Thursday, July 3, 2003

Film: The Bodacious Babes Out-Muscled The Big Green Guy

Film: The Bodacious Babes Out-Muscled The Big Green Guy

The Bodacious Babes Out-Muscled The Big Green Guy

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle flew in to first place this weekend with $37.6 million.

While that was a bit less heavenly than the original Charlie's Angels movie, which grossed $40.1 million its opening weekend in November 2000, the troika of Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu still had more than enough to wallop The Hulk down to second place, where it earned an $18.8 million, according to final studio figures Monday.

But with Sony's reteaming of the Angels' triumvirate (alongside Bernie Mac as a new Bosley and against Demi Moore as a fallen angel) failing to outstrip the intake of the original and the extremely sharp 70 percent plummet of Universal's The Hulk, it was the third down weekend in a row for the overall national box office compared to this time last year. A year ago, the top 12 movies earned $131.3 million; this weekend the tally was $112.4 million, a 15 percent dropoff and 21 percent lower than last weekend.

Despite its huge dip, The Hulk (which debuted lower than expected last weekend with $62.1 million) just managed to cross the $100 million mark, the 10th film this year to do so. Its take now stands at $100.6 million. The PG-13 Angels, meanwhile, was tops among wide releases, averaging $10,880 per screen at 3,459 sites

Universal's president of distribution, Nikko Rocco, admitted being upset with the savage decline of the The Hulk, telling Reuters, "Obviously we're very disappointed. You never want to see this kind of drop." Several Wall Street types have predicted that if The Hulk continues its precipitous decline, it could mean the end of what was supposed to be a new superhero film franchise.

Editor's Comments:

That box office receipts for Hulk went from bad to worse is deeply discouraging, but based on the early reaction of some critics and the subsequent reaction of movie audiences, not a complete surprise. As one disappointed critic complained, "It's too long for kids, it's too slow for teens, it's too light for adults. It's too deep for those who don't like to think about their movies, it's too on-the-nose for those who do, and it's completely lacking in memorable action moments for those who are just coming for the special effects."

Hulk Director Ang Lee told interviewers at the film's premier that with a $150 million budget and full studio support, "If this movie sucks, the blame falls on me." The fact is Lee attempted to pull off an enormously difficult feat. Many would say that from the very start he had taken on "Mission Impossible." If in the collective judgement of movie critics and moviegoers he failed, he at least failed heroically.

Full Disclosure: I have yet to see Hulk in the theater, so as yet do not have enough information to give Hulk either a thumbs up or a thumbs down.

-- Bevin Chu

Explanation: "Angels" Throttles "Hulk"
Illustration(s): Chinese-American Actress Lucy Liu, Chinese-American Director Ang Lee's Hulk
Author(s): Bridget Byrne
Affiliation: E! Entertainment Television
Publication Date: July 03, 2003
Original Language: English
Editor: Bevin Chu, Registered Architect

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