Outrage of the day: Scott Pilgrim limps to finish fifth at box office

Outrage of the day: Scott Pilgrim limps to finish fifth at box office

Scott Pilgrim vs. The Expendables

That must hurt worse than exploding into a handful of coins: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World opened to a paltry $10.5 million this weekend, behind The Expendables, Eat Pray Love, The Other Guys(???) and Inception. With a gross that anemic, it’s difficult to see the Toronto-based geekfest making back its $60 million budget at the box office. If a fun, video game-besotted romp around some of Toronto’s greatest landmarks can’t bring the crowds to a theatre—especially after the whole Chloe thing—it’s possible Toronto is going to have to go back to playing, oh, every other vaguely post-industrial city in North America.

So what have we learned from this whole affair?

1. Wait for the DVD. Not to make lemonade from lemons, but it’s not earth-shattering news that the comic-and-video game crowd might not bother to leave their rooms for a movie anymore. (Hell, bootlegs have probably been up on torrent sites for weeks.) But then, the movie business is mostly in DVDs these days anyway. Maybe the crowds will show up at HMV and Best Buy even though they stayed away from AMC and Cineplex.

2. Amazingly, summer is still action season. Unless it’s not. It’s possible there’s no mystery here. Men went to go see The Expendables, women went to go see Eat Pray Love, which left poor old Scott Pilgrim in limbo. Except there was a lot of action in Pilgrim—albeit it in video gamey way—but that’s just not enough when a film goes up against Sly Stallone and a who’s who of action stars.

3. If Canadians don’t want to watch a movie about Toronto, Americans really don’t. We complain about the rest of Canada not being fond of our fair city, but this was predictable. So whose bright idea was it to make a movie that not only doesn’t stray from Toronto, but barely escapes the Annex?

4. The Cera era is over. We’re not sure how many times we’ve watched Michael Cera play the awkward lovestruck kid with a mission, but he’s in desperate need of rebranding. Hell, that kind of character is so closely associated with Cera in our minds that we keep forgetting that he wasn’t actually in Zombieland. (That was Jesse Eisenberg, now starring in the trailer for the Facebook movie. But damn, they just blend together.) Potential second act for Cera’s career: mad scientists.

5. Don’t look now, but Rob Ford might be mayor. So a film set in downtown Toronto based on a graphic novel lost badly to a film about big men, big guns and big explosions. According to the iron law of filmgoing audiences, this means the election is cancelled and Rob Ford is now our mayor. David Miller was last seen running from city hall with a rollerblading, highlighted hipster girl in hand.

August 13-15 2010 [Box Office Mojo]