“Nuke The Fridge” comes from the third most idiotic moment in the movie – our hero, whip, fedora and all, climbs into a refrigerator to survive a ground zero atomic explosion (first and second place go to Shia’s Tarzan scene and the entire spaceship sequence, respectively).
The phrase now means the exact moment when a film franchise bastardizes itself and crosses over into self parody.
This turn for the worse was previously known as “Jumping the Shark”, which originated from the head-scratching moment in Happy Days when the Fonz waterskied up a ramp and over a shark while wearing a leather jacket and tighty whitys – the series was never the same again.
If you’ve never seen the Fonz jumping a shark on waterskis, here it is. -
In a big upset, calling into question the true value of box office analysts, Sex And The City opened to a sizeable $55m, roughly twice what was predicted, and knocked Dr. Jones down to runner up spot in his second week. Steven Spielberg has laid the blame for Indy’s sharp drop-off squarely at the door of the 2AM Critics’s punishing video review, which he said he watched with his head in hands*.
In another surprise to the oh-so accurate box office analysts, the horror film The Strangers brought in an impressive $20m, despite being expected to barely break ten. In a summer season populated by effects driven spectacles, throwing a horror film out there is a bit like committing hara-kari (see Hostel 2 last year), but somehow the sword broke and turned into cash.
Iron Man continues to earn strong weeks after its release. Its total box office gross is now approximately twice its cost of production. Unfortunately, the other blockbusters still straggling behind aren’t as lucky. Speed Racer has yet to break the $50m mark (despite having a budget upwards of $100m) and Prince Caspian is no doubt leaving studio heads wondering why it hasn’t been as successful as the original Narnia flick.
This will truly be an odd weekend of this summer season. Parking lots everywhere were packed, even though the only new movies were a chick flick and a cheap horror film.
As if anyone was expecting any different, Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull cleaned up at the box office this weekend. While it didn’t perform quite as well as some predicted, the film was still far from a financial disappointment. It’ll be interesting to see how it holds up. The mainstream press provided good to excellent reviews, and it had a smashing opening in Cannes. However, the film’s reception in less, shall we say, official venues (see our forum) has been mixed at best.
Dr. Jones also had the luck of scaring off any other wide releases to open alongside him this weekend, letting those still left battle for his table scraps. Iron Man continues to earn well and has just topped the quarter billion dollar mark. However, Prince Caspian continues its mediocre run with a large dropoff from last week’s near-flop opening. Speed Racer‘s wreckage is all but towed off the scene.
In quite possibly the biggest “no sh*t, Sherlock” report of the entire year, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is making big money.
Let’s round up the numbers:
Belgium: $250,000 on day one
France: $2.2 million (only Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis and Asterix at the Olympic Games grossed higher in French cinema)
USA: Estimated $4.5 million on opening day.
Will Indy IV manage to beat Pirates of the Carribean: At World’s End and break the record for highest Memorial Day box office gross? The record currently stands at an eyeball-melting $139.7 million. Pirates 3: Pirate Afternoon also holds the record for highest international launch gross at $251 million.