Category Archives: Weekend Outlook

Weekend Outlook – Pirates of the Baywatch: Guardians of the Covenant

Happy Memorial Day weekend everybody! So after you get done with your barbecue (which is really just burgers and hotdogs, or maybe brats if you’re fancy), then what are you going to do?

Maybe you’ll go shopping. I hear there are some good deals meant to lure you away from the simplicity of always paying less for things by shopping online. Perhaps you are thinking about visiting a theme park, but that’s expensive and you run the risk of dehydration. I guess you could watch any of the mediocre sporting events which will be on all weekend, you’ve got the Indy 500, the NBA conference finals, a whole bunch of baseball, or the carbonated poison water 600. But those all sound long, boring, and better watched in short clips on YouTube as a last resort of entertainment.

Why not hang out at the multiplex and catch up on those early Summer blockbusters that you have missed because you have been so busy catching up on your assignments from procrastination class or cramming for that test that you no longer remember because of sleep deprivation? It has been a relatively slow start to the summer movie season, but this long weekend should be the perfect time to catch that movie that has been calling you. We’ve got 3 sequels and an R-rated comedy TV adaptation to examine so buckle up!

If you haven’t already seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, you might be a Mennonite (Note to self: find Mennonite comedian and pitch the idea of stealing Jeff Foxworthy’s signature bit). It has only been out since Cinco de Mayo and it has already made close to 3 quarters of a billion dollars worldwide! Guardians is a ton of fun and it is fairly kid friendly, so as long as your kid can dress themselves and no longer needs a high chair, they should be up for this adventure.

The premise is simple. We rejoin our lovable gang of space anti-heroes a little while after the first film ends (If you haven’t first Guardians of the Galaxy, then you should probably buy it on iTunes and catch up with the rest of civilization). Star Lord has daddy issues that he needs to work out and they do it in hilarious fashion. This is has more laughs per minute than the first film with more of the same character driven drama and amazing 80’s soundtrack. (I’m serious about the soundtrack! I literally just Googled “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) by Looking Glass. It will be stuck in your head for the rest of the week, just be prepared.) I’ll be honest, if you haven’t seen this one, and maybe even if you have, it is your best bet. The rest are likely going to be hit or miss.

I just saw Alien: Covenant last night and it was very good, but it kind of felt like it was struggling with what kind of movie it wanted to be. But what should we expect from the 3rd film from Ridley Scott in this franchise which he helped reboot back in 2012 with the prequel Prometheus. Covenant rides the line between the heady philosophical ramblings of Prometheus and the crap your pants scariness of Alien.

If Guardians was safe for kids that can ride a roller coaster then this one is only safe if you can drive a car (manual transmissions only, none of that wussy automatic garbage). I’m serious, there is blood everywhere in this, aliens bursting out of all kinds of cavities and orifices, not to mention the synthetic on synthetic porn that almost happens. I could hear the Fassboners rising in the theater. If you’re a fan of Ridley Scott and the franchise you won’t be disappointed, but it’s not his best work. I’m seriously hoping that Blade Runner 2049 is better.

I’ll be quite honest, the only thing that get’s me excited about Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Longest movie name since Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood) is the inclusion of Javier Bardem as the baddie. If you’ve seen Skyfall or No Country for Old Men you know that he can be extremely creepy and intimidating, and that’s before he’s been all zombified. Even though it looks creepy, this is Disney we are talking about and I’m sure if your emo kids are into pirates then they would be okay going to this one too.

I know that this is a total cash grab on Disney’s part. They want to revive the franchise that has brought in $3.7 billion since 2003. I get it, but even Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley were smart enough to get out after three films and here Johnny Depp is riding into his fifth. He is simply the worst pirate that I’ve ever heard of, but I have heard of him so I’ll be checking this one out on Saturday, so stay tuned for my thoughts.

Finally, we have the R-rated 90’s TV adaptation that literally no one has ever been clamoring for. Baywatch hits theaters this weekend and I can only hope that they at least got Hasselhoff for a cameo, I mean he’s in Guardians so it’s not like he wasn’t available for filming. If they missed out on the Hoff, at least they have the ghost of Pam Anderson’s boobs, a.k.a. Alexandra Daddario. It looks like they are trying to go down the comedy parody road with this one and that would be great. But they have had me worried in a couple of trailers that they might try and take this straight, and if it takes itself too seriously it will be garbage.

The critical consensus is already that it is garbage (18% on Rotten Tomatoes), but I’m hoping that this could at least be as good as Central Intelligence. I’ve never been much of a fan of Zac Ephron, but I’m willing to give him a shot. This one is for adults only, the red band trailers have been bad enough that I had to watch them after my kids went to bed. I’ll be seeing this one next Wednesday so you’ll have to wait a little bit longer for my full review.

The most important thing is for you to enjoy this weekend and remember those brave men and women who died so we can eat lots of expensive buttery popcorn and be entertained by the beautiful monkeys we pay to entertain us. Have a great weekend!

 

 

Pete’s Dragon and Sausage Party – Weekend Outlook

This weekend I will be seeing Life, Animated in a limited engagement at the Hippodrome Theater. It is only playing for 1 week so if you are here in the Gainesville area, you need to act fast. Unfortunately, I have to work on Saturday, but I may be able to check out another movie on Sunday afternoon. Let’s look at the new films hitting theaters and see if they stand a chance of passing Suicide Squad in its second week.

I kind of see this weekend as the unofficial end of the summer movie season. Very quickly studios are shifting to their fall releases which are typically more dramatic and geared towards adults and particularly Academy members. But the three new wide releases compete for second place this week because Suicide Squad, though it is still receiving less than stellar reviews, is almost certainly going to top the box office during its second weekend. I find it funny that all six of the new movies coming this weekend beat Suicide Squad on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m just saying, you can probably skip Suicide Squad this weekend and see a better movie.

Pete’s Dragon

First up is Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, the name might sound vaguely familiar because it is a remake of the 1977 film of the same name. Disney is looking to push even further out in front in the box office this year with another big family hit to add to Finding Dory, Jungle Book, and Zootopia. Last month they released The BFG, which I enjoyed and which received good reviews overall but which failed to attract the public at the box office grossing on $52 million.

It is hard to find a film to compare to Pete’s Dragon because the source property isn’t nearly as popular as Jungle Book or Cinderella. It is coming out in late August just as school is back in session across the country so it isn’t fair to compare it with others that came in the summer. The reviews are saying that it is great, and it currently holds an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m going to say that it will open somewhere in the neighborhood of Enchanted or The Good Dinosaur which opened at $34 and $39 million respectively.

Sausage Party

If Sausage Party taps into the same audience that Neighbors and Ted  had then we could be looking at a tight race for the top 3. Those two opened to $49 and $54 million respectively. Amazingly, despite the extremely foul content and crude 3D animation Sausage Party is currently looking at an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it could have a very strong showing. On the other hand, it could go the way of This is the End and Pineapple Express. Those were both also Sony pictures and opened to $20 and $23 million.

Seth Rogen and his troupe hope are hoping that Sausage Party’s unprecedented combination of 3D animation and crude humor will connect with fans worldwide. Part of me hopes it doesn’t because I have three kids and they already want to see it and it’s hard to explain to children why they can’t see a cartoon because it was made for adults only.

Florence Foster Jenkins

Meryl Streep is bankable talent for older audiences. It’s been a while since we had a film appealing to older audiences. It could possibly do very well as counter-programming, but a couple of other films have tried this summer and haven’t taken off. Florence is getting very good reviews though. It is currently sitting at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. I think that this should do better than Ricki and the Flash which she released last August to $6 million, but not as well as Hope Springs which opened in a much less crowded August in 2012 and brought in $14 million.

Box Office Projection
  1. Suicide Squad – $46 million
  2. Pete’s Dragon – $36 million
  3. Sausage Party – $32 million
  4. Jason Bourne – $10 million
  5. Florence Foster Jenkins – $8 million

Independent/Limited Release

There are also a handful of Independent films that are worth watching that are premiering this weekend. I hope that if you see them here it might peak your interest and you can keep your eyes open for when they come to your theaters. Also, get to know your local theater managers and try to encourage them to bring more independent films to market or seek out smaller venues that might be more willing to show eclectic films or documentaries that others pass over with a yawn.

Hell or High Water

Blood Father

Anthropoid

 

Suicide Squad – Weekend Outlook

August is coming in like a lion with the release of one of the most highly anticipated films of the summer. It will break the August opening record. Alternatively, somehow Christopher Walken and Kevin Spacey agreed to be in a movie about a man who gets turned into a house cat, and the best movie of the weekend is being released by Netflix and will probably never going to see a theater.

Suicide Squad

In contrast to the dour, happiness sucking waste of time that was Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad at least proves that DC knows how to have a sense of humor (as twisted as it may be) but that still didn’t make for a great movie.

I knew that the bad guys weren’t going to turn good all of a sudden, but I didn’t think that they would let themselves be held captive by a woman that makes Trump look like a bleeding heart liberal. Seriously, Amanda Waller and by extension the United States government is pure evil.

Visually, the film was great. it had a realism to the effects that was appreciated. It was a gritty and mesmerizing film to watch. However, the story just doesn’t work. There are too many characters and the flow of the movie is constantly interrupted to give us some back story on an extraneous character that is only going to get 5 minutes of screen time and is totally superfluous to the plot. These characters make very stretched choices and nothing feels real. However, that has always been my beef with DC vs Marvel.

Don’t get me wrong, I had fun with the movie, I laughed when I was supposed to and the theater seemed energized. Theaters are selling out, riding a wave of publicity and social media buzz, and the film will certainly break Guardians of the Galaxy‘s previous August record of $94.3 million. They are set up for more films in the future, with the Justice league and a Harley Quinn solo film, but I think I’ve been spoiled with Marvel films that seem like more than just vehicles to sell popcorn.

If you’re looking for a PG-13 film that should have gotten an R rating and want to watch a lot of disturbed individuals do a lot I’ve violent things then this is the movie for you. Maybe I’m just looking for a better class of heroes and villains. Take it or leave it, it’s your choice.

Nine Lives

I think you could find a funnier way to spend an hour and a half if you just binge watched cat videos on YouTube. I can’t believe that these serious actors agreed to be in such a dumpster fire. This won’t crack the top 5 this week and will likely be on the top of my worst movies of the year list. Instead, stay in and save your money. Turn on Netflix and watch a good kids movie.

The Little Prince

Kung Fu Panda director Mark Osborne teams up with Netflix to bring us this animated take on Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s beloved novella about a pilot (voiced by Jeff Bridges) who crash lands in the Sahara desert and encounters a mysterious young boy who claims to be an extraterrestrial prince. James Franco, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Benicio Del Toro, and Paul Giamatti also lend their voices to this production.

Weekend Box Office Prediction:

  1. Suicide Squad – $139 million
  2. Jason Bourne – $28 million
  3. Bad Moms – $14 million
  4. Star Trek Beyond – $12 million
  5. The Secret Life of Pets – $10 million

Jason Bourne, Bad Moms, and Nerve – Weekend Outlook

Will Jason Bourne knock out Star Trek Beyond who was king this past weekend at the box office? With 83% of critics calling Beyond fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, it looks like it might not drop off as quickly as other sequels this year. However, with three wide releases this weekend I think it is highly doubtful that Star Trek will be on top of the charts beyond its first week. Also, will the new Ghostbusters continue to haunt the top 5 in its third weekend? All puns aside, let’s take a look at the new releases this weekend and see what your best bets are at your local multiplex.

Jason Bourne

Yet another big franchise that is getting a reboot or delayed sequel. Matt Damon is back in the titular role after a seemingly failed attempt to pass the baton to Jeremy Renner in The Bourne Legacy. Will the return of the star and director Paul Greengrass guarantee a big opening? I kind of doubt it in this summer of failed sequels. Legacy opened to only $38 million while Damon’s last appearance in Ultimatum was the largest of the series with an opening weekend of over $69 million. I think we will see an opening somewhere between those two films as there is some buzz around Damon’s return. See the other movies opening this weekend and my box office prediction after the jump.

Continue reading Jason Bourne, Bad Moms, and Nerve – Weekend Outlook

Weekend Outlook: Star Trek Beyond

What does this weekend look like for new releases? Two more sequels crash upon theaters this weekend and while they may not be total busts, both are probably going to fall short of the previous installments in their respective series. Star Trek Beyond and Ice Age: Collision Course represent the 21st and 22nd wide release sequels this year. Only four of them (Finding DoryCaptain America: Civil War, The Purge: Election Year and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) have been able to outperform their franchise predecessor at the box office. Also opening this weekend is the new PG-13 thriller Lights Out from producer James Wan.

Star Trek Beyond

The third film in the rebooted franchise. It makes me nervous that there is no J.J. Abrams. Instead, it is being helmed by Justin Lin (Fast & Furious) although he wasn’t even the original choice. The original reboot of the series in 2009 was great and it enabled us to explore this world with a new reimagined cast. Because they had a blank slate to work with, I was a bit disappointed that Into Darkness was essentially a remake of Wrath of Khan. It was an acceptable remake, but I’m hoping we don’t see whales in Beyond. Regardless, I think it will easily end up on the top of the charts this weekend after Secret Life of Pets snuck past Ghostbusters to lead the box office for a second week in a row.

Ice Age: Collision Course

This weekend’s second sequel is likely going to fall short of second place in the weekend as it goes head to head with an original property in The Secret Life of Pets. I don’t like to hate on films, but this Ice Age series needs to go extinct. Interestingly, no Ice Age film has ever opened below $41 million. But this is the fifth in the series, sequels have not fared well so far this year, and we have had a very strong season of animation which I don’t think will help. I think it will be very close, but Pets will freeze Ice Age in 3rd place this weekend.

Lights Out

The final wide release is one that I won’t be watching unless it is a matinee showing. I’m not a huge fan of horror films but anything with James Wan’s name attached seems to have a leg up on the competition. Lights Out looks scary and with a budget of less than $5 million, I think it is safe to say that Lights Out will be in the green after one weekend in theaters. It won’t be enough to compete with Ghostbusters in its second weekend, but I think a respectable $15 million showing is very likely since it is doing well critically and there is no other genre competition right now.

How do you think these movies are going to do? My predictions are below. I’d love to hear what you are watching this weekend, even if you are just binge watching  Stranger Things on Netflix.

  • Star Trek Beyond – $60 Million
  • The Secret Life of Pets – $27 Million
  • Ice Age: Collision Course – $26 Million
  • Ghostbusters – $24 Million
  • Lights Out – $15 Million

Weekend Outlook: Ghostbusters and Infiltrator

So Secret Life of Pets went beyond everyone’s expectations and reeled in $104 Million last weekend. That is giant for any film, but I’m planning to write a separate post all about this film that made more in its opening weekend than any other original non-adapted property. Think about movies like Inside Out and Avatar. Yes, Secret Life of Pets just did something unprecedented. So what’s coming next? Do any of this weekend’s offerings have what it takes to dethrone the pets? Let’s find out.

Continue reading Weekend Outlook: Ghostbusters and Infiltrator

Weekend Outlook: Secret Life of Pets

Well it looks like Dory will finally lose her box office throne this weekend. However a new animated feature will be taking over. No, it’s not The BFG which is a quality film that suffered from poor scheduling sandwiched in between Dory‘s massive opening and The Secret Life of Pets which looks like it is going to at least have a huge opening weekend, but I doubt that it will have the kind of staying power that we saw from our favorite Blue Tang.

The Secret Life of Pets

Does anyone need to see this trailer? I have seen it more times that I care to admit. The film has created a huge amount of buzz, to the point last week that my daughter wouldn’t stop asking if we could see it instead of The BFG. I have to say that it broke my heart a little bit, because I have some serious doubts about this movie. Don’t get me wrong, I think kids are going to love it and parents are going to take them and it is going to make boatloads of money. But I just don’t think that it is going to be as good as the animated fare that we have been recently feasting on.

Continue reading Weekend Outlook: Secret Life of Pets

Weekend Outlook: The Purge, Tarzan, The BFG

It is already crowded at the theaters, but this weekend will bring 3 more wide releases and an indie flick expanding its number of theaters. Below you will find a quick overview of the new titles that you will see at your local theaters as well as my prediction for how this weekend will shape up as everyone is swimming to catch up with Dory who this week, just 12 days after release,  became the fastest animated film to reach $300 million and it doesn’t look like much is going to slow her down.

Continue reading Weekend Outlook: The Purge, Tarzan, The BFG

Weekend Outlook – Independence Day, Shallows, Free State of Jones, Neon Demon

It is a very busy weekend at your local multiplex. It’s really one of those weekends that there is something for everyone. However, the battle for box office supremacy this weekend is not going to be much of a battle at all. It would be a huge upset if Finding Dory doesn’t handily take down the alien invaders.

Since its record-breaking, $135 million opening weekend, Finding Dory has continued to impress with its box office performance. Forget about comparing it to all other animated films which it has blown out of the water (no pun intended). Finding Dory‘s performance puts it in the company of films such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World and The Dark Knight. I’m expecting Dory to bring in another $80 million this weekend. So let’s look at the four wide releases that will hit theaters today and find out what you should watch and what your should wait for.

Continue reading Weekend Outlook – Independence Day, Shallows, Free State of Jones, Neon Demon

Weekend Outlook – Finding Dory and Central Intelligence

There is no doubt who will be the queen at this weekend’s box office. The only real question is whether Finding Dory will have the biggest opening ever for an animated film. Last year at Thanksgiving, Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur failed to make a significant impact on the box office, though it has had good numbers through in home mediums. This weekend though, Pixar will look to rebound in a big way with a sequel to one of their most successful films of all time. See this weekend’s offerings and my projections after the jump.

Continue reading Weekend Outlook – Finding Dory and Central Intelligence