|If you didn't see Scott Pilgrim, you should be punched in the face.|
Now let’s put that into perspective. Last week, according to recent numbers, it lost out to Vampires Suck which grossed $5.3 million. Yes, Vampires Suck. According to the vast majority of critics, it’s a completely humorless parody (well, if one could call it that) of the already overly criticized Twilight series (talk about beating a dead horse). Rottentomatoes.com gave it a 6% fresh rating and the Yahoo movie critics page gave it a D+ grade average. Add this on to the fact that the latest Twilight entry, Eclipse, received a 52% fresh rating and a C+ grade average. It is pretty sad when the movie that is supposed to be lampooned receives considerably better press than the movie mocking it. What’s even more sad is when that movie, Vampires Suck, pulls in a bigger audience and has a wider popular appeal than Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. But, after having rained on both critic’s and director Edgar Wright’s parade, the latest box office numbers have also revealed something that will make many more people quite happy.
Recently announced was that Toy Story 3 officially passed as the 7th film in history to hit the billion dollar mark in profit. For multiple reasons, such an achievement must be applauded. First off, it means yet another victory for Pixar studios, which has time and time again proved it’s quality from Finding Nemo to the Incredibles to Wall-E to Up to nearly every other film it has made. Toy Story 3’s big earnings seems to prove Pixar is going to keep cranking out bigger and bigger winners as well as win over more and more fans (and critics). On top of that, Toy Story 3 joining into the billionaire’s club perhaps means more recognition for animated pictures in general. All too often animated works are ignored in a fashion which is more than a little annoying. Remember the last time something animated was up for best picture? Oh wait . . .
Besides the fact that Up was nominated in ’09 for Best Picture, the point is that perhaps now things might begin to change. Hopefully in the form of higher critical recognition and awards for animated film on top of their now obvious financial victory. But most of all, the success of Toy Story 3 seems to be a triumph for cinema as a whole. “As a whole” may sound like an exaggeration, but really to say otherwise would be a mistake. See, in the midst of what some are saying could be a double dip recession, betting against the continued success of Hollywood appears easy. Hollywood, though, manages to remain a place largely unharmed by poor economic times (just don’t tell MGM that). The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO for short . . . or not) in 2009 reported the average ticket price per theater in America to be $7.50. Buying a ticket for a 3D showing could easily tack on another $3.00. Continued theater attendance could end up costing participants quite a few bucks, something that at the moment many would think unlikely. As film is not technically a necessity (though some of us here at the blog may beg to differ), it seems as if a drop in widespread theater attendance would not be improbable.Toy Story 3, amongst other billionaire and high grossing films of the time, goes to show counting out the movies is not a good idea. With the fiscal “triumph” of critically acclaimed films like Toy Story 3 (and yes, Avatar, too), a faint glimmer of hope is shining through the smoke and haze of the mediocre cinema moviegoers pay to see. Or, shall we say, a silver lining in the Hollywood cloud.
“You Sack of Wine!”
- Nate S