Scott Pilgrim vs. the World made an anemic $3.5 million yesterday, a dropoff of roughly 23% from Friday’s earnings of $4.5 million. Obviously those reports of a word-of-mouth downtrend were valid. The 23% falloff caused Edgar Wright‘s film to drop from fourth to fifth place. Inception had been in fifth place on Friday, and is now fourth with Saturday earnings of $4.8 million, an $11.8 weekend tally and a grand cume of $249 million.
I sometimes go into convulsions when some demonstrably awful film is the weekend champ, but this is one of those rare instances in which the wisdom of the crowd agreed with my prejudice and vice versa, hence my temporary sense of elation. This weekend will henceforth be referred to in the record books as The Great Scott Pilgrim Slapdown — i.e., a clear-cut verdict in which the rank-and-file sampled and rejected a film that had been celebrated and recommended by the elite geek-dweeb set.
I respect Scott Pilgrim for its spunk and style and Toronto localism, and for the occasional wit, the deadpan flatline attitude, the metaphor about having to deal with unresolved relationship histories, the video-game scheme and the kinetic action scenes that came out of that (until they got old from repetition). I hated much of it and was moved to brief thoughts of suicide a day or so after seeing it, true, but it’s not a “badly made” film. It’s entirely admirable in some ways. So it didn’t fail because it’s not, like, good enough. It failed because too many people told their friends they despised it. Isn’t that a logical conclusion, Devin Faraci?
Edgar Wright is not finished. He’s a bright and talented fellow. He simply needs to climb down off his stylistic high horse and calm down and make something straight and true and naturalistic. Okay, he doesn’t have to do this. He can do whatever he wants. But I think he needs to show, now, that he can deliver a good film without getting all tricky and showoffy.
The Expendables, the weekend winner, dropped a marginal 7% from Friday, resulting in $12.5 million yesterday and a possible $36 million Sunday-night total. The second-place Eat Pray Love barely went down at all yesterday, taking in $8.3 million for a projected tally for $24 million — obviously has legs. The Other Guys is holding third place and then some with $7.1 million yesterday (an upward surge from Fiday’s $5.7 million — a result of the Scott Pilgrim falloff?).