Last weekend proved to be something of a dissapointment at the box office, with Judd Apatow's lastest flick, Funny People, proving to be underwhelming with both critics and audiences, grossing $22.6 million, far below Apatow's previous flick, Knocked Up, intake of 30 million a few years back. The whole weekend proved to be just as underwhelming, with the total box office intake decreasing 18% from last week. Hopefully, this weekend will prove to change the dry spill with the latest summer blockbuster film and chick flick coming to theaters.
I really don't need to remind anyone that G.I. Joe is making it's long awaited debut to the theaters. For the last two weeks, this flick has been been promoted to hell by distributor Paramount. With constant tv spots, merchandise, a large fan base, big-name cast (Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Dennis Quaid, Sienna Miller, newcomer Rachel Nichols, and a small cameo by Brendan Fraiser) pretty much guarantees that this movie will open at the top of the weekend box-office. How much it'll make and whether or not the film will be any good is still up in the air.
The biggest concern about this movie has been its director: Stephan Sommers, directing his first film in five years. Sommers first entered pop culture consciousness with his reimagining of The Mummy in 1999 (and its sequel, The Mummy Returns). Audiences loved the then-groundbreaking special effects, charismatic performances from Brendan Fraiser and Rachel Weisz, along with its mix of action and comedy. Critics, however, were less than impressed with the movie's style-over-substance attitude and transforming a classic thirties horror classic into a bland summer film. While Sommers isn't the greatest of even a competent director (2004's Van Helsing proved that fact), he isn't as self-indulgent or crappy as other summer directors Michael Bay or Rob Cohen. Even better is that he left the screenwriting duties to Stuart Beattie, who was behind Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and 30 Days of Night .
The director, however, is only the first of the movies problems, including some nasty rumors (one stating that Stephan Sommers was fired from the picture after it got the worst preview screening scores in Paramount's history), questionable casting choices (Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cobra Commander?), not to mention that making a movie off of a popular toyline is never a good idea. So it makes sense that the movie, since its announcement, has been torn a new-asshole by virtually every smartass film blogger, and making it even more surprising that the film is actually starting to get some good reviews.
Review sites like IGN and CHUD have said that the movie, while stupid, is great fun that never takes itself too seriously. These are the reviews that G.I. Joe needs in order to become a hit with audiences. Will it do any good with audiences? If crap like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen could become the highest grossing film of the year so far, then a decent flick that Rise of Cobra could do just fine. It should probably open somewhere around $65,000,000-$70,000,000
opening weekend, whether or not the word of mouth will hurt or help the film remains to be seen.
Whenever a big summer film comes around, always expect a chick flick to be around the corner. This time around it's Julie & Julia. The film, released by Columbia Pictures, is clearly following the stragetry that made Universal's Mamma Mia such a hit last years: when a film comes in that clearly attracts the male demographic (in last year's case, The Dark Knight), release a film that clearly attracts the female demographic (and preferably one that stars Meryl Streep). It worked before and it'll probably work again.
However the film is plagued with a few troubles: the film's trailer doesn't do a good job to promote the film, making it come off as the blandest romantic comedies of bland romantice comedies (even though that hasn't stopped bland romantic comedies before). Add to that the film is being written and directed by Nora Ephron, whose last film was the Nicole Kidman/Will Ferrell flop Bewitched. Also adding to that are the so-so reviews coming about it.
None of these probably won't stop the demographic (who usually don't pay attention to those silly things) from seeing the film. In the end, the film will probably become a modest success, making around $25,000,000-$30,000,000
Excited for the new thriller A Perfect Getaway? Me neither. In fact, I really wasn't aware of its existence until last week whenever a couple of tv spots started to eeked out on television. By director David Twohy (his first since the craptastic Chronicles of Riddick), its your standard thriller about a couple go to Hawaii, meet another another couple who may or may not be serial killers, and a shitload of people get killed.
This may be the perfect example of an underperforming summer film. With a limited marketing campaign from small-time distributor Rogue Picture, a less-than-stellar cast including Milla Jovovich and the underrated Steve Zahn, and not being screened for critcs (I can all ready smell the crappy reviews), the flick will be lucky to make $10,000,000 opening weekend. 'Nuff said.
Opening in limited release, Cold Souls, starring Paul Giamatti, Emily Watson, and David Strathain, is a difficult film to explain. So instead, I ripped out this plot synopsis from IMDb:
Paul (Giamatti) is an actor who feels bogged down by his participation in a production of Chekov's play, Vanya. His condition which leads him to an organization that will store his soul while he treads the boards, though complications (and international travel) arise when his soul goes missing.
Kinky, huh? This Kaufman-wannabe flick is coming to theaters in New York and Los Angeles (the usual dropping grounds for these kinds of films). It could make a nice a tidy $250,000 opening weekend and grow a nice fanbase who like this sort of things.
New Week: Big Ass Aliens vs. Hayao Miyazaki