The men from Sparta decimated the box office this weekend. Here's the tally of the tape. Links take you to their RottenTomatoes page.:
1. 300 - $70.25 Million
2. Wild Hogs - $28M
3. Bridge to Terabithia - $6.865M
4. Ghost Rider -$6.8 - Down 41% from last weekend.
5. Zodiac - $6.773
6. The Number 23 - $4.3M
7. Norbit- $4.314M
8. Music and Lyrics - $3.83M
9. Breach - $2.61M
10. Amazing Grace - $2.5M
The Rise of 300
As expected, Frank Miller's latest comic book, turned movie dominated the box office this weekend. Perhaps a bit better than anyone had anticipated.
It grossed $27 million on Friday alone, which puts it in the "holy shit!" category for studio execs.
My Tivo automatically recorded a 15 minute behind-the-scenes look at the movie. This was the second thing it did, having recorded a special 60 second teaser trailer automatically a few months back. Good use of creative marketing.
For me, personally it was Trent Reznor's heart shredding "Just Like You Imagined" that gave the film that extra push over the edge. Reznor has always been able to find some way to keep himself afloat, and this track from the 1999 album "The Fragile" was one of a few shining moments from that halo number. The track's head-bobbing, thunderous rhythm and screaming vocals and guitar work perfectly with the imagery of the film, creating a sense of overwhelming power. A very eye-catching trailer to say the least.
OK, great hype...but how's the film?
Glenn Whipp, from the LA Daily News said, "Snyder created the movie on computers a la "Sin City" and the stylized action, set to crunching guitar riffs, feels suffocating in its artificiality." Which goes directly opposite to what I just said.
Which is a perfect example of why there seems to be a real 50/50 split on reactions of the film.
The Morgue's own J Jammer gave it an A- in his review, yet from other people I've heard, "It ain't Sparticus."
A.O. Scott, New York Times had a few comments about the beefcake:
"The Persians, pioneers in the art of facial piercing, have vastly greater numbers... but the Spartans clearly have superior health clubs and electrolysis facilities."
As for me, I thought it was a well done action flick.
300 is the offspring of Maximus Decimus Meridius and William Wallace. It's the Greek version of the Alamo. Artistically, I don't think there are many films that can touch it for its high-definition grit. It's like watching Miller's novel the way he intended it: Dark and foreboding, unnatural colors, heavy contrast. Very goth. The technique used in the making of the film really worked too. Backgrounds looked completely natural. The story was what you would expect from a typical graphic novel. A bit campy in spots, but overall a good storyline.
So the bottom line appears to be that you will either love or hate this film. Whatever. They don't care anymore at this point. With a $70 million opener, the film's on track to be the largest grossing film of the year. Then there's DVD sales, PPV and finally re-broadcast on movie networks like HBO, so you can bet its going to make a lot of money for a lot of people. I am sure they are already working on a sequel. Zack Snyder, who's biggest film to date has been a remake of "Dawn of the Dead" has just catapulted his way into the big time.
Love it or hate it, the film's a hit.
By the way, by sheer coincidence, this is the 300th article posted here at Media Morgue.