As if anyone needed further proof that film criticism is purely a forum for debate, and rarely utilized in any sort of practical manner, Vampires Suck—a movie with a 5-percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and the general consensus that it is “witlessly broad and utterly devoid of laughs”—debuted at No. 2 this week with $12.2 million, already well on its way to justifying its existence with studio executives who will gladly fast-track another one of these things. And of course, there’s nothing we could have done about, because we’re not America’s mother—and even if we were its mother, it wouldn’t listen to us anyway. If we were like, “America, we just want what’s best for you, and there’s the very real possibility that Vampires Suck will give your eyeballs AIDS,” America would just be all, “You can’t tell me what to do!” and sneak out to see it after we were asleep. Because that’s pretty much what every critic in the country did, and America chose to raw-dog it anyway. Because it’s the American pioneer spirit, and because teenagers need a cool, dark place where they can gather and text each other without the distraction of story, or even discernible punchlines. So thanks to that impudence, the Friedberg/Seltzer machine rolls on. We’ll see you again as soon as they get around to making 3-D Movie, which we’re anticipating the announcement of any second now.
Of course, as much as the success of Vampires Suck is a slap in the face to the critics, it’s nothing compared to the pain that Jennifer Aniston must be feeling, seeing as The Switch debuted in eighth place with a paltry $8.1 million. This is sad for numerous reasons, not least among them the relentless, Trail of Tears promotional tour Aniston has been on for what feels like months now. That poor lady did everything but turn up at your local sperm bank and hand out souvenir The Switch sample cups to drum up interest—although, in retrospect, that may have simply contributed further to our national Aniston fatigue. Not to mention the fact that most people probably feel like they had already seen and dismissed this movie when it starred Jennifer Lopez and it was called The Back-Up Plan. Oh 2010, you were supposed be The Year of the Artificial Insemination Romantic Comedy, but you just can’t argue with those numbers. Hey, here’s a fun topic for debate: Aniston’s recent “retard” comment—when factored into her tiff with Bill O’Reilly—has made her into an unlikely enemy of conservatives, so is it possible The Switch’s poor showing is the result of an organized boycott? If we were Jennifer Aniston, we’d probably cling to the hope that her movie’s failure is politically motivated, rather than admit that more people would rather see Vampires Suck and Nanny McPhee Returns (seventh place, $8.3 million). It’s just easier that way.
Among the other new contenders arriving during this dying light of August: Piranha 3D squeaked in at sixth place with $10 million, which will probably spark another trend piece this week about the public falling even further out of love with 3D. Lottery Ticket made an admirable debut at fourth place with $11.1 million, which bodes well for it becoming a Friday-style sleeper hit. Of course, none of these films could even touch The Expendables, which maintained its beefy hold over first place for the second week in a row. And for those still rooting for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, we’re sorry to say it continues its rapid decline, dropping from fifth to tenth place and boasting a total gross thus far of just over $20 million. It seems pretty likely that Vampires Suck will match that within just a couple weeks. Maybe Scott Pilgrim should have had more Lady Gaga jokes.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.