The two weeks immediately following Thanksgiving are a no man’s land for new releases in Hollywood: If the studio has any faith in a film at all, as an awards-contender or a family-bilking holiday juggernaut, it will put it out the week of Thanksgiving or the middle of December, to catch the Christmas traffic. This week, a pair of new films showed up DOA: The Collection, a sequel to a horror movie so obscure and forgettable that many didn’t realize it was as sequel at all, sneaked into 10th place with $3.4 million; and Killing Them Softly, a politically loaded heist thriller from Andrew Dominik and Brad Pitt, the team responsible for the calamitous (but excellent) The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, made $7 million for 7th place. The results for both aren’t terrible in relation to their modest budgets, but the latter is notable mainly for getting an “F” in CinemaScore polling.
Killing Them Softly joins only seven other films to receive the dreaded “F” grade, suggesting that a pretty good festival could be programmed out of “F”-rated movies: Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris remake, William Friedkin’s Bug, the extreme horror movie Wolf Creek, and the fascinatingly misbegotten Richard Kelly thriller The Box all got the lowest rating, and are each, at a minimum, compelling. (The other three—Darkness, The Devil Inside, and Silent House—don’t reach that standard.) Mainstream audiences seem to be rejecting these films as much for being offbeat and unconventional than outright terrible; when “A+” ratings are being handed out to the likes of The Help, The Blind Side, and Soul Surfer, CinemaScore looks like an awfully dubious metric. Or maybe that people have crappy taste and I have awesome taste.
Nothing much happening in limited release, either. The highly acclaimed documentary Beware Of Mr. Baker has raked in a solid $17,100 since opening at Film Forum in New York on Wednesday. Otherwise, sleepy.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.