Having put Palm Sunday in the rearview mirror, we are now planted firmly in Holy Week, honestly, one of the best weeks of the year. The week leading up to Easter is a chance to reflect on the story of God and His work through Jesus Christ, his life, death, and ultimately celebrate his triumphant resurrection! Such a wonderful week!
Typically, this weekend is not an industry recognized weekend to release big movies. It might be out of a reverence for our Lord’s death and resurrection. It might be because movie execs know that this weekend may be one of the only weekends that Americans are more likely to be sitting in pews than in cushy, fold-up movie seats. Whatever the reason, the movies that have made the most on Easter weekend are, how do I put this gently…not very good.
Some honorable mentions before we jump in that opened on Easter Weekend but did not gross very much. The Matrix, probably the best movie on this list, is #7 on the list with an opening weekend of $27 million. Holes, a great movie for teens, and 10 Things I Hate About You, a teen movie classic that launched multiple Hollywood careers, also debuted but did not make a lot. Probably the saddest ones to open on Easter weekend and not make much money are The Sandlot, a cult classic for my generation, is #58 and Chariots of Fire, Academy Award winner, comes in at #71.
*all of these numbers are taken from Box Office Mojo (a site I waste way too much time browsing):
5) Panic Room – Opening Weekend Gross: $30,056,751
Fun fact: I was probably $5.00 of those millions on opening weekend! I have no idea WHY I was out on Easter weekend watching a movie, but I know for a fact I saw Jodie Foster, Forest Whitaker, and a young Kristen Stewart in this movie. Honestly, the only thing I remember about this movie is that they are trapped, Forest Whitaker is not the best bad guy, and I was scarred as a young man because this movie showed me that women in fact go to the bathroom. It has a scene where Jodie Foster leaves the panic room to go to the bathroom and for some reason that innocuous scene bothered me. Don’t know what to make of that but now you know more accurately how to judge me. Take that for what it is worth.
4) Hannah Montana: The Movie – Opening Weekend Gross: $32,324,487
This is the only context we would EVER mention a movie like this in the same coding as something like The Matrix, but alas, apparently moviedom, or at least pre-teens, came out in droves to see Miley Cyrus long before she was scaring parents everywhere with her lewd touring routines. I honestly don’t know what to say about this movie, since I haven’t seen it (God’s my witness) and it’s Hannah Montana. So, that’s about it. People saw it, it made money, and humanity lost a part of itself.
3) Scary Movie 4 – Opening Weekend Gross: $40,222,875
I am not the biggest fan of scary movies, but I have seen some of the movies the Scary Movie series spoofs. Not so much this movie and it is really not all that funny. Relying on celebrity cameos to get laughs and Leslie Nielsen in the buff *ack*, this movie suffers from too many jokes that don’t hit home. It’s one after the other in rapid succession and as one critic put it, “the batting average is low.” Honestly, there was NOTHING out in the Easter of 2006 and this movie won the box office on pure lack of options. It actually held the record until the #1 movie on this list came along. And it was eked out for the #2 position two years ago by…
2) G.I. Joe: Retaliation – Opening Weekend Gross: $40,501,814
Lots of people saw this movie and LOTS of people hated it. Boasting a pretty big cast of well known action stars (Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis) and attractive people (Adrianne Palicki, Channing Tatum), this movie was ripe to topple some opening weekend numbers. However, the movie itself is full of terrible plot holes and some pretty over-the-top and downright confusing action sequences. Winning the award for most disorienting and poor action sequence of 2013 is the sideways ninja repelling scene around the halfway point. It’s just…bad. It’s a movie with a high enough appeal to be on TNT and on Netflix, but it certainly is not worth more than a sitting or half.
1) Clash of the Titans (2010) – Opening Weekend Gross: $61,235,105
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the 1981 Ray Harryhausen animated classic starring Laurence Olivier. It was a family favorite and I still am creeped out by Medusa to this day <shudder>. When the 2010 remake starring Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson came out, I’m sure everyone was excited to see the remake of that classic redone with modern CGI effects. The results were resoundingly panned. While the CGI was amazing and the Kraken, which seemed to be the whole reason the film was made, is spectacular, the performances seemed phoned in and the artistic styling was clearly heavily influenced by God of War, the video game, and 300. It came as no surprise that it seemed unoriginal and uninspired. I would be happy to see Furious 7 overtake this movie and cement a place at the top.