Yeah, so Brad Pitt's latest effort, Killing Them Softly, in spite of some pretty solid reviews, opened seventh this weekend with $7 million. A 71% from critics and 65% from audiences on RottenTomatoes.com didn't matter a whole lot, as Pitt found himself trailing behind holdovers like Skyfall and Sparkly Vampire Crap: Dragging Out the End- Part 2.
The film came in well below industry expectations, which placed it around a $13 million opening. If Killing Them Softly had matched estimations, it would have been part of a three-way race for third place, with Lincoln and Rise of the Guardians.
Here's where the hyperbole begins. Scott Bowles of USA Today calls Pitt "the biggest star on the planet," while Tim Briody of BoxOfficeProphets.com says "Pitt has never been an automatic draw."
So, who to go with here? Mathematically, Briody is more accurate, and the best part is, the math that backs that up is supplied by Bowles in his own article. Using data from Box Office Mojo, Bowles shows that Pitt's thirty-three films have averaged a $66 million take at the box office. By way of comparison, Gary Oldman's thirty-two films have averaged $86 million and Eddie Murphy's thirty-eight films average out to a cool $100 million in box office revenue.
Let's take a look at that. By far, of the three actors listed, Gary Oldman is the most critically acclaimed. Eddie Murphy has had more blockbuster films (although, how long ago has that been?). Brad Pitt? Well, maybe he's not "the biggest star on the planet," but $66 million is at least reliable. Not King of the Mountain-type numbers, not in 2012 terms, but steady enough for studios to keep giving him roles.
Reliable is the key word here, Scott Bowles of USA Today...maybe try getting an extra hour of sleep a day, cause apparently your fangirl is hanging out.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the movie sucks. Haven't seen it. Merely commenting on the performance versus overeager writers to slap "biggest," "greatest," or any of the other usually unnecessary adjectives going around these days. Killing Them Softly was slated for an October 16 release, but that was moved back to this weekend, a notoriously slow post-Thanksgiving weekend. Seems an odd choice, unless their estimations of the film are panning out, the industry overthought it, and the studio is hoping for good overseas and DVD numbers. At any rate, don't expect much more from this one, people. Starting in seventh does not usually bode well, especially with the holiday release season coming up.
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