Thursday, May 10, 2012

In Theaters This Weekend: May 11, 2012


In theaters this weekend, we're only met with one wide-release, but a couple other films are also premiering if you happen to be in the right areas. Regardless, it seems obvious that the reason we have such a weak lineup this weekend is that most films backed away from this position, knowing they'd be competing with "The Avengers" in its second weekend.

Overall, films you have a shot at seeing brand new this weekend are "Dark Shadows" - our one wide release, "Girl in Progress", and "God Bless America". All offer something different, so if you've already seen "The Avengers" three or four times and just aren't feeling it for a fifth, check out after the break for a rundown on these films and what you might expect from each.

Our one wide-release this weekend is "Dark Shadows". The film is directed by Tim Burton and stars two former Top 5'ers, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Also in the film are Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, and Chloƫ Grace Moretz. If you're unfamiliar with the source material, this is Burton's film adaptation of the popular American soap-opera from the late 1960's of the same name. At this point, I'm really unsure what to think of this film. When I first heard about it and started seeing some set photos, I was completely indifferent towards the idea. The makeup looked silly and I just didn't care much about a soap-opera adaptation. But then the first trailer hit and I fell in love (or maybe just infatuated?). The film was full of so much more fun than I expected, and early analysts were comparing the dark humor tone to that of an earlier Burton film, "Beetlejuice". But it's been almost two months now since that first trailer hit, and in that time, I've slowly started to fade back into my unenthused mindset for this film - or maybe it's just that "The Avengers" rocked so hard and I can't shake it right now! In this time, more and more footage has been released for the film, the humor continues to look less and less impressive. Reviews were officially allowed to break as of yesterday, so in this short time and with minimal entries, the film is sitting at a 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. Not terrible, but not great either. All of this of course hasn't helped its cause in my opinion. I'm tempted to say that I need to move past these qualms and check this one out though, because the caliber of filmmakers involved with this film is quite high. But then again, this same duo worked on films like "Alice in Wonderland" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", two films that I'm not particularly fond of. But depending on your opinions of this pair, your nostalgic ties to the original television series, you attractions to this brand of humor, this might be a successful film for you. I'm thinking I will probably head to the theater at some point this weekend just to see what the deal is with this film; but I'm also afraid that when I get to the ticket window I'll panic and instead by another ticket for Round 3 of "The Avengers"...

Plus, regardless, kudos to this film and its production company for sweeping-in and snatching up this slot this weekend, even knowing "The Avengers" will probably steal most of its thunder. That's the negative side of it, but transversely, you have no real competition from any other new releases, and you have to imagine that with its record-breaking numbers last weekend, there should be a good batch of people ready for something new this weekend. So we'll see how it works out.

The next "biggest" film this weekend is "Girl in Progress", which will be opening in roughly 300 theaters. The film stars Eva Mendez as a single mom dealing with the same issues we've seen before from these types of films - work, children, love-life, bills, etc. As you would expect to be the case, she is completely overwhelmed with everything in her life, and unsure of how she'll ever be able to go on. But then she crosses paths with a book that changes everything. She's inspired by its message and it sets forth a plan of attack designed to change her life and help her to finally grow up. A classic coming-of-age tale if there ever was one! No thanks. Personally, I think Eva Mendez is an amazingly attractive woman, but offers little in the acting department from what I've seen her in. I think this will be an enjoyable - albeit generic - film for many women appreciative of this type of female character in film, but since it's about issues that I will never relate to myself - and the fact that it's sitting at solid 33% on Rotten Tomatoes right now... - it makes it a certainty that I will not be checking this one out this weekend, nor probably ever.

The last film I decided to throw up here is Bobcat Goldthwait's "God Bless America". Though Goldthwait quickly disappeared as a comedian in the late-90's, he's actually made a respectable name for himself behind the camera in the last decade or so. His previous directorial efforts, including "Sleeping Dogs Lie" and "World's Greatest Dad", have both been critical successes, although financially not so much. But that hasn't stopped this comedian from continuing to turn out films that push comedic boundaries and also provide strong messages he desires to express. Currently, this film ranks at a solid 69% with critics, though again, I don't imagine financially this film will do much for him. His films are definitely niche, but if you appreciate of crude and perverse humor, this film might be worth checking out. It only opens in a handful of cities this weekend though, so your chances of seeing tit seem pretty slim. Nonetheless, it looks like another good effort from this filmmaker and one that deserves some bit of attention.

Box Office-wise, I have no idea what we're looking at this weekend. The big question is what will "The Avengers" do? It's been following pretty similar patterns as 2008's "The Dark Knight", so I'd guess we can probably expect similar results this weekend as well. In its second weekend it did just over $75MM, which seems like a good starting point for "The Avengers" this weekend. That figure would give it about a 40% drop from opening weekend, which seems a little low, I'm just not sure how many people are left to see this movie after the numbers it put up last weekend... I'll say it should top $85MM this weekend, but probably not much more. As for the new releases, I really don't know how the general public feels about "Dark Shadows" right now. Even with the massive hit, "The Avengers", this weekend, it still wouldn't completely surprise me to see this film put up $25MM-$30MM. But then again, if it does less than that I won't be incredibly surprised either. Overall, $25MM seems reasonable. And the other films are such small releases that I can't imagine they'll even crack the top 20 at the box office this weekend.

Anyway, that's what we're looking at this weekend. Boiling it down, are you heading back for a follow-up appointment with "The Avengers" or will you be checking out Tim Burton's latest, "Dark Shadows"?