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Weekend B.O. May 29-31 (Hey, Where the Asian People At?)

Weekend B.O. May 29-31 (Hey, Where the Asian People At?)

Coming in
number 1 this weekend, with $46 million, “San Andreas” gave Dwayne Johnson (does
anyone call him “The Rock” anymore?) his biggest b.o. opening so far in his
film career; while “Perfect Pitch 2” stayed solid in second place with $147.5
million.

“PP2” has unbelievably
grossed more than “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which came in 4th with $13.6
million, for a total of just under $116 million to date. The good news is that “Fury Road” is, by far, outpacing “PP2” overseas, and has reached $250 million
worldwide to date, and has still yet to hit the Asian markets until mid-June
where it will no doubt to do spectacular business.

Meanwhile
things must be hurting over at Disney. “Tomorrowland” is shaping to be another
huge expensive flop in the continuing history of huge expensive flops at the
studio. 

The list of flops over $100 million is pretty extensive, going back
over a decade, with titles such as the animated
film “Treasure Island” (does anyone even remember that one?), “Prince of Persia,” “Around
the World in 80 Days” (with Jackie Chan – does anyone remember that one either?), “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “Mars Needs Moms,” “John Carter,” “The Lone Ranger” and
now “Tomorrowland.”

Ironically, after the $200 million write-off on “John Carter,” Disney announced that they were going to be more careful about what projects they greenlight, and curtail their overspending on film projects. Guess they
forgot with “Tomorrowland.”

You would
think that the failure of the film would mean that the studio would avoid original
projects, and just stick with the tried and true of remakes and sequels; and it
looks that way, since, on their plate, already in production are sequels to “Alice
in Wonderland,” yet another “Prates of the Caribbean” movie, “Finding Nemo,” yet another “Toy Story” movie, and their live action version of “Beauty and the Beast.” And don’t forget, of
course, there’s “Star Wars.” set for December; though I’m sure it can’t come soon
enough for the studio. 

However, because
of the box office disappointment of “Tomorrowland,” Disney announced last week that
it is cancelling plans for what would have been their third “Tron” movie, “Tron 3: Ascension,” which was supposed
to start shooting in October.

The other
big flop this weekend was Cameron Crowe’s romantic comedy, “Aloha,” which only
grossed $10 million, coming in at 6th place. Not a surprise, since
Sony Pictures released it in the thick of the beginning of the summer
blockbuster film schedule, no doubt a result of the studio’s lack of confidence
in it. 

The film does show obvious signs of some ruthless last minute editing of
a much longer cut, resulting in some obvious underdeveloped story lines, character development and
gaping plot holes. Furthermore, those infamous hacked Sony e-mails last year
revealed the execs at the studio were not enthusiastic with how the film was turning
out and had basically already written it off as a loser.

Yet, perhaps
more interesting is the unexpected controversy the film got for the ethnic
makeup of the cast. As one can tell from title, the set is entirely set in
Hawaii, but some voices such as Media Action Network for Asian Americans and Jen
Yamato in Salon (HERE) have raised objections with the film’s all white cast especially
considering that 60% of Hawaii’s population is Asian/American Pacific Islanders.
To make matters worse, the film’s lead female actress, Emma Stone, who could
arguably be called one of the whitest actresses in movies today, plays a
character in the film of Asian descent.

You can
argue that those criticizing the film have a point, but then again, can’t the
same objection to be made with other films with all white casts? Look
at Woody Allen’s films for example. One can argue that, in this day and age, with
the “browning of America,” having all white casts in movies is antiquated. Then
again, filmmakers like Crowe makes films that reflect what they know and have
lived, and judging from Crowe’s previous films, such as “Almost Famous,” “Elizabethtown,” “We Bought a Zoo,” “Singles,” and “Say Anything,” he knows white people better than anything
else. Of course there was “Show me the money!” Cuba Gooding Jr in Crowe’s Jerry Maguire, but that’s
it.

Also, the
same accusation against “Aloha” could be made about the 2011 film “The Descendants” as well, which was also set in Hawaii, and also with an all-white cast. Yet there were
no protests over that film. Why not? Could it be that the film was directed by
Alexander Payne, who film critics very much a love affair with, while
the one they had with Crowe died over a decade ago, after some weak films? Or could it be that “The Descendants” starred
Hollywood’s liberal superhero George Clooney, so no one wanted to attack a film
he was in for its monochromatic cast, making him look like a hypocrite.

You tell me.
You know by now how I love to rile people up.

1) San Andreas  WB  $53,215,000  
2) Pitch Perfect 2  Uni.  $14,381,000  Total: $147,540,000 
3) Tomorrowland  BV  $13,803,000  Total $63,188,000 
4) Mad Max: Fury Road  WB  $13,625,000  Total $115,915,000 
5) Avengers: Age of Ultron  BV  $10,920,000  Total $427,070,000 
6) Aloha  Sony  $10,000,000 
7) Poltergeist   Fox  $7,800,000  Total  $38,267,000 
8) Far from the Madding Crowd  FoxS  $1,420,000  Total $8,362,000 
9)) Hot Pursuit  WB  $1,370,000  Total $32,351,000 
10) Home Fox  $1,150,000  Total $170,409,000 
11) Furious 7  Uni.  $987,000  Total $349,231,000 
12) Ex Machina  A24  $768,000  Total $23,587,000

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