Monday, March 26, 2012

The Week That Was and the Week That Will Be - 3/26

Weekend Box Office Results
About a month ago, Hollywood prognosticators had The Hunger Games projected to pull in around $75 million on opening weekend. I thought that was low and that Hollywood had seriously underestimated how big of an audience this movie would bring in. I know literally dozens of people who have read the books over the last month in preparation for the film adaptation. That said, even I wouldn’t have guessed at the haul this movie brought in over the weekend. $155 million gives The Hunger Games the third highest opening weekend gross in history (behind only the final Harry Potter film and The Dark Knight) and the highest ever for a non-sequel, shattering the $116 million mark set by Alice in Wonderland (yes, Alice in Wonderland). This is the signature film that Lionsgate studios had previously lacked and in hindsight, it would have been smart to take what little money I have and invest in the company’s stock. Regardless, it was a banner day for Lionsgate and Hunger Games fans worldwide and given the overwhelmingly positive reviews it has received, it will be very interesting to follow its path over the next few weeks.

1. The Hunger Games - $155M
2. 21 Jump Street - $21.3M ($71.05)
3. Dr. Suess’ The Lorax - $13.1M ($177.3M)
4. John Carter - $5.01M ($62.34M)
5. Act of Valor - $2.06M ($65.94M)
6. Project X - $1.95M ($51.75M)
7. A Thousand Words - $1.92M ($14.92M)
8. October Baby - $1.71M
9. Safe House - $1.4M ($122.6M)
10. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - $1.37M ($97.15M)

New to DVD
What I’ve Seen So You Don’t Have To
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow
When I wrote my review for EL&IC I called it the most frustrating film I’d ever seen and I expect it will hold onto that record for quite some time. There are parts of this movie that illustrate why it was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar but they are almost always swallowed up by the asinine decisions of director Stephen Daltry and the obnoxiousness of the lead character. I wanted so badly to love this movie and instead it resides on a list of films I will never, ever watch again.

Also New
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked – Jason Lee, Justin Long, David Cross
A Dangerous Method – Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley
In the Land of Blood and Honey – Zana Marjanovic, Goran Kostic
Corman’s World – Roger Corman
The Broken Tower – James Franco, Michael Shannon, Dave Franco

New to Blu
The Quest (1996) – Jean-Claude Van Damme, Roger Moore
DragonHeart (1996) – Dennis Quaid, Sean Connery
Bodyguard (1992) – Whitney Houston, Kevin Costner
Casablanca 70th Anniversary Edition (1942) – Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman

Coming to a Theater Near You
I did well with my one prediction last week when I guessed The Hunger Games would find favor with 81% of Rotten Tomatoes critics as it actually came in at 85%. This week brings us a few more titles but I think it’s safe to say that all of them should finish beneath last week’s winner at the box office.

Wrath of the Titans – Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes
Perseus (Worthington) is called upon to save Zeus (Neeson) from the clutches of Hades (Fiennes). 2010’s Clash of the Titans was a pretty lackluster affair that didn’t find a great deal of favor with critics. It made some money, both domestically and worldwide, but most viewers had the same mindset I did: I saw it because it was an action movie and I like action movies but I didn’t give it a second thought after I stepped out of the theater. I have a similar stance on this sequel. I’ll probably see it at some point because, let’s face it, I watch a lot of action movies but I’m not necessarily excited about it. I doubt the average critic is excited about it, either. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Rotten, 25%

Mirror Mirror – Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer
The first of two retellings of the Snow White fable that this year will bring, this one is more family friendly and focuses as much on the queen (Roberts) as on the title character (Collins) herself. Personally I think this movie looks absolutely atrocious. The trailer slaps you in the face with campiness and that’s a trait I simply cannot abide by. I will say, however, the latter stages of the marketing campaign have pegged it more as a family film than a date movie (something that wasn’t clear in the early stages) and that has somewhat lessened the prospective awfulness in my mind. I DO NOT want to see this at all but I’m not as convinced that it will be the abhorrent train wreck I thought it would be a few months ago. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Rotten, 41%

Goon – Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Eugene Levy
A jock (SWS) from a long line of scholars becomes a minor league hockey superstar while leading his team to victory. There is a chance that Goon turns out to be a solid buddy comedy. If nothing else, it certainly has the pedigree to come out on top. But it’s probably more likely that it will drop into the pratfalls of the typical R-rated comedy. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Rotten, 49%

Intruders – Clive Owen, Carice van Houten, Izan Corchero
Two children in different countries have their lives turned upside down by similarly haunting nightmares and visions. As per usual with thrillers/horror movies, the premise behind Intruders sounds interesting but I imagine that’s where the appeal ends. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: 30%

Also look for the critically acclaimed Bully, a documentary about bullying and peer pressure in today’s schools.

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