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Monday Morning Mixer: How utterly 'Despicable'

Posted Monday, July 8, 2013 at 2:51 PM Central
Last updated Monday, July 8, 2013 at 2:51 PM Central

by John Couture

And, I'm back. To those who just groaned, I apologize. To the rest of you, it's good to be back.

I was out last week celebrating our country's independence and mourning the death of my alma mater's (Butler University) basketball expectations for the foreseeable future. But alas, this isn't a sports site, so let's move on, shall we?

I applaud Tim on his unique take for last week's MMM, although I can't help but wonder why he didn't choose the letter M. I like that concept and I think I'll save it for rainy days, or you know when I'm out on paternity leave here in seven short weeks. Wow, this Summer has flown by.

Speaking of Summer, we knew it was only a matter of time before someone's bubble got burst by the sharp point of the box office and what do you know, it was yet again another Disney film to go flop at megaplexes.

But it wasn't all doom and gloom over the extended holiday weekend, just ask Universal. You know, if you can get them to take a break from counting all of that money.

Box Office 411

You know the old saying: you win some, you lose some. Last Summer, Universal was the big loser when their film Battleship sank to the bottom of the box office faster than a blue Leonardo DiCaprio sank to the bottom of the ocean. But this Summer, it's a whole different story altogether.

Universal stands in third place in terms of studio market share of the 2013 box office, despite having the fewest number of films released by the top 8 studios. With $741.8 million in box office (14%) so far from only 9 films, it's a pretty good bet that Despicable Me 2 will help Universal climb even higher in the coming weeks.

Despicable Me 2 not only set Universal animation records, but its $142.1 million haul was the best animation five day opening ever. Yes, it even outperformed Toy Story 3, by Gru's nose. For the traditional three day weekend, it held on strong and brought in $83.5 million which compares favorably (slightly higher) than Monsters University from a few weeks ago.

In other words, they are dancing at Universal Studios. They went head-to-head with Pixar and won, which is next to impossible. This is good news for next year's spin-off Minions and the rest of Despicable Me 2's run. The film is a lock to break $300 million and I see it getting as far as $410 million before it finally runs out of the proverbial gas.

Over at Disney, the news was much more bleak. With the shadow of John Carter looming in the distance as a reminder just how fickle film audiences can be, Disney decided to roll the dice with a big screen adaptation of a radio program targeted to an audience who doesn't even know what a boom box is.

On the bright side, The Lone Ranger did have Johnny Depp in the role of Tonto. But the honorary member of the Comanche tribe wasn't enough to save the train wreck, figuratively and literally if you've seen even a single trailer, that is The Lone Ranger.

The film currently has a 25% Rotten score at Rotten Tomatoes and only mustered $48.9 million during the five-day holiday weekend. The film that boasted a $200 million budget is going to struggle to make $150 million at the box office and should end up as the biggest bomb of the Summer. Tim and I always felt that one of these big budget films were going to go under and it just felt like The Lone Ranger was the best candidate to do so.

The problem with the film, besides being based on a story that isn't all that compelling in today's day and time, is that it simply reminds people of two of the biggest flops in recent years, Cowboys & Aliens and the aforementioned John Carter. The good news is that Universal rebounded quite nicely and I don't think Disney will be down for long. I mean there are new Star Wars films coming soon.

In other box office news, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain opened with a very respectable $11,530 per theater in a limited release. The stand-up comedy film brought in $17.5 million over the holiday weekend. If you're looking at per-screen-average though, the real winner is The Way, Way Back which opened on 19 screens for an average of $30,263 per screen. The coming-of-age film looks to expand in the coming weekend and good word of mouth should help it tremendously.

Quick Hitters

For all of you lucky stiffs out there heading to San Diego later this month, the complete Comic Con schedule is out. Simply click here and start planning your trip accordingly. Nope, I'm not jealous. Not one bit.

Guillermo del Toro let a few gems escape his lips in a recent interview with The Playlist. He says that he really wants to cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Frankenstein's monster. I could see that actually. The more interesting news to me is that he let loose the idea of wanting Charlie Kaufman to pen a script for Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. Now THAT would be something to see for sure.

The Lovelace trailer is out. There's really not much else I can to this one. Sadly it's not a red band trailer, but they finally slotted it for an August 9 release. James Franco as Hugh Hefner because, you know, Franco doesn't already have enough things going for him. Check out the trailer below.

And finally today, what would a MMM be without a requisite Star Wars: Episode VII update? This one is a bit odd and requires the use of advanced body linguistics. Thankfully, I'm an expert. DesdeHollywood was interviewing Dominic Monaghan on some red carpet and sort of threw out an odd ball question asking if he had a role in Star Wars: Episode VII. The body language seems to indicate yes, but he quickly (too quickly methinks) defers the question to J.J. Abrams. Check out the brief exchange below and let us know what you think.

Remember that Dominic Monaghan previously worked with Abrams on Lost, so it's not a great leap in logic to think that our favorite Hobbit might be showing up in a galaxy far, far away.

Well, that's it for this week's MMM. I admit that I'm rusty, but the good news is that I'm good to go for the next six installments. Unless, of course, our son decides to arrive early.