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Movie quality no match for juicy Hollywood gossip

Summer cues the heat, trips to the beach and high-budget blockbuster movies.

It’s usually easy to guess which movies will break records and make major bucks. Last year it was too easy: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and War of the Worlds were the champions of the box office. However, this summer, the guesses are not matching with the numbers.

“That’s right, there’s just one major movie opening wide, Universal’s The Break-Up (perhaps you’ve heard about it?), and everybody knows that it’ll come in at No. 2, behind repeat champ Fox’s X-Men: The Last Stand,” wrote Entertainment Weekly reporter Joshua Rich on June 1.

He and many others were very wrong. According to, The Breakup was the number one movie of the weekend making over $38 million domestically. The reviews were not even mixed like they were in X-Men: The Last Stand. Most of the reviews were bad ones (note page six). Entertainment Weekly gave it a C, while on Rotten Tomatoes the movie was a not-so-good 33 percent “rotten” on Sunday night.

Why did this not-so-great movie make so much money? Are people boycotting movie reviews? Or could have to do with the right kind of publicity?

The tabloids all have “Brangelina” on the cover with a tearful Jennifer Aniston on the side. Aniston had been covered mostly as the victim.

It seems pity and curiosity goes a long way when it comes to movie goers.

Fear can decide the box office outcome.

Couch-jumping, scientology loving Tom Cruise has not been raking in the money as much as expected this summer, either. Mission: Impossible III has only made $122 million domestically in the month it was in theaters.

Of course, $122 million is a big number, but not for an action movie with a budget of $150 million.

What is surprising is MI III actually got good reviews, including a B+ from Entertainment Weekly and a stamp of “fresh” by Rotten Tomatoes.

While Tom Cruise has been in all of the tabloids with the mother of his child Katie Holmes, he still did not play the publicity well. He tells everything, short of giving the press a picture of his kid. He is everywhere and currently the butt of most entertainment jokes. He is overexposed and people are tired of him.

However, the actors’ and actress’ real life should not be why the public goes to see the movies. The reason should be if people are interested in the plot and if the movies are good. After all, the entertainment reporters do not write reviews for fun.