I'm sorry: The Final Destination as a sequel to a film called Final Destination is incredibly stupid. It depends, mostly, on inattentive audiences having forgotten that this was once a franchise with several discrete films, the first one called Final Destination and the next two having numbers at the end of the title. Now not only do the movies all run together, but the studio is actively encouraging this by taking away the only thing that used to distinguish them. Laughable.

The movie's $28.3 million, first-place opening handily set a franchise record anyway, so make of that what you will. This despite the fact that it opened opposite another R-rated horror sequel, Rob Zombie's Halloween II, which, wound up in third place with $17.4 million. That, by contrast, falls roughly $9 million short of the numbers put up by the first film in Zombie's rebooting of the franchise. Faced with the choice, audiences went for the fun-looking horror flick rather than the mean and grimy one. Frankly it's hard to blame them.

The weekend's surprise, for me, was the weak turn by Taking Woodstock, which couldn't capitalize on Ang Lee's arthouse brand name or the nostalgic subject matter. Expanding from single digits to 1400 screens, the movie couldn't make it to $4 million. Focus certainly advertised it like they were hoping for a breakout hit (I saw that trailer everywhere), but it didn't happen. Maybe August wasn't right for it. I don't think people bought that it was a "quality" offering.

Inglourious Basterds actually held up okay, butting ahead of Halloween II in its second weekend; it may yet challenge Pulp Fiction ($107 million) for the title of highest-grossing Tarantino release.

The full top 10 after the jump.
categories Cinematical