Spartans Soars, Cloverfield Drops

You know we’ve hit the dregs of January when “Meet the Spartans”, a comedy from the duo behind garbage like “Date Movie” and “Epic Movie”, takes the top spot at the box-office with a whopping $18.7 million.

The cheap to produce comedy, which basically milks gay jokes out of last year’s sword-and-sandal epic “300” (one of the most homophobic films I’ve ever seen and that’s despite all the men in leather undies), earned a mere 6% Rotten Tomatoes ranking and an 8% Metacritic rank, even over 2,000 user votes on the IMDb gave it a mere 2.6/10 – behind “Date Movie” on 2.7/10 but above “Epic Movie” with 2.3/10.

Yet the per screen average of $7,188 means that no doubt another spoof from writer/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer is on the way – is there anyway we can sacrifice these two to some pagan God to bring someone with actual talent like Heath Ledger back from the dead?

Coming a close second at the box-offce was the return of “Rambo” with $18.2 million. The last film made $53 million domestic back in 1988, an amount this will likely equal at best. Adjusted for inflation however, it sadly looks as though Rambo’s swansong is a quiet one.

The other big notable change was last weekend’s big winner “Cloverfield”. The handycam monster movie plunged a whopping 68% from last week, taking in a still solid $12.7 million in its second weekend. The drop is enough that its current $64 million total will top out somewhere around $80-90 million – a very nice profit earner for Paramount. Rom-com “27 Dresses” held far more impressively with only a 40% drop and a second weekend $13.6 million haul.

Other newcomers included Diane Lane thriller “Untraceable” with an expected $11 million haul in fifth spot, and dance drama “How She Move” which bombed with a mere $4.2 million take in twelfth position.

On the limited front, Romanian abortion drama “4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days” took in a superb $24,100 per screen average, whilst “U2 3D” scored high as well with $15,508 per screen. Not faring as well were ensemble drama “The Air I Breathe” with a $3,071 average, and documentary “Shoot Down” with just $2,304 per screen.