Culture | The top 5 movies in popularity as measured by box office receipts for the weekend of July 9
Scary Movie $42.5 million 1 week in release $42.5 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO Shawn Wayans , Marlon Wayans / Keenen Ivory Wayans (I'm Gonna Git You Sucka) / Dimension Films
PLOT This raunchy Wayans Brothers vehicle spoofs recent horror movies.
MESSAGE Even scary stuff is fair game for satire.
CAUTION Rated R for strong crude sexual humor, bad language, drug use, and violence.
The Perfect Storm $27 million 2 weeks in release $100.1 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg / Wolfgang Petersen (Air Force One) / Warner Bros.
PLOT A fishing boat goes on a trip to oblivion, heading right into the center of the fiercest storm in history.
MESSAGE Nature can be an unconquerable foe.
CAUTION Rated PG-13 for language and scenes of peril.
The Patriot $15.5 million 2 weeks in release $65.5 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger / Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) / Columbia Pictures
PLOT A South Carolina planter is drawn into a guerrilla war against the British during the American Revolution.
MESSAGE Liberty is worth fighting and even dying for.
CAUTION Rated R for strong war violence.
The Kid $12.5 million 1 week in release $12.5 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO Bruce Willis, Spencer Breslin / Jon Turteltaub (Cool Runnings) / Walt Disney Pictures
PLOT An 8-year-old boy gets to see himself at 40-and doesn't like what he sees.
MESSAGE Don't forget your childhood dreams.
CAUTION Rated PG for mild language.
Chicken Run $9.5 million 3 weeks in release $63.3 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO Voices of Mel Gibson, Miranda Richardson / Nick Park (Wallace & Gromit) and Peter Lord / Dreamworks SKG
PLOT A band of poultry tries to escape a Hogan's Heroes-esque henhouse in 1950s England.
MESSAGE Mild vegetarianism: Chickens should fly free and not be cooked and eaten.
CAUTION Rated G
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
One thing that most people don't like to say about weather is that storms, tornadoes, and other spectacular events are really fun to watch when the viewer isn't endangered. That's why the shaking seas are the only good point to The Perfect Storm (Warner Bros., rated PG-13 for language and scenes of peril). Wolfgang Petersen has given us disaster underwater (Das Boot) and in the air (Air Force One), but this time the disaster itself overshadows everything else in the movie. Like other recent action movies, The Perfect Storm spends several reels trying to make the audience care about the characters, who form the crew of a sword-fishing vessel. Yet we're treated to uninteresting, unheroic characters (led by George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg) who make the suicidal decision to drive straight into a hurricane. When the seas finally pitch up a fit, it's quite a sight. The Perfect Storm would make a better screen saver than feature film. The man-against-the-elements theme is the stuff of Jack London, but everything here is amazingly unengrossing. When will Hollywood learn that summer blockbusters must be more than a chance to show off special effects?