Slump? What slump?

You’d think they’d be dancing in the streets after “Ice Age’s” weekend results, but it turns out that the box office slump is still with us – sort of. uc fox theater box office.jpg

As Box Office Mojo points out, “Overall, weekend business was again bustling compared to last year, up more than 30 percent and, in the process, propelling 2006’s total gross slightly ahead of 2005 through the same frame.”

Except, as Variety‘s Ben Fritz notes, “compared to 2004, however, this year’s B.O. is still down 2%.”

Should we be elated? Or deflated?

More confusion over, too, over “Benchwarmers,” which finished a surprisingly strong second place – and this from a Revolution movie that by all accounts should have sucked harder than “Tomcats.”

Indeed, as E! pointed out last week, “‘The Animal.’ ‘Joe Dirt.’ ‘Senseless.’ All movies starring Rob Schneider or David Spade that were actually screened for critics. So, how bad does The Benchwarmers have to be that it wasn’t shown to any reviewers?”

It’s perverse to consider, but it turns out the strategy of not showing films to critics appears to be working.

Our slump solution? Ban the critics. All of them. A special act of Congress; martial law. Whatever. Get rid of them. We’ve seen what your “free-thinking” and “fearless independence” has gotten us, critics, and the truth is, we here in Hollywood simply can’t afford you any more.