Movies of 1987 Bracket Game: Dirty Dancing Vs. Lost Boys
Today’s match-up features two coming-of-age dramas in which the protagonist finds themselves in an unfamiliar setting and becomes involved with someone from the wrong side of the tracks. One contains more dancing than the other, but they are both essentially stories of young people finding love and learning important life lessons. Either that, or they were two quintessential movies from 1987 that didn’t have a natural pairing in the game, so I just smooshed them together and tried to find some kind of similarities for my intro.
Before we have the time of our lives, let’s take a look at the results of yesterday’s fairy tale match-up.
Some of these matches are more predictable than others. I didn’t really think Moonstruck had much of a chance against a movie as beloved as The Princess Bride. And for once, I was right. The charms of The Princess Bride carried it into round two where it will face the winner of today’s match-up.
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey had worked together before in the 1984 action-drama Red Dawn. They didn’t like each other. In fact, they resisted the idea of working together again on Dirty Dancing. But the chemistry on their audition tape was undeniable, so they reluctantly decided to tolerate each other as best they could.
It wasn’t always easy. There were fights. Especially when trained dancer Swayze thought Grey wasn’t taking the dance scenes seriously enough. But the promise of those audition tapes was realized in the final movie. While many critics complained that Dirty Dancing was cliched, audiences were won over by Swayze and Grey’s on-screen sparks. And also a killer soundtrack.
Dirty Dancing opened in fourth place at the box office behind the teen comedy Can’t Buy Me Love. The next week, it did something movies rarely ever do. It climbed up a spot to third place. Then, the week after that, it climbed another spot to #2. Dirty Dancing never actually topped the box office. For two weeks in a row, it trailed the buddy-cop movie Stakeout.
Appropriately for a dance movie, Dirty Dancing had legs. It hung on to the top ten for 11 weeks, dropped to 12th place for a week and then climbed back into the top ten again! It ended up grossing more than ten times its budget and became the 11th highest grossing movie of the year!
The Lost Boys was originally conceived as The Goonies with vampires. Goonies director, Richard Donner, was attached to direct but eventually he moved on to direct Lethal Weapon instead. Donner stayed on as executive producer and eventually settled on Joel Schumacher as his replacement. Schumacher hated the script which was a retelling of Peter Pan with the immortal child as a vampire. He agreed to direct on the condition that he could age the kids from 5th-graders to sexy teens.
What started as a G-rated kiddie flick turned into a teen horror-comedy that quickly developed a cult following. It would be an exaggeration to say it made stars out of Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman or Jami Gertz, but it did put them on the map. The two Coreys went on to some measure of success and Sutherland has found his niche on TV.
Critics complained that the movie was all style and no substance, but the kids the movie was made for didn’t care. The Lost Boys opened in second place at the box office behind the new James Bond flick, The Living Daylights which also opened that week. As is typical with the horror genre, The Lost Boys dropped quickly from the top ten but it managed to be the 38th highest grossing movie of the year.
Despite not being a major box office hit (it underperformed * batteries not included and a reissue of Disney’s classic Cinderella) The Lost Boys found an audience in home video. It has inspired a series of direct-to-video sequels, a comic book mini-series and a TV show is in the works.
Oh hey! I got it! Let’s call this our “guilty pleasure” round! Which movie do you feel less guilty about voting for?
Posted on January 7, 2017, in bracket game, Movies and tagged 1987, Dirty Dancing, Jason Patric, Jennifer Grey, Joel Schumacher, Kiefer Sutherland, Patrick Swayze, the lost boys. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.