(Due to some technical glitches, I've taken down the orignal post for tweaking. This is the new and improved version. My apologies for any inconvenience.)
Seeing as last week's entry brought back so many memories, I thought it would be fun to look at a weekend that actually correlated to this Labor Day weekend. That means 22 years ago Aug. 29th-Sept.1st fell on the same days as this Labor Day weekend.
Let's see what we were seeing 22 years ago.
TW LW TITLE WEEKEND GROSS THEATERS TOTAL GROSS (SO FAR) WEEK #
So, bring back any memories? The fact that Extremities jumped up two slots is a bit of a mind-blower. Who knew that the continuing adventures of Daniel LaRusso would outgross the continuing adventures of Ellen Ripley? We're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's take a more critical look at what we were watching over the Labor Day weekend.
1. Rob Reiner's Stand By Me is what we would call "counterprogramming." Released in the middle of August, the movie kept building upon its audience. It was a Stephen King adaptation that didn't rely on the King audience for its success. Indeed, the film's trailer almost omits King's connection to the movie.
The movieis a good piece of middlebrow nostalgia that works best when it doesn't push its "significance" on you. Basically, take out the Richard Dreyfuss narration and you have an almost perfect movie. Unfortunately, Rob Reiner (and screenwriters Raynold Gideon and Bruce A. Evans) can't resist reminding us that the moment between the ages 12 and 13 is the most memorable moment you'll ever have. (This would seem to negate American Graffiti where we were told that the moment after high school and right before college is the most memorable moment you'll ever have. How many "memorable moments" can one generation have?)
I think what audiences connected with was the remarkable ensemble acting by Wil Wheaton, Jerry O'Connell, Corey Feldman, and the late River Phoenix. And it is Phoenix who takes the stock character of the misunderstood "bab" kid and creaes something universal. He conveys the hunger of not wanting to fulfill what is expected of you beautifully. (His tearful "confession" is a heartbreaker.)
The best scene in the movie? An imaginative gross-out that King stand-in Gordie Lachance (Wheaton) tells around a campfire. It's a gross-out you can only tell when you're young and innocent.
Since it is damn near impossible to remember a time when people weren't obsessed with The Numbers, I thought we might take a look back at what the Top 10 looked like 25 years ago this weekend.
TW LW TITLE WEEKEND GROSS THEATERS TOTAL GROSS WEEK #
1 N Easy Money $5,844,974 1,130 $5,844,974 1
2 3 Risky Business $5,252,090 891 $20,322,398 3
3 13 Mr. Mom $4,279,384 734 $11,199,896 5
4 1 National Lampoon's Vacation $4,028,780 1,252 $38,365,442 4
5 2 Cujo $3,592,620 1,293 $12,693,430 2
6 4 Return of the Jedi $3,033,669 1,284 $222,489,243 13
7 N Yor: Hunter from the Futore $2,810,199 1,425 $2,810,199 1
8 N Metalstorm $2,019,000549 $2,019,000 1
9 6 Tradiong Places $1,877,435 785 $75,420,736 11
10 5 Staying Alive $1,836,786 818 $53,455,638 6
So, bring back any memories? When was the last time a movie was in tis 13th week of release and still almost being in the Top 5? Does anyone remember either Yor or Metalstorm? Follow me after the break and we'll take a more critical look at this week's offerings.