Now, everyone be honest, who thought that this far into their respective theatrical engagements that Angels & Demons would be outrunning Terminator: Salvation? This week, the fifth for the Hanks film and fourth for the action film, sees the robots losing the war by nearly $10 million dollars. Yes, I know there is a week between them, but looking at their recent takes, I do not think the Christian Bale starring film will be able to catch up. The science fiction sequel has certainly not lived up to expectations. If there is a golden lining for the lucrative franchise, it is that it is going strong overseas and will almost assuredly to do very nicely on the home video market.
As for this week, the drunken party movie, The Hangover, retains its top spot, against all predictions. Who in their right mind would think an R-rated comedy about guys who get drunk, lose a friend, and set out to find him in Las Vegas would be the top grossing film two weeks in a row? Now, who even had it lined up for one week at the top? Not I, I can tell you that much. What makes it notable is that it is a funny, fresh, comedy that opened to good reviews and has received strong word of mouth. This is proof that worthy films will rise to the top, that the people will react in a positive manner to a good movie. If you haven't seen it, make sure you do, you will not be disappointed.
Coming in at a close second is Pixar's Up. A film that is running stronger than I expected through the first three weeks of its tenure. This movie is the first recipient of a five-star review this year, and it is well deserved. The film is alternatingly sad, funny, and action packed. It is not your typical animated film and I am glad to see it doing so well, with three weekends north of the $30 million mark -- this is a good sign for its continued success at the box office. This is one to bring the family to see.
The third place film is the highest placed film from this weekend's freshman class. It is also the movie I fully expected to eke out a victory. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, a remake of the 1974 film (and 1998 TV movie), opened up lower than expected. I guess folks were not all that interested in the verbal sparring between Denzel Washington and John Travolta. Perhaps it was Travolta as the bad guy that no one wanted? The film proved to be a moderately enjoyable experience, albeit quickly forgettable.