With the runaway success of Paul Blart: Mall Cop staring us in the face–having earned more than $113 million heading into this weekend, the Kevin James smash is, thus far, the highest grossing movie of 2009–we shouldn’t be surprised by anything that happens this year. Still, we have to ask: has anyone noticed what’s going on with Taken? The Liam Neeson ground chuck actioner debuted with $24 million over the notoriously slow Super Bowl weekend. We understood that Taken did possess a fantastically to-the-point marketing campaign: come see Liam Neeson beat everyone up! However, during weekend two, Taken grossed $20 million more, off a scant sixteen-percent. And in weekend three, it added another $18 million to its tally, dropping only seven-percent, despite battling Friday the 13th for the male demographic. In fact, since being released four weeks ago, Taken has scrounged up $82 million and looks to be on its way to surpassing Schindler’s List as the highest grossing non-Batman/Star Wars-related movie of Mr. Neeson’s career. This has nothing to do with marketing anymore; Taken has bonafide legs, people! Meanwhile, following nearly seven straight weeks of healthy receipts at the box office, Hollywood takes a knee this weekend to focus on the Oscars. Only two movies open wide and you won’t be seeing either of them. Here’s a handy guide to the releases.
Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail
What’s the story: You’ve got to hand it to union buster Tyler Perry. He’s one of the most consistent filmmakers in Hollywood today, and since his movies cost relatively nothing to make, they invariably make a profit. Moreover, he seemingly releases two of these films per year, only increasing his studio viability. The latest, Madea Goes to Jail, sends his cross-dressing alter ego, Madea… to jail. After all his issues with the Writers Guild last year, we can think of at least seven of his former employees who are looking forward to watching this scenario come true.
Who should see it: Members of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
What’s the story: Poor Eric Christian Olsen. He was too old to be playing a teenager in Not Another Teen Movie and that came out in 2001. Now it’s eight years later and he’s still playing a high school student? The dude is almost 32-years-old! (And the scary part is that he looks it, too.) As for this new movie of his, the only draw we can think of for people to go see Fired Up is if they have a cheerleader fetish. However, we’re pretty sure there are plenty of websites out there to satisfy those desires. Be honest: if we told you Fired Up was being released directly to DVD, would you even bat an eyelash?
Who should see it: Eric Christian Olsen’s agent.