Weekend box office: “Tron: Legacy” leads a slow weekend; “How Do You Know” when you’ve made an expensive bomb? Not hard this weekend.

It came in at the top spot without  breaking a sweat, but if Disney was expecting “Tron: Legacy” to turn a cult-hit 1982 science fiction concept masquerading as a movie into an instant mega-franchise, they made a problematic bet. On the other hand, while it doesn’t explain the miserable performance of the latest from James L. Brooks (“Broadcast News”), Nikki Finke points out that this is a weekend when an awful lot of people are busy traveling and shopping and movies tend to take a back-seat.

Tron: Legacy

So, that leaves it to the young fanboys to support something like “Tron.” They shelled out the money for those expensive 3D tickets and Anthony D’Alessandro says that 3D accounted for an unsurprising 82% of the tickets. This is not a movie you see for the story and characterization. The total estimated take for the Mouse House was $43.6 million according to Box Office Mojo, well short of the 50 million La Finke says they were hoping for. This includes a Friday morning 12:00 A.M. opening, by the way.

The #2 film this weekend was “Yogi Bear.” In its favor, it is a partially CGI animated family comedy. In its disfavor, it’s a cheap looking knock-off of a character that kids love and adults remember fondly — but rarely watch because, to an adult, those old Hanna-Barbara cartoons aren’t hugely funny. On the other hand, it’s always fun to say “pic-a-nic basket.” With unsurprisingly lousy reviews, the 3D film was able to get enough families in the door to earn an estimated $16.7 million for Warner Brothers.

In its second weekend, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” managed to keep its drop-off to 48.3% and earned an estimate of $12.4 million for Fox in the #3 spot. The $150 million film is benefiting from decent business overseas.

Going wide for the first time this week, “The Fighter” punched slightly above its weight and earned a very solid $12.2 million estimate. With a total so far of roughly $12.6 million, the award-contending David O. Russell crowd-pleaser has already won enough purses to get more than half its $25 million budget back. “Black Swan” which expanded much more modestly in terms of theater counts, also did extremely well with an estimated $8.3 million in the #7 spot, despite being in only about 1/3 as many theaters as most of its competition.

Jack Nicholson phones home in And then we get to “How Do You Know” — a movie I once had hopes for. Still, I knew something was up with word that it cost $120 million but, as I’ve joked before, couldn’t even afford to purchase the correct punctuation for its title. As Brooks is a more reliable Oscar nominee than a money maker and the movie is, after all, a romantic comedy and not an EFX showcase, this seemed weird. With poor reviews and no award nominations, this is a movie without a constituency other than whatever power the all-star cast led by Reese Witherspoon can muster. Jack Nicholson, in particular, is being accused of a phoned-in performance. At a salary of $12 million, that’s one expensive toll call.

  

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A second trailer for a Tuesday night: “Tron: Legacy”

I won’t harp on it tonight as I’ve mentioned it before and will undoubtedly mention it again, but after revisiting it recently, I’m am so not a fan of Disney’s 1982 “Tron” that anything under 1000 words can’t really do my dislike any justice.

Nevertheless, I know a lot of you are fans. So, here is the latest official full length trailer for the long awaited (but not by me) sequel, “Tron: Legacy.”

h/t EW

  

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Activate the Beiber-Tron!

Today we have two videos promoting upcoming films that I’m expecting to be deeply silly while exciting their core demographic to it’s very, er, core.

Via Mike Fleming, this first look online at Disney’s “Tron: Legacy” featuring the music of Daft Punk. I have to say, I recently took a second look at the original “Tron” and the less I say probably the better, but watching this doesn’t cause me pain. There was a 20 minute preview and I wonder how that would hold up.

Geek though I be, such is my dislike of the original “Tron” movie that I’d probably be more appropriate reviewer of the following movie: “Never Say Never” a music documentary/promotional vehicle starring the one, the only, Justin Beiber — because every generation needs its own Frankie Avalon.

After the flip, a bonus video which, given the title of the Beiber-flick, I’d really like to see Beiber perform. I mean, I know the Beiber “Never Say Never” is different, but it would certainly increase my respect for him if he could come up with a medley of his song and the one after the flip.

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Midweek movie news, the Lamont Cranston and Kent Allard memorial edition

Comic-Con’s been over for a week and a half and the geek news is flying.

* Mike Fleming is claiming a Finke “Toldja!” for the news that Disney and “Tron: Legacy” director Joseph Kosinski are going ahead with a film version of the comic book, “Oblivion.” I’m not familiar with the book so, should I be more excited about this than I am? Of course, having recently rewatched the original “Tron” I’m even less excited about his other movie. I’m sorry, but it’s got to be one of the thinnest excuses for a piece of entertainment I’ve ever seen. A few interesting visuals aside, it’s easily one of the weakest efforts Disney has ever been associated with as far as I can see. It’s lingering appeal is a complete mystery to me.

* As rumors of the day go, I find this one even less believable than most. That idea is that Quentin Tarantino may be “attached” to what had previously been Sam Raimi’s new version of William Gibson’s influential pulp character, the Shadow — who became best known via a popular thirties radio show starring a very young Orson Welles.  I’m a fan of the character and of Tarantino, so I certainly wouldn’t mind this being true. It just feels significantly off from Mr. Tarantino’s many obsessions, though considering his delving into thirties and forties cinema for “Inglourious Basterds,” you never know.

the_shadow_djcox_202

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The “Tron” abides

So this other trailer I want to write about for a movie I’m actually looking forward to will have to wait because the new “Tron: Legacy” trailer is out and we know that has to go first. I have to say the appeal of this franchise eludes me — or at least, the appeal of the original film completely eluded me all those years ago when I saw it as a college boy, though I get that it was a bit prescient as things turned out.

This trailer has lots of stuff in it. Maybe the movie will be good. Look on the bright side, I always say. Okay, I sometimes say.

H/t Nikki Finke, God help me.

  

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