Culture

Go Tell the Spartans Spoof…

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…That it apparently eked out a box-office battle against the new (and for god's sake, hopefully last) Rambo flick:

In a close and bloody box office battle, the bumbling warriors of the spoof Meet the Spartans edged out aged mercenary John Rambo of the franchise flick Rambo to win the weekend box office by a tight margin of just $575,000, according to Sunday's estimates. Meet the Spartans grossed $18.725 mil while Rambo brought in $18.150 mil, but we'll have to wait for the final numbers to come out on Monday before officially declaring a winner. Still, this is good news for both films—well, good news for the Greek fighters and really good news for the Vietnam vet.

I dunno. If one of the things going through bin Laden's head was that America was a soft country incapable of defending itself against theologically motiviated suicide bombers, having a satire of one of the most famous battles in history starring Carmen Electra be the biggest movie in the country might kick off a whole new round of attacks. Then again, it may be a sign that all is right with the world again. Or, more probably, it means nothing beyond the good news that Kevin Sorbo won't be be collecting Social Security at age 67. 

More weekend B.O. news here. And look for Jesse Walker's take on the new Sly Stallone joint at reason online later today.

NEXT: The High Price of Pretense

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  1. Kevin Sorbo is a true American Hero. True story.

  2. Two Things:

    1: Parroting does not = Parody. Judging from the previews this is just another thoughtless, lowest-common-denominator crap movie.

    2: Studios dump all their crap movies in January. The fact that MTS won this weekend is indicitive of people having had better things to do…

  3. indicitive = indicative

    Durrrrr….

  4. Can we outsource the movie business to India? Please?

  5. 2: Studios dump all their crap movies in January. The fact that MTS won this weekend is indicitive of people having had better things to do…

    …except of the approximately 1.8 million Americans who were willing to spend $10 to see the movie…

  6. Did Cloverfield run out of steam?

    These spoof movies are popular with teh teenagerz. Put together one, throw in some scantily-clad hot chicks (or in this case, ripped dudes wearing loincloths), and you are going to pull in 20 mil the first weekend. It’s a given, and that’s why these spoof movies come out every six months.

    Scary Movie started it all. It was actually pretty funny. But like all movie trends, all the copycats suck.

  7. Judging from the previews this is just another thoughtless, lowest-common-denominator crap movie.

    Like Airplane or Blazing Saddles? 😉

    Gosh, I’m in a chipper and contrary mood this AM.

  8. Like Amazone Women on the Moon?

    Or for the futurama fans among us:

    Amazon Women in the Mood!

  9. Ugh, too early, can’t spell. 🙁

  10. Looks like I picked a bad day to stop sniffing glue.

  11. kinnath, do you like gladiator movies?

  12. Tell me Episiarch, have you ever seen a grown man . . .

  13. kinny, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?

  14. Or, more probably, it means nothing beyond the good news that Kevin Sorbo won’t be be collecting Social Security at age 67.

    No what it means is, Hollywood has no reason to make good movies, because crap pays so well.

  15. Hey, Kevin Sorbo gotta eat too, you know. Shampoo commercials can’t carry you forever.

  16. Chucky, did ya ever hang around a gymnasium?

  17. …except of the approximately 1.8 million Americans who were willing to spend $10 to see the movie…

    Considering movies cost about $20 million* to make (I can’t find the exact figure for MTS, but it’s probably less than $20 million), only making $18 million isn’t that stunning…

    *this is from a random sample of movies I just looked up and therefore has little basis in actual “fact”

  18. Pooro Sorbo. When the best item on your resume is a 7 episode stint on The O.C., it’s time to think about going into seclusion.

  19. When the best item on your resume is a 7 episode stint on The O.C., it’s time to think about going into seclusion.

    Are you saying Andromeda was an insipid, idiotic show that made no sense, and that Hercules was a super-low-rent goofball version of Evil Dead’s humor? I can’t imagine you’re saying that.

  20. We all know who’s to blame here.

    That’s right:

    Frank Stallone…

  21. Episarch, I’m sayin’ that.

  22. Taktix? – $20 million would be cheap for most movies, but I’d say Spartans probably came in under that – it doesn’t have any real stars, for one thing. Box office is almost gravy at this point. DVD sales and rentals are where the big bucks are.

    Your “parroting” line was good – I’m starting to feel old, I can remember when parodies used to have actual jokes.

  23. Considering movies cost about $20 million* to make

    I wonder how much they spent on HGH.

  24. Episarch, I’m sayin’ that.

    I’m shocked. Shocked. Next you’ll be saying that Kull the Conqueror was a cheap attempt to cash in on Hercules’ popularity. It’s all just so offensive.

  25. Box office is almost gravy at this point. DVD sales and rentals are where the big bucks are.

    Not sure why I didn’t put this together before, but it all makes sense now. This film (and others like it) is probably right up the alley of your average Wal*Mart shopper.

    Mass distribution works. Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer are the McDonald’s of the movie industry…

  26. I gather that it is probably better to see these as a double feature than to see 10 minutes of One Missed Call.

  27. P. Brooks,

    It’s probably all airbrush or CGI.

  28. indicitive = indicative

    Yet another typo that is better than the correction.

    If we have Joe’z Rule for typos in posts criticizing other people’s spelling/grammar, can we have R.C.’z Rule for typos being better than corrections?

  29. Episiarch,

    You read between the lines so well.

    [waiting for someone to mention Xena]

  30. Yet another typo that is better than the correction.

    Damn this false prophet known as Firefox Spell Check!

  31. Like Airplane or Blazing Saddles? 😉

    I looooooove Airplane, and I love inflicting it on my friends.

  32. Blazing Saddels was far better. It is the pinnacle of genre-spoof movies in my opinion (with Young Frankenstein coming in second).

  33. Like Airplane or Blazing Saddles?

    Yeah, I guess MTS is like Airplane and Blazing Saddles.

    Well, except for the witty dialogue. And the humor. And the lack of reliance on fart jokes. And Mel Brooks.

    But besides, that, they’re very similar…

  34. All right, we’ll give some land to the niggers and the chinks, but we don’t want the IRISH.

  35. This movie is rated 100% Sorbo.

  36. I find this far more disturbing:

    And on another historical note, Alvin and the Chipmunks reached the $200 mil plateau

    On that note, OBL is well within his rights to attack us.

  37. The stupid are a large market, and there’s nothing wrong with cashing in.

  38. You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, and that’s sufficient for most purposes.

  39. If you want to try an interesting experiment, go to a video store that has been around for a long time and still has their entire collection. You should be able to get lots of 80’s movies on video, from when the store was first filling its collection.

    What I have found is that the average level of quality of these films, even ones you’ve never heard of (I’m not talking about Troll 3 or something like that), is surprisingly high. Far higher than the average movie of today. You go in with the expectation of these unknown films being shitty, because most movies today are shitty, and the unknown straight-to-DVD stuff is almost uniformly awful. But you will be pleasantly surprised by the basic competence of the acting, direction, editing, and pacing.

    Try it; it’s very interesting.

  40. I remember watching some human interest story a few years ago where some community named a park after Kevin Sorbo.

    But that was when people thought he was Hercules.

  41. Hey now, the first half of the second season of Andromeda was pretty good, with occasional decent episodes before and after. What really wrecked it was the Sorbovision of ‘Hercules in Space.’ Jerk. And the android chick was damn hot too… not hot enough to keep watching it, but still.

  42. And the android chick was damn hot too… not hot enough to keep watching it, but still.

    If you’re going to bring in hot chicks to save your show, you better make sure they’re hot enough to keep you watching. If you can’t even stack the deck properly, you need to stop.

  43. This guy thinks Rambo won. I dont think I buy his explanation ( when I was 15 or 16 I never did this, I just bought the R tickets)but it could count for something,

    John C “Acshun” Jackson the 3rd

  44. Lots of people flock to see these movies because they’ve got intriguing ‘high concepts.’

    The movies seldom deliver on promise, but by then the producers have our money, so why bother with quality?

  45. having a satire of one of the most famous battles in history starring Carmen Electra

    Speaking of which did any of you guys ever read the Mini series comic book “Elektra: Assassin”?

    Man the late 80s were sure wierd

  46. This is madness!

  47. No one will go broke underestimating the tastes of the American public.

  48. Your “parroting” line was good – I’m starting to feel old, I can remember when parodies used to have actual jokes.

    Indeed. Today, it is fitting when we say of a movie which was terrible that “it was a joke.”

    When movies are already self-parodies (like 300 — which, while we’re on the subject, I personally consider the worst movie I’ve ever seen), intentional parodies of those bad movies don’t have to make jokes because all the jokes are already in the original movie. The main difference between the original and the spoof seems to be that the original takes itself seriously. That, to me, makes the original funnier. Why pay to see the spoof?

    Airplane was a great spoof that also featured that weird brand of literal-8-year-old humor where showing poop actually hitting a fan is funny (and I think it is…).

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