Thursday, September 17, 2015

it all sounds like some bad movie

The Zucker brothers and Abrahams again, this time Top Secret!

I was surprised to learn--primarily because this movie was such a fixture of my childhood, my family having it on VHS and all--just now on Box Office Mojo that this movie apparently wasn't even in the top 13 movies its opening weekend (June 8-10, 1984). Though it would eventually make double its budget at the box office, there was some serious box office going on that weekend. #1 was Ghostbusters, making $13.5 million it's opening weekend. Gremlins, also in its opening weekend, was #2 with $12.5 million. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was #3 in its third weekend with $12 million...

I wonder sometimes when I see a box office weekend like this--and I know how many of these movies we saw in the theater--how often my family went to the movie theater. Anyway...

#4, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock I didn't see in the theater, but it made $9.6 million in its second weekend. #5 was Beat Street... and I have no idea what that is from the title, but it made $5 million its opening weekend. The Natural was #6 with $2.4 million its fifth weekend. Then Romancing the Stone at #7 in its eleventh weekend, making $1.5 million.

By the way, unless otherwise noted, I saw all of these in the theater, probably their respective opening weekends, or maybe on a Thursday. I remember we used to go to some theater that had cheap Thursday shows. The Academy had not reopened as a multiplex yet; the Academy was a second-run theater (with some low budget movies going there directly) and it was cheap and we went there a whole lot. Anyway...

#8 was Breakin', and I think I saw that on video. In retrospect, that does not seem like a movie my mother (who was usually the one picking the movies we rented) would have rented. But, we rented a lot of movies. They couldn't all be obvious choices. #9 was Streets of Fire... no clue what that one is. But, then, in its twelfth weekend, #10 Police Academy made $1 million. That was another one that we had on video so I saw it a lot. #11 Once Upon a Time in America, I wouldn't see until the late 90s. Finally, #12 was Sixteen Candles in its sixth weekend, and #13 was Footloose in its seventeenth...

And, now forget what I just said. Well, actually, just the opening bit about how that was the weekend Top Secret! came out. It's official release date on IMDb is June 8, but I happened to click forward on Box Office Mojo and there was Top Secret! making $4.4 million its opening weekend two weeks later, June 22-24. Same weekend that Karate Kid debuted at $5 million. Ghostbusters, Gremlin, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom were still the top three. Weekend after that, Indiana Jones would be knocked down to #5 by Cannonball Run II (which I think I saw on video at some point), and Conan the Destroyer, which I think we might have seen at a drive-in... or am I just remembering the trailer and a poster in the snack shop at the drive-in? Maybe I just saw Conan on television.

And, I have neglected to say anything about the movie.

(And, I knew where that was going and I was 8.)

I'm curious when the Zucker/Abrahams sense of humor either shifted away from what amused me or I shifted away from being amused by it. I assume it is the former since I still enjoy Airplane! and Top Secret! and The Naked Gun. I suspected maybe the Zucker brothers or Abrahams stopped writing and/or directing and were just producers by the time of, say, Scary Movie. But, nope.

Curious...

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