Tag: Box Office Preview (Page 2 of 5)

Will The Rock bring the Pain this week?

While Superhero season doesn’t kick in until next week, there are still people muscular enough to warrant wearing a cape in theaters this week.

Wrestling superhero Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson headlines the movies debuting this week with “Pain & Gain”. Co-starring Mark Wahlberg, the two star as bodybuilders who get entangled in extortion, kidnapping, and probably way too much HGH. It’s directed by Michael Bay (“Transformers”), so I’m sure pecs won’t be the only thing exploding.

It’s not the cleanest movie title, but “MUD” opens this week with a star most women wouldn’t mind getting dirty with. Matthew McConaughey stars as Ellis, who along with his friend Neckbone (Tye Sheridan) team up to help a criminal escape bounty hunters and reunite with his lady love Juniper (Reese Witherspoon).

The most intriguing debut this week may be “The Big Wedding”. Slammed by RottenTomatoes, the rom-com has enough star power for an awards show or a pre-summer trainwreck. It’s about a divorced couple that pretends to be the married couple for their adult kids. It stars Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, and Robin Williams. I mean, how bad can it be?

Also opening this week:

Arthur Newman – A man fakes his death and starts over with a woman with a forgettable past. It stars Emily Blunt, Colin Firth, and Anne Heche.

The Numbers Station – John Cusack stars as a CIA black ops agent on the road to redemption. Also stars Malin Akerman.

Kon Tiki – In 1947, Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Pacific ocean in a balsa wood raft. Not just because it was there, either. Stars Pal Sverre Hagen

Will “Scary Movie 5” scare up the laughs this week?

Last week’s no. 1 movie “Evil Dead” faces some stiff competition by a horror franchise of a different type, a lesson in baseball history and a movie that most having heard of but boasts a couple Oscar winners.

Ashley Tisdale (“Phineas and Ferb”) and Simon Rex headline the latest in the “Scary Movie” franchise. With comedic cameos including Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, “Scary Movie 5” hits theaters this week taking satiric shots at “Mama”, “Paranormal Activity”, “Planet of the Apes”, and believe it or not “Evil Dead”.

For those of you who couldn’t wait for the boys of summer to take the field, “42” tells the life story of revered baseball player Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) who broke the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers and his friendship with Dodgers GM Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford).

“To The Wonder” stars Oscar winners Ben Affleck and Javier Bardem and Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, but if you haven’t seen many ads for it, you’re not alone. The story follows couple Marina (Kurylenko) and Neil (Affleck) who visit Oklahoma and get wrapped in a story of lies, betrayals, sex…and of course, a priest.

Other films opening:

The Angels Share – A comedic tale of redemption and whiskey. Four Scottish parolees band together to escape their hard life.

It’s a Disaster – For those “Arrested Development” junkies, David Cross stars as part of four couples who are stuck in a house before a possible Armageddon.

Disconnect – Wait, did I say “Arrested Development”? Jason Bateman stars as one of a group of people who get more than a case of “Identity Theft” when things go wrong online.

Will ‘Evil Dead’ kill off its box office competitors?

Where's Bruce Campbell when you need him?

This week at the box office will feature a blast from the past, a cannibal, corpses rising from the dead and one of the most famous afros of all time.

Film District’s “Evil Dead” remake hits theaters today expecting to scare the dollars out of moviegoers. Studio heads are hoping that gore, guts and a Juno (not the award, Diablo Cody co-wrote the screenplay) will take down Willis, The Rock, and Tatum from their number 1 spot.

While some kids may think of “Jurassic Park” as a ride at Universal theme park, it was actually a movie…about a theme park where cloned dinosaurs go on a rampage. So why is it being released now? Well, to celebrate it’s 20 year anniversary, Universal is re-releasing it in 3D.

For those who still hunger for “Inception”, you may want to check out “Trance” starring James McAvoy and Rosario Dawson. It’s about an art auctioneer trying to recover a lost painting with the help of a hypnotherapist. I can only assume doctors look as hot as Rosario Dawson in real life.

For those of you in need of big ideals and even bigger hair, there’s “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners”. The documentary chronicles the life of Angela Davis (yes, the one Eddie Murphy riffed about). The afro may be gone, but according to those who have seen it, the film is a powerful account of one of America’s most famous activists.

It’s not “The Walking Dead”, but “Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal” does feature some Hannibal Lecter style cuisine. Written and directed by Boris Rodriguez, “Eddie” is about a a painter who encounters an art student who sleepwalks his way into eating people. And you thought snoring was bad.

Other films hitting theaters:

Simon Killer: An American in Paris looks for love while descending into madness.

The Brass Teapot: A comedy about a brass teapot that rewards a couple for hurting themselves.

6 Souls: Julianne Moore is a psychiatrist charged with discovering her patient’s link to a series of murders.

Box Office Preview: ‘The Expendables 2,’ ‘ParaNorman,’ and ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’

The Expendables 2

Come on, look at all the names in this one: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews, Liam Hemsworth, Jean Claude Van-Damme, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Dolph Lundgren, and of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you need me to tell you what to expect you’re nearly 40 years behind the Hollywood action scene (and have likely never voted in a California gubernatorial election).

If you saw the first “Expendables” movie, then you know what’s coming here: action, action, and more action. Seriously, watch the trailer, it’s just the names of the stars intercut with explosions, guns firing, and chase scenes. It gives literally no information relating to the plot, which tells you just about all you need to know regarding its importance to the film. Nonetheless, here’s the official synopsis:

The Expendables are back and this time it’s personal… Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren),Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) — with newest members Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) aboard — are reunited when Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) enlists the Expendables to take on a seemingly simple job. The task looks like an easy paycheck for Barney and his band of old-school mercenaries. But when things go wrong and one of their own is viciously killed, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory where the odds are stacked against them.

“The Expendables 2” has a 65 percent rating on the Tomatometer. Check it out if you’d like, just don’t expect much in the way of plot or character development.


“ParaNorman” is the second feature film made by stop-motion animation studio LAIKA, the first being 2009’s “Coraline.” Both films have been met with a great deal of critical acclaim, and each has been “certified fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes, with “ParaNorman” garnering an 86 percent rating on the Tomatometer and “Coraline” sitting pretty at 90 percent. Not to mention that in the year of its release, “Coraline” was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. With all the accolades the two films have received, LAIKA may be the first studio that can really compete with Pixar if it can keep producing films of high enough quality that they transcend the box animated films are so often put in.

Anyway, let’s talk about “ParaNorman.” Kodi Smit-Mcphee stars as Norman Babcock, an oft-misunderstood young man with the uncanny ability to communicate with the dead, a talent that comes in handy when his small town is overrun by zombies. The official synopsis tells us “In addition to the zombies, he’ll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst, of all, grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse. But this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.” Smit-Mcphee’s co-stars include Casey Affleck, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.

Many adults discard animated films, believing them to be childish or incapable of conveying the same emotion and character that live action films can. But like Pixar, LAIKA makes films that relay all those elements in spades, the fact that they’re animated isn’t a detractor. As such, despite its PG rating, ‘ParaNorman” is a kid’s movie that isn’t really for kids. As Bullz-Eye’s Jason Zingale put it, the film is a “journey into the weird and macabre that will likely play well with pre-teens and older, but may be too frightening for younger audiences. Though parents should use discretion when deciding whether their children can handle the scarier moments, “ParaNorman” is packed with enough comedy that it helps dampen the effect.” It seems “ParaNorman” is a film more for those who are children at heart than actual children, and deserves to be checked out.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

The last film seeing a wide release this weekend is “The Odd Life of Timothy Green.” Let’s check out the official synopsis from Disney:

Director/writer Peter Hedges brings enchantment to the screen with The Odd Life of Timothy Green, an inspiring, magical story about a happily married couple, Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton), who can’t wait to start a family but can only dream about what their child would be like. When young Timothy (CJ Adams) shows up on their doorstep one stormy night, Cindy and Jim — and their small town of Stanleyville — learn that sometimes the unexpected can bring some of life’s greatest gifts.

Given that its a Disney movie with a 41 percent rating on the Tomatometer, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” appears to be a try-hard heartwarmer that is ultimately more “style” (in the most Disneyfied sense of the word) than substance. Check it out only if you’re the overly-emotional type susceptible to that kind of drivel.

Box Office Preview: ‘Bourne’ (sans Damon), ‘The Campaign,’ and ‘Hope Springs’

The Bourne Legacy

After the first three “Bourne” movies grossed a combined $945 million worldwide, Universal Studios wasn’t going to let something as “petty” as the series’ star, Matt Damon, walking away stop the cash from flowing in. Even though “The Bourne Legacy” will likely break an impressive pattern—that each of the trilogy’s installments was more successful than the last in terms of both opening and cumulative grosses (“The Bourne Identity” debuted to $27.1 million and had a domestic total gross of nearly $122 million, “Supremacy” made $52.5 million in its opening weekend, winding up with $176 million, while “Ultimatum” opened to $69.3 million and had $227 million to its name when things were all said and done)—the studio can still expect to make a pretty penny. Plus, given that “The Dark Knight Rises” was last week’s top earner with just shy of $36 million in its third week, Universal can expect to own the nation’s number one movie, as “Legacy” will have no problem clearing $30 million over its first three days at the box office.

Anyway, let’s talk about the film itself, shall we? With Damon gone, writer/director Tony Gilroy, who also wrote the screenplays for the first three “Bourne” movies, had to come up with some way to introduce a new main character. As we find out from the trailer, “There was never just one… Jason Bourne was the tip of the iceberg.” Enter Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker,” “The Avengers“) as Aaron Cross, who’s essentially another Jason Bourne.

Overlapping with the ending of the last film, the story has broken that the CIA has been conducting top-secret experiments involving genetically enhanced spies. As a result, they’re putting an end to all such programs, which means killing all of the various programs’ agents. With the exception of the new leading man, “Legacy” has everything we’ve come to expect from the series: a super spy on the run from the government with a damsel in distress in tow. Only this time, Renner’s playing the hero, the damsel has a doctorate, and newcomer Edward Norton steps in as Colonel Eric Byer, who’s in charge of hunting Renner’s character down. It seems he’s escaped the government’s attempt on his life and needs to find Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) so he can get a hold of the medications that help him function at superhuman levels.

The film has split critics right down the middle, it currently sits at a 50 percent on the Tomatometer. It’s sure to be entertaining, but like so many of the reboot/sequel/spin-offs coming along these days, it leaves something to be desired because you can’t escape the feeling that you’ve seen this film before. I think Bullz-Eye’s David Medsker put it best:

“The Bourne Legacy” shares a sentiment with a couple of other movies released this year (“American Reunion,” “Men in Black 3” [and I’ll add “The Amazing Spider-Man” to the list]) in that it was not at all necessary, yet still enjoyable. That might be damning the movie with faint praise, but considering the lengths that Universal is going to in order to keep the Bourne cash cow mooing – really, everything about the movie’s existence is pretty damn cynical – they would be wise to take any praise people are willing to give them. They get a pass this time, but they’re going to need to raise the stakes for the next one.

The Campaign

From director Jay Roach (best known for directing the “Austin Powers” films as well as “Meet the Parents” and “Meet the Fockers”) comes “The Campaign,” a satirical political comedy boasting big name stars like Will Ferrell, Zach Galfianakis, Jason Sudeikis, John Lithgow, and Dan Akroyd. With actors like that and a premise as easily mockable as American politics, this one’s sure to be a slam dunk, right?

Not this time. Although it’s got a 65 percent rating on the Tomatometer, the general consensus seems to be that the film is one big missed opportunity. In an election year, the filmmakers could’ve gotten a bit edgier, really putting our political system on trial while still generating big laughs from Ferrell and Galifianakis. In fact, one might wonder why this wasn’t the case, given that Roach has pushed some boundaries in his HBO election dramas “The Recount” and “Game Change.” To quote Bullz-Eye’s Jason Zingale:

Though the film is actually much better than expected, it never fully takes advantage of its satirical premise, especially with the 2012 elections only months away. There are a number of good laughs sprinkled throughout, but it’s not nearly enough to warrant sitting through all the dry spells. And try as director Jay Roach might to make his characters more absurd than our real-life politicians, that’s a lot easier said than done.

Oh yes, you’re probably wondering about the plot. Here it is: Incumbent North Carolina Congressman Cam Brady (Ferrell) is essentially running on auto-pilot until a sex scandal puts his campaign under a microscope. As a result, two corrupt businessmen played by Lithgow and Akroyd, the Motch brothers (whose similarities with the real-life Koch brothers are no coincidence) decide to back country bumpkin Marty Huggins (Galifianakis) who will turn a blind eye to their plan to use import Chinese factory workers on the cheap.

Hope Springs

Last but not least this week is “Hope Springs,” a dramedy that is sure to skew older than the previous two films. It stars Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a couple who despite being loving and devoted have watched as their relationship gets somewhat stale over the decades. Streep’s character, Kay, hears of Dr. Feld (Steve Carell), a widely renowned relationship specialist and tries to persuade her husband, Arnold, to embark on a trip to the small town of Hope Springs to meet him.

The film has been certified fresh with a 77 percent rating on the Tomatometer. The site had this to say about the film: “Led by a pair of mesmerizing performances from Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, Hope Springs offers filmgoers some grown-up laughs — and a thoughtful look at mature relationships.” Bullz-Eye’s David Medsker offers a different perspective: “How much you enjoy ‘Hope Springs’ will depend largely on how much you enjoy watching older people have sex.” It’s pretty easy to figure out whether you’re part of “Hope Springs” target audience, and as a result, whether or not you’ll enjoy the film.

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