Two of the talents who became Hollywood Hot property after the success of Knocked Up last year fell flat on their faces with their latest offerings this week, but apathy at UK box office still ensured the Judd Atapow-produced Drillbit Taylor and the Katherine Heigl-starrer 27 Dresses broke into the top ten.
Last week, the combination of a spate of childrens’ film getting their release and nippers taking a well-earned holiday ensured big takings for The Spiderwick Chronicles, Horton Hears a Who and Step Up 2 the Streets.
However, with the munchkins safely back at school, this Spring’s disappointing box office performance resumed with audiences choosing to avoid most of the fare on offer — giving Fox’s 27 Dresses the chance to nab top spot.
The film casts Hollywood’s Next-Big-Thing Katherine Heigl as Jane, who has been the bridesmaid 27 times, but sadly never the bride. Will she find happiness and the man of her dreams? Most critics decided they couldn’t care less, with only 39% of them giving the film a positive review. Reviewers scorned the frothy, cheesy storylines and lamented gifted comedian Heigl’s decision to star in such routine fare. Cath Clarke of the Guardian summed things up: “What a maddening waste of Katherine Heigl this insipid romantic comedy is.”
Still, it was the only rom-com released this week, and thus thousands of listless, bored couples flocked to cinemas, maybe shared a meal at Pizza Hut beforehand, and sat through one-and-a-half hours of inoffensive fluff before returning home to the suburbs.
Drillbit Taylor received similarly awful notices — with not enough laughs and even mean-spiritedness among the many faults levelled at the film. The premise, which revolved around Owen Wilson‘s low-budget bodyguard – hired by school kids to protect them from the playground bully – appeared ripe in comic potential, but that seemingly evaporated on the way to the big screen.
The film is Atapow’s first critical and commercial failure since he broke throw to the mainstream last year, with the film making only just over £700,000 this week, bringing it in at a lowly 5th place. Paramount wont be pleased.