You have to say one thing about the new "Conan: The Barbarian" film. It finished just ahead of what the original Arnold Schwarzenegger one did. That is, if you don't adjust for inflation.
The project, starring "Game of Thrones" and "Stargate: Atlantis" alum Jason Momoa, bombed at the box office. It earned $10 million in its opening weekend, finishing well behind the rest of the pack, including "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World." And the top two films -- although they were not new films -- were two of the few that were not in 3-D.
The original Schwarzenegger film grossed $9.6 million in 1982, according to Entertainment Weekly. But that's in 1982 dollars. Adjusted for inflation, the original "Conan" earned $22.5 million, meaning the new film didn't even come close to living up to the original.
No budget was released for "Conan," but it was expected to have cost as much as $80 million for Lionsgate to make. It's doubtful this "Conan" will live up to that budget, and that there will be any further films in this franchise for Momoa.
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" fell out of its No. 1 spot after two weeks, this time to "The Help" -- which it narrowly beat last week -- but is still extremely strong at the box office. "Apes" earned $16.3 million over the weekend, a drop of just 41 percent, according to The Numbers. It has now earned $133.8 million on the year, and is pacing well ahead of another popular genre Twentieth Century Fox film "X-Men: First Class."
"Fright Night," the horror remake that features "Doctor Who" alum David Tennant, also didn't do too well. It earned $8.3 million, despite its attachment to 3-D. That's not a terrible thing for Walt Disney Pictures, however. That film cost just $18 million to make, so it should make back its budget easily during its domestic run.
This is not the first week this year where 3-D was clobbered at the box office. It has been happening a lot. In fact, the only films that have powered the box office in 3-D are ones that were expected to make a lot of money anyway -- "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1." But even those films did poorly on the 3-D side.
Fox decided to not go 3-D with "Apes," even though it had hired the same special effects people from "Avatar" -- which helped ignite the current 3-D craze -- to do the effects for the new movie.
Will this stop studios from making more 3-D films in the future? Probably not in the near-term. But the more audiences begin to reject 3-D films, the less likely we'll see them in the future.
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