America means choices: blondes or brunettes; Wild Cherry or Mountain Dew Slurpees; Cleveland or Miami; "Men in Black 3" or…whatever the other movie opening is this weekend.
We love summer blockbusters. You cool your nads in the free AC and stare at lasers and aliens and robots for the next two hours. Nobody's perfected this like Will Smith: "Independence Day," "Men in Black," "Wild Wild West," "Men in Black 2," "I, Robot," "Hancock" and now "MiB3." The King returns. What other movie could possibly attempt to open opposite a Will Smith movie over Memorial Day Weekend? "Chernobyl Diaries"--that's what other movie would.
"Chernobyl Diaries" is directed by some dude and stars some other dude who's the voice of Theodore in those Chipmunk movies that made your ears bleed. What is it about? We have no clue, but we're guessing nuclear freaks in Russia. How are nuclear freaks different than regular Russians? Oh, slam on Russians. It's OK, they don't have Internet. Right?
Laughing at low-budget horror flick got us thinking about the other crappy movies that studios pit against known blockbusters. They give up on trying to win that weekend's box office and hope their dregs will sell a few tickets to the people who couldn't get into the sold-out blockbuster showings. "What else is playing?" And here is our look back at what else was playing.
'Titanic' vs. 'Mousehunt'
Some Hollywood producer must've jumped into Bizarro World where it snows in LA, nobody lies to each other and a movie like "Mousehunt" opens opposite "Titanic". These two couldn't be more unlike each other. "Titanic" has a young rising star (Leonardo DiCaprio) with a classy British bird (Kate Winslet) up against a mammoth iceburg on a giant ship. "Mousehunt" has a chubby schlub (Nathan Lane) with some weirdo British dude (Lee Evans) up against a tiny mouse in an old house.
'Avatar' vs. 'Did You Hear About the Morgans?'
Did you hear about the Morgans? Neither did anyone else. We were too busy checking out the blue people on Pandora. Plain and simple: "Avatar" is the highest-grossing movie of all time and features flying dragons. "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" is a gross waste of time and stars Sarah Jessica Parker--who kinda looks like a dragon.
'The Dark Knight' vs. 'Mamma Mia!'
A rare case where the plan may have worked for every type of movie-goer. The fellas checked out a psychotic Joker battling an emo Batman in "The Dark Knight", while the gals headed to the next theater and watched Pierce Brosnan dance around to ABBA songs in "Mama Mia!" Win/win…except for Pierce, of course. What happened to you, James Bond?
'Star Wars' franchise vs. Whatever
We now present an MTV Clutch trip down Memory Lane:
- 1977 – Apple Computers, Inc. is founded; the Raiders win the Super Bowl; "Smokey & The Bandit" opens opposite "Star Wars" and gets its ass kicked at the box office.
- 1980 – Ronald Reagan wins presidency; Pac-Man is released; "The Shining" opens opposite "The Empire Strikes Back" and gets its ass kicked at the box office.
- 1983 – KISS appear on MTV without makeup; Michael Jackson moonwalks; "Chained Heat" opens opposite "The Return of the Jedi" and…you can guess.
- 1999 – People start freaking out over Y2K; Woodstock '99 is held; absolutely nothing opens opposite "The Phantom Menace" 'cuz Hollywood is getting smarter.
- 2002 – Rock vs. Hogan at Wrestlemania X8; Microsoft releases Xbox; "About a Boy" opens opposite "Attack of the Clones" and, yes, gets its ass kicked at the box office.
- 2005 – Nothing opens opposite "Revenge of the Sith" (thankfully) and it becomes one of the highest grossing films of all-time at the box office.
'The Matrix Reloaded' vs. 'Pokemon Heroes'
The highly anticipated "Matrix" sequel was slapped with an R rating. Luckily, the "Pokemon" movie was released the same weekend, allowing kids everywhere to buy a ticket for a sh***y movie and sneak into a cool one.
'Terminator 2: Judgment Day' vs. 'Problem Child 2'
Were you wondering what would become of Junior at the end of the first "Problem Child"? Neither were we! Were you psyched about liquid-metal Terminator fighting a cyborg Arnold Schwarzenegger just before the Apocalypse to the music of Guns 'N Roses? (That's what we thought.)
'WALL-E' vs. 'Wanted'
"Wanted" was so bad that even a tatted-up Angelina Jolie firing curvy bullets was not enough to lure people away from "WALL-E." Let's be honest, "WALL-E" had something for everyone including kids, parents, geeks, chicks, stoners, old people, fat people, robots and whoever else. No contest.
'E.T.' vs. 'Grease 2'
'Ghostbusters' vs. 'Gremlins'
NOW we're talkin'! Two huge '80s movies that went head to head in '84. Shut out of "Ghostbusters"? No problem. There's a furry little Mogwai and a bunch of slimy, big-eared bastards in "Gremlins" waiting for you in the next theater. Choices. Is that so hard Hollywood?