Ah, the Box Office Report…yeah, we still do this.
I don’t have kids. But I spent the day today (the day I type this actually, not the day it goes live) with a pair of friends who do have a kid. They wanted to get some folks together to do an escape room, I’d never done one, I hadn’t seen either of them since, well, before they had the kid, and after a few weeks of looking around we finally met for the escape room today.
We won by the way. I did the crucial thing of basically watching the more experienced escape artists do their thing. It’s always important to know your strengths and weaknesses.
But that, plus seeing Storks premier at #2 in ticket sales this weekend, got me to thinking about kids movies and why they do as well as they do.
See, the thing about kids movies is, well, kids often can’t go to the movies alone. As such, parents have to take them. And that means the better kids movies tend to have something to them to entertain the parents that junior and missy won’t pick up on. That doesn’t have to mean adult humor, just maybe a reference of some kind that only makes sense to people of a certain age. We’re not talking about the old Looney Toons which weren’t meant for kids but just aired as kids programming anyway either. There’s some really adult humor in those things if you know where to look.
Now this past summer, while seeing the general mediocrity of many of the sequels and remakes that appeared on the silver screen, family movies like Finding Dory and The Secret Life of Pets both did pretty damn well. And truth be told, Kubo and the Two Strings may have been the best all-around movie I saw all summer. There may be a good reason for that. These films, Dory aside, were fairly original stories. They also weren’t quickly thrown together like, say, Suicide Squad, so all the people involved in making it could take their time to get everything as right as possible.
But there’s a lot out there that isn’t so good. Too many kids movies are slapdashed things where a name celebrity or three will voice some characters, there’s a lot of bathroom humor and pop culture references, and less-discriminating children may not mind so much, but parents sure will, and they’ll be the ones to have to sit through it…like me at Sex and the City 2, so that sort of thing is limited to parents. Original, creative material works for everybody, so the best children’s movies work on Mom and Dad as well.
Of course, my folks always said the way to judge the quality of a kids movie was to see how often the kid in question wanted to go to the bathroom. A good movie won’t require many such trips.
But I’m going to end this by mentioned I like cartoons in general and have seen a few this year, but that trailer for Trolls not only looks like it belongs to a terrible movie, but I think I might have gotten diabetes just from watching it. It looks too…sweet. Not in a good way either.
And now the box office.
- The Magnificent Seven $35 million
- Storks $21.8 million
- Sully $13.8 million
- Bridget Jones’s Baby $4.5 million
- Snowden $4.1 million