Thursday, September 6, 2012

In Theaters This Weekend: September 7, 2012


As we push ahead with the fall movie season, we turn our attentions to two more wide releases this weekend, along with one other starting its limited run. The films most of us should get a chance to see are "The Words" and "The Cold Light of Day". Otherwise, "Bachelorette" starts its theater run this weekend, but only in a handful of theaters.

All offer something pretty different this weekend, but hit the jump for details on each, and whether on not any of these seem like a safe bet for your hard-earned money.

Plus, as usual, I'll take a stab at what we might be able to expect from the box office grosses this weekend. Are we looking at another down week?

We'll start off with "The Words". The film stars Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Dennis Quaid, Jeremy Irons, and plenty of notable others. Cooper takes on the lead role, which revolves around a struggling young writer trying to make a name for himself. He eventually does publish a book which instantly catapults him to the top of the literary world. The only problem here - he stole the story from another writer (are we sure this isn't just a different universe where this is how "Limitless" plays out?). So amongst the fame and romance, he also has to deal with the price one must pay for stealing another man's work.

I'll say that the cast and crew behind this one at least have me interested. The two men directing the film, Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, haven't directed anything in the past, but did last collaborate together in writing the screenplay for "Tron: Legacy" (think of that what you will). But the actors involved are all top-notch, and I generally enjoy seeing most all of these people work. I'm hoping there's much more conspiracy to this story than romance, but we'll have to see. Reviews have been pretty rough for the film so far, with most saying that the various layers to this film hold no substance. This affects my decisions on whether or not to see this film in theaters quite a bit (I was already looking at this as more of a rental anyway), but nonetheless, there isn't much else happening this weekend that seems any better. I might go to the theater and check this one out, but it won't take much laziness - we are slackers, remember - for me to decide not to see this one. I don't imagine this will be as bad as the reviews seem so far, but I don't expect there's a lot here to truly enjoy, either. Head to the theater with caution.

The other film releasing wide this weekend doesn't appear to be providing any more promising solutions either. "The Cold Light of Day" hits theaters tomorrow, and cast-wise, it seems like a great ensemble for an action team-up film. That being said, it seems like the perfect cast for a really cheesy (in a bad way) action team-up film, too. Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver, and Henry Cavill headline the cast for a film revolving around a young Wall Street trader (Cavill) whose family gets abducted, and he quickly gets caught up in a huge conflict with intelligence agents looking to recover a briefcase that might have fallen into this man's possession. I know that action films don't really need much plot, but I hear that, and it just sounds terrible. Maybe all action plots sound terrible on paper, but already, I'm disinterested. I like both Willis and Weaver here, and am always willing to check out a film they're involved in; and I'm definitely interested to check out young Cavill's action chops as well, as he'll next hit screens as Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel".

This film has reviewed with critics even worse than the previously mentioned film, off to a whopping 8% on Rotten Tomatoes so far. Critics are all saying the same things, that this movie tries to be a great spy/action movie, but comes up short in almost every department. I'd hope for more, but didn't expect much. This seemed like a rental to me from the start, and there's definitely nothing here for me to think otherwise. I'd say if you're a die-hard Superman fan, it might be worth going to get a glimpse at the next man to don the red cape, but at the same time, if he's terrible in the film (no indications one way or the other from what I've read so far), it might be more discouraging than anything.

The final film I'll talk about is "Bachelorette", which opens in very select theaters this weekend. In all honesty, of the three films, this seems like it will provide the best experience, even if it's not a very great one. Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, and Rebel Wilson headline the cast here, which basically looks to take the dirty humor of "Bridesmaids" and push it up a notch. From what I've seen in the previews, these are just bad people, being vulgar and mean. I know there's comedy to that, and in all reality, I have interests in seeing this film eventually. We've just already seen this done with "Bridesmaids", and I feel like they pushed it about as far as you can to make it both funny and still genuine. This doesn't seem nearly as funny to me. I'm sure there will be plenty of laughs, but I'm curious to see just how effective this film will be.

I really like Lizzy Caplan, and that should at least negate the disinterested feelings I have towards Dunst. Reviews have been mixed so far, but generally on the positive side. They all say about the same things I feel myself, it really just depends on your opinions of such - gross, foul-mouthed, snarky girls, doing terrible things and acting stupid, but ultimately lacking in any real heart. If you think that's humorous (like about half of the critics out there), then you'll probably enjoy this. If you're with me and the other half of the critics, then you're probably not in much of a rush to check this one out.

I think there will be some funny scenes; and this will surely be better than a lot of other films that release on Blu-Ray the same week as this, so I have do doubts I'll check this out then. It won't be releasing in theaters near me this weekend, but if it were, I still might take a pass. My affinity for beautiful women might end up swaying me, but who knows. Odds are, all of us will be waiting a few weeks before this is even an option anyway.

That's about it for the new releases this weekend though. As for what we might expect from box office tallies, it appears that we're going to stay firmly in our slump. Last weekend saw "The Possession" hit $17MM and "Lawless" hit $10MM. Even with incredible holds, I can't imagine either of those staying about the $10MM mark (it isn't even a question for "Lawless"). "The Possession" could with 35%-40% keep rates, but historically, horror films do not hold up very well into their second weekend. I expect 55% is more likely, which would result in something right around $8MM. As for the new releases, "The Words" is really the only film that should move the meter at all. I can't expect anything big from this, probably hitting somewhere around what "The Possession" will put up. $7MM-$9MM seems reasonable here, even though it feels really awkward assuming no film surpasses the $10MM mark this week; I think for the first time all year that just might be the case though. "Bachelorette" won't even be a blip with its small theater count (even if its per-theater averages are strong), and much as was the case with me even just one week ago, I imagine most won't even have heard about "The Cold Light of Day" to decide if they want to see it or not. I expect this gets passed over mightily and probably only rakes in $2MM-$4MM.

That's what we're looking at this weekend. For the first time I think ever with this post, I think I might be recommending to generally avoid the theater altogether this weekend - that is, if you're only interested in a new release. If you're trying to catch up with something still hanging around, there are still a handful of things to choose between (I highly recommend "Lawless" if you didn't give it a chance last week). Otherwise, it doesn't seem incredibly promising for any of the titles above.

So that being said, which film(s) will you be checking out this weekend?