Sunday, April 18, 2010

How to Train Dragons vs Kick-Ass

How to Train Dragons finished the weekend in a box-office dead heat with Kick-Ass. This is unusual in several ways. First, it was the second weekend in a row with a virtual tie. Second, Dragons was in its 4th weekend and was only number one its first weekend. Now it rose back to the top.

Kick-Ass opened to disappointing numbers. It earned around $20 million when it was expected to earn $25 million.

What happened? I think I have a couple of explanations.

First, How to Train Dragons is a good movie. It is probably benefiting from word-of-mouth. I didn't write about it because we saw it in its third week but it is certainly worth seeing. My wife's comment when we left the theater was, "Why are all the good movies animated?"

Dragons has shown a lot more staying power than most movies. Clash of the Titans, which was number one the last two weeks, dropped to a distant number three.

Then there is Kick-Ass. It got good review, but the reviews make me unlikely to see it. The movie is supposed to be violent and profane. This bothers me because of the age of the cast. It seems troubling that the cast couldn't see the movie without a parent.

For years, studios have been convinced that an R rating helps the box office because the target 20-something audience thinks that anything less is a kid's movie. This is part of why people under 30 tend to use language that makes older people shudder - they took their cues from movies which did not reflect the way that people talked. Over time, the younger generation started talking like the movies.

Regardless, the biggest movies of the 21st century have not been R rated. Maybe the studios will get the message and tone down their content.

No comments: