Box Office: SPEED RACER alienates it's audience and stalls to $20 million

No matter how you try and sugar coat it, the Wachowski's experiment has failed.

U.S. Box Office for weekend of May 9th - May 11th 20081 Iron Man (2008) $50.5M $177M 2 Speed Racer (2008) $20.2M $20.2M 3 What Happens in Vegas... (2008) $20M $20M 4 Made of Honor (2008) $7.6M $26.3M 5 Baby Mama (2008) $5.77M $40.4M 6 Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) $3.78M $50.7M 7 Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008) $3.15M $30.7M 8 The Forbidden Kingdom (2008) $1.9M $48.3M 9 Nim's Island (2008) $1.32M $44.3M 10 Redbelt (2008) $1.14M $1.24M Warner Bros. took a risk allowing the Wachowski's to go with a weird looking, candy filled live action adaptation of a Japanese cartoon because the truth is it really did alienate the massive fanbase the guys had built up with The Matrix series, putting them on the anticipation level with fanboys as a Peter Jackson or a Guillermo del Toro. It ended up that Speed Racer only attracted those who were fond of the series or with kids who liked pretty colors. For everyone else, there was truly nothing to see. It would have to be something majorly uninteresting for me NOT to see a Wachowski movie and remarkably they pulled it off. And I'm not the only one thinking that. $20 million opening... $5 million under what WB's lowest possible projection was (they couldn't even begin to contemplate something below that) and WELL short of it's $120 million budget. Not...good...enough. A 35% rotten rating on RT, a average at best 6.5 score on IMDB (which will only go one way in the upcoming months) and the dislike of the film from many fanboys. Is their anything good to say about it? I like that they tried and experimented with something different and went for the very young crowd (something which only Saturday morning cartoons go for) but it's a failure at the end of the day on all counts, a naive effort that is such a disappointment to many. It only just beat out the awful looking Cameron Diaz/Ashton Kutcher comedy What Happens in Vegas by a mere $200,000 - though I will admit the male/female bitching relationship idea behind the film was always going to be popular with the mainstream crowd. That film was made for $35 million and should easily make a nice return. And once again, weddings and pregnancy are the two top comedy money making themes of the past 12 months, they are hitting a demographic that keep coming back for more.


Iron Man keeps top spot then, dropping only 49% of it's first week takings and unlike Spider-Man 3 - it's word of mouth is strong and should see it stay high for a while. $177 million domestic see's it pretty much clear it's budget... the movie is now on $342 million worldwide. And personally it's been the movie talk between people I know who aren't real movie buffs and I haven't heard anyone say they didn't enjoy it yet. Iron Man really has brought that fresh feel to Marvel that the original Spider-Man gave the universe six years ago. Elsewhere, David Mamet's American take on the Martial Arts genre with Redbelt stuttered to just $1.1 million on a 1,300 theatre release - a poor average of less than 1,000 per theatre. Despite good things said about the performances of Chiwetel Eijofor and Tim Allen - it's almost destined to be a cult classic underground DVD hit.


Made of Honor drops to fourth place with a total of $26 million ($40 million budget) and Forgetting Sarah Marshall is up to $50 million ($30 million budget). Next week see's the blockbuster season continue with The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (no-one seems to know how that one will perform) but it's being released un-challenged so there's no excuses for not making a fortune. Well we say un-challenged but Iron Man is still kicking around. source - coming soon
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.