Ocean's 13 opened to rather tepid reviews, yet succeeded in topping the box office in its opening frame, easily knocking Pirates out of the top spot after its two-week reign at the top. This was also the first week to offer up a few films with legitimate aspirations for the top slot. With the star power of the Ocean's sequel, the kid-fueled power of Surf's Up, and the blood-drenched draw of Hostel Part II. It is true that only Ocean's had a real shot at the number one position, but the other two were also expected to perform well.
While Ocean's 13 opened at number 1, it still opened up slower than either of its two predecessors. I have a couple of ideas for why that is so. The first thing is, at least to me, I feel that a this type of movie is better suited for a December release. It may be because the first two opened at that time of year, and it helps to conjure up a feel for when you would expect it, much like, I am used to Harry Potter around November, so having that in the summer is a little odd. The other reason being that Ocean's 12 wasn't all that hot, and many have remembered that, and recognize this as something of a pretentious star vehicle with all the big names involved.
There were two other films that cracked the top ten this week. First up is the latest animated penguin outing, Surf's Up, which turned out to be surprisingly good. It wasn't great, but it benefitted from the lack of hype that plagued Shrek the Third. In the end, it turned out to be much more satisfying than the last ogre outing, so if you are looking to wash out the bad taste of that one, this may be the one to do it. The other new face is Hostel Part II, the sequel to the 2006 torture flick from director Eli Roth. Considering the popularity of the Saw series, I am sort of surprised to see this similar series open so much lower than Saw. I guess I shouldn't, Saw does have the October Halloween season sewn up, which is the right time of year for this. Besides, there does seem to be a bit of anti-Eli Roth sentiment around the net. I know nothing of the man personally, but I do enjoy the films, and this was a step up from the initial trip to Slovakia, and I look forward to what may come next.