Ocean’s Twelve

Looks like Ocean’s Twelve is going to be a success. Hey, it could happen.

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) — “Ocean’s Twelve,” the heist caper that George Clooney, Brad Pitt and their A-list pals shot in their spare time while living it up in Europe, stole the No. 1 slot at the North American weekend box office.

According to studio estimates issued Sunday, the Warner Bros. film sold $40.9 million worth of tickets in the three days since opening December 10. Warner Bros. and CNN are units of Time Warner Inc.

It marks the fourth-biggest opening for a December release, after the “Lord of the Rings” movies, and narrowly surpassed its 2001 predecessor, “Ocean’s Eleven,” which opened with $38.1 million in 200 fewer theaters and finished with $184 million.

I can think of at least a few sequels that met the standard set by their predecesors: The Godfather II, The Empire Strikes Back, Rocky II, Terminator II, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Hell, sometimes a film goes on to become a full-fledged franchise, a la the James Bond flicks. Most of the time, however, sequels are mediocre at best.

Remakes have an even worse track record.. Which is why I wasn’t expecting much when the remake of Eleven opened in 2001. Thankfully, Steven Soderbergh was smart enough to know a) not to mess with a classic, b) the storylines and pacing that satiated a 1960’s audience would not be well received by a 21st century theatre goer, and c) third rule of fight club: there was only one Rat Pack, so leave it alone. So beyond a vague similarity in the storyline, the two films are independent of one another.

One of the few films I was really hoping to see a sequel to was another remake, The Thomas Crown Affair. It didn’t set the box office on fire, but it’s been my favorite movie since the day I saw it.

Anyway, I’m glad to be in Las Vegas during the premiere of Ocean’s Twelve. Not only was the original filmed here by Sinatra and company, but the remake of was set at the Bellagio, my favorite hotel. I’d probably be staying there right now were it not for the fact that it’s about five times as expensive as Texas Station.

Speaking of which, there’s a large cinema complex here in the hotel, and they had some sort of special event going on for the opening of Ocean’s Twelve yesterday. I’m hoping to see the film while I’m here, but with the ATP course schedule, it may not be possible.

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