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Monday Morning Mixer: Still 'Riding' high

Posted Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:41 AM Central
Last updated Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:41 AM Central

by John Couture

You have to hand it to the Grammys, they really know how to pick a weekend to host their show. The weekend before the Super Bowl is affectionately known around my circles as the slowest and worst weekend of the year.

There's just nothing of note in sports, save for the worst all-star game known to man, the Pro Bowl. It's usually cold and the movies at theaters are either awards contenders or films that the studio is dumping in "no-man's land" out of contractual obligation hoping against hope that people will forget they released next year's leading Razzie contender at all.

This year was different - at least a little bit. No, the Pro Bowl still sucked and the little twist they added about doing a fantasy draft was just ridiculous. But, the films at the box office were anything but forgettable.

Let's grab a beverage and enjoy this week's MMM.

Box Office 411

After a few weeks of surprises at the box office, the numbers returned to normalcy this weekend as I, Frankenstein bombed to the tune of $8.3 million. This is the part where we get back to studios dumping pictures as Lionsgate surely had higher hopes for this big budget fantasy-adventure film.

Sadly, the marketing was a mess and the whole thing felt like a film that we've seen dozens of times before. Unfortunately for the film, it seemed like there was a compelling story to be told, but that it was lost in all of the explosions and thrills. That's too bad because I know that the film had solid acting talent in the form of Aaron Eckhart and Bill Nighy, not to mention the first real big screen leading role for Yvonne Strahovski.

But all is not lost, maybe this film will find an audience on home entertainment and recoup some of its loses.

One film that doesn't have to worry about its P&L report is Ride Along. The surprise hit of January continued its hot streak with a second consecutive finish in the top spot. The film brought in an additional $21.2 million this weekend to push its total up over $75 million. The film should cross the $100 million mark either this weekend or early next week, but stronger competition in the wings will undercut some of its earning power.

Another film that is holding its own is Lone Survivor, which finished in second place this week again with an additional $12.6 million. The film has earned just under $94 million and it should surpass Zero Dark Thirty's $95 million total and break the $100 million barrier this week.

So with these twin holds, I learned a great tidbit today on Box Office Mojo. This is the first time in nearly a decade that one studio had films that finished one-two in successive weekends at the box office. Warner Bros. last pulled off the feat in February 1994 with On Deadly Ground and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

Finally, Frozen is the film that just won't quit. It actually moved back up a spot this week to fourth place with $9 million to bring its total to $347 million. Another fun fact from Box Office Mojo, this means that Frozen has now passed Finding Nemo as the highest grossing original animated film (not counting re-releases).

With the planned "Sing-A-Long" version Frozen hitting theaters Super Bowl weekend, I think it's a safe bet that Frozen will surpass Despicable Me 2 to become the highest grossing animated film of 2013 and third highest grossing film overall.

Quick Hitters

I don't usually follow the Grammys, but I came home from hockey last night and the wife was watching it, so I caught a few minutes. It's sad but I only knew one song that was for "Song of the Year." At least it won, so I'm still hip, right? Here is more info on the winners and all that stuff.

Tim shared with me this "Behind the Bricks" clip from The Lego Movie. It's predictably as funny as the film looks to be. If you've ever wanted to hear Morgan Freeman read the phone book, well simply watch below.

The DGA awards might long be best remembered as the event that gave Ben Affleck their top award only to not see him even be nominated for the Oscar-winning Argo. Well, there's less controversy this year as Alfonso Cuaron won this year's DGA top honor, as expected. Also, Cuaron is a nominee for Best Director at this year's Oscars.

And finally today, if you've given up on SNL, then you missed this hilarious spoof on the film Her. Until next week, Mix Well!