HOLLYWOOD, CA– The Avengers raked in $103.2 million this weekend and set a second weekend box office record, which was formerly held by Avatar with $75.6 million.
However another Captain America also left his mark at the box office this past weekend. Coming in third, with $15 million, was President Barack Obama’s fundraising film, Dinner with George. The Obama sequel was bested by The Avengers and the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp film Dark Shadows that drew $28.2 million taking second for the weekend.
This weekend’s Box Office results
1. The Avengers $103.2 million
2. Dark Shadows $28.8 million
3. Dinner with George $15 million
4. Think Like a Man $6.3 million
5. The Hunger Games $4.4 million
6. The Lucky One $4.05 million
7. Pirates! Band of Misfits $3.1 million
8. 5-Year Engagement $3.1 million
9. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $2.65 million
10. Chimpanzee $1.62 million
“I think people were just ready for a film with a black president, where the world didn’t end,” said Roger Ebert. “Same plot line as the previous 100 or so Obama movies. But if you find a story that works, you know what they say pound it into the ground till people don’t come no more. Romantic comedies and other films like the Rocky series have taken that idea to the extreme.”
As of March, President Obama had starred in 191 fundraising flicks, but Thursday’s box office draw was by far the largest. Even more remarkable is the $15 million was collected from one screening. Dinner with George starred A-list celebs such as George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Diane Von Furstenberg, Trina Turk, Barbra Streisand, James Brolin, Tobey Maguire, Billy Crystal, Jack Black, and Salma Hayek, who each paid Air Force One Studios $40,000 just to be in it.
“I think Dinner with George will be the new model for moviemaking for studios. Air Force One pays literally nothing for production and rakes in $15 million,” said Ebert. “Meanwhile Warner Bros. Pictures spends $100 million just in producing Dark Shadows and only draws $28 million. How can you look at those numbers and not adopt the Air Force One model?”
Though insiders in Air Force One say they were hoping for a much bigger payday something similar to The Avengers. Movie experts blame the short fall in potential on the tired, warn out, overplayed star cast.
“There is a reason they’re rebooting Spider Man. Toby Maguire was replaced with Andrew Garfield out of all people. The guy that plays second fiddle to Michael Cera’s look-a-like in The Social Network,” said Tony Dee, film critic at MovieWinning.com. “Selma Hayek turned 30, 15 years ago and played Adam Sandler’s wife in a movie. And how much did Jack Black’s latest movie The Big Year about bird watching make again? The studio could have done better with its star selection.”
Dinner with George rehashed several previous Obama films, focusing on the economic hurdles he faced in 2008, his dreams of increased investments in clean energy, and his support of same-sex marriage. But Dee says the recent sequel like its predecessors lacked action.
“Imagine if they made an entire Harry Potter film where Harry, Ron, and Hermoine just talk about and plan a battle but no battle takes place. That’s what the entire Obama series feels like,” said Dee. “I don’t want to watch a film where a man dreams of a world of same-sex marriage. I want him to fight for it and do something about it.”
None-the-less Dee says he will continue to watch the Obama series.
“It’s like the Road Runner and Coyote cartoons. You know in every episode the Coyote is going to fail to catch the Road Runner, but you watch anyways,” said Dee. “It’s something about the Coyote’s failure that we like. It’s why Air Force One continued to pump out President George W. Bush films even after a quite sad four year run. I just hope Obama catches his Road Runner some day.”