop culture, but it’s actually more than that. Zombadings 1 was conceptualized by a slew of talented writers and producers who aim to make indie films break into mainstream media. Fortunately, thanks to excellent word-of-mouth, it has become one of the most demanded indie films of the year making this one a certified critical and box-office hit!

The film is set in Lucban, Quezon where the Pahiyas festival is being held. It is the typical Filipino town which isn’t completely modernized and still shows hints of Spanish influence. The movie follows the story of Remington (Martin Escudero), a young boy who has a knack for identifying and blatantly taunting gays. One day, he spots a grieving gay (Roderich Paulate) and taunts him. Feeling insulted the mysterious gay  responds by saying that when Remington grows up he’ll turn queer just like him.

15 years later, the movie resumes with a serial killing that’s been the talk of the town for quite some time. What’s weird is that the victims have only been gay people who are either out in the open or hiding in the closet. While going to work Remington discovers a crowd of people surrounding yet another victim. Here he meets Hannah (Lauren Young), a beautiful young lady who returns to Lucban to take care of her mother (Eugene Domingo) after the death of his father. When Remington sees Hannah for the first time it was obvious that he felt love at first sight. At night, while taking a bath outside of their house, Remington is attacked by a Kapre-like dude wearing clothes you’ll probably see in an “entertainer”. Instead of killing him though, he wakes up in his bed and realizes that he’s been shaved from head to toe (you know what that means).

From the Inquirer: The story progresses with the disturbing attacks continuing. Remington, meanwhile, experiences changes from inside out. That is, he suddenly develops a liking for baby tees, half-naked guys and a strong attraction for his best friend Jigs (Kerbie Zamora) despite being fond of Hannah. Remington is convinced that the curse placed on him many years ago is already beginning to take effect.

Martin Escudero shines while playing two roles in the film. As he slowly turned gay, you can’t help but admire him and be amazed by the fact that he actually managed to pull it off. You can see his dedication and strong will to make his acting seem real. He even endured the whole kiss scene with Kerbie Zamora, the scene in which director Castro said was the hardest moment to shoot since both men are 100% straight. Even now I still couldn’t believe how great he was; and because of this I would definitely think that he’ll have a long career ahead of him.

The comic timing was impeccable! Somehow the cast was able to make the audience laugh at the right moment. And just when you thought it was about to get serious, they take us back to square one and make us laugh all over again. The best thing is that it all felt natural and nothing seemed forced.

However, I think that is the main problem of the movie. It never gets serious enough which makes the whole concept of the movie less admirable. I mean, the beginning was great and the whole “pagdadalaga” process was amazing, but the ending was disappointing and felt disjointed from the rest of the movie. Even if there isn’t a sequel, I still believe that they could’ve done better in wrapping up the whole thing. The film deserves it.

Also, people who expect a zombie-centered plot may be let down. And while I do agree that the movie was indeed funny, there never was anything scary about the film. Maybe it was the budget or something, but whatever it is, there was something missing.

Nevertheless, the film still displays the creativity of Filipino filmmakers and the ongoing cultural evolution in our place. It educates us not to discriminate our gay community and at the same time lets us aware of how big their culture has become to the point that they’ve actually invented their own language (Bekimon). Besides, how can you not enjoy the performances of the three young actors and the rest of the cast which also includes Janice de Belen, John Regala and a cameo by Marian Rivera?

Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington is one of the best Filipino movies I’ve enjoyed in a long time. And I’m saying this because I haven’t seen Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank. Even so, I still believe that thanks to these two movies our chances for an Oscar nod this year is high. I just hope it’ll get more recognition in the international scene.

Overall, the film is a certified Pinoy movie you’ll actually be proud to show off to the world, regardless of what it talks about.

GRADE: B+

Directed by Jade Castro