Daily Archives: April 23, 2010
Kick-Ass was the #1 film by a nose this past weekend, but will it have enough stamina to be the #1 film for the 2nd weekend in a row? Two films hope to stop that from happening. Jennifer Lopez stars in The Back-Up Plan for women, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan stars in The Losers for the guys in a battle-of-the-sexes box office battle. Here’s how I see the weekend breaking down:
Jennifer Lopez returns to the big screen with her first major studio film in almost five years with The Back-Up Plan, but the question is can Jennifer Lopez still open a film? Five years is a long time to be away from mainstream movies. Also worth noting is that Jennifer Lopez has never been in a film that has grossed $100 million, so she’s not the most bankable star to begin with. A comparable film to The Back-Up Plan is the Julia Roberts//Clive Owen comedy Duplicity as Roberts had not been the lead in a mainstream film for five years as well (she was in 2007’s Charlie Wilson’s War as a supporting actress, and her other work was either voice work in animated films or small supporting roles). Duplicity only opened with $13.9 million and I’m only expecting The Back-Up Plan to do slightly better. Reviews have been terrible with Rotten Tomatoes currently listing the film at 17% positive. The trailer does appeal to women, and Lopez has been doing the press circuit to promote the film, so awareness is high. Opening in 3,280 theatres, I’m predicting The Back-Up Plan to finish in 1st place with a gross of $16 million.
The other new release of the weekend is the action film The Losers starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, and Idris Elba. The film is based on the Vertigo comic and follows a group of black-ops who are left for dead by a rogue CIA agent. The group decides they want payback and go on a search to take down the CIA and the agent that framed them. In my opinion, The Losers has two things going against it: 1) It’s opening the weekend after Kick-Ass which was another “R” rated action flick based on a comic, so people might not be in the frame of mind to watch another film in the same genre. 2) I don’t believe the cast is an easy sell, as I doubt that most people could name a film each actor has been in. They are talented, and I like the actors work, but they are not box office draws. Reviews have been mixed, with Rotten Tomatoes giving the film a 43% positive rating. Kick-Ass didn’t light the box office on fire, and I don’t see The Losers doing any better this weekend. In fact, I see it doing worse. Opening in 2,936 theatres, I’m predicting The Losers will gross $12 million and finish in 3rd place.
With The Back-Up Plan and The Losers making the top five this weekend, I’m predicting that Clash of the Titans and Death at a Funeral will be knocked out of the top five. I’m expecting a very tight battle at the box office this weekend, as I’m predicting that only $10 million will separate 1st place from 7th place. Here’s how I see the rest of the top five rounding out:
How to Train Your Dragon continues to impress and was almost the #1 film for a 2nd time last weekend. I’m predicting yet another small drop for the film, as it is the only animated film in town. Dropping 25%, How to Train Your Dragon will be the #2 film for the 2nd weekend in a row with a gross of $14.7 million.
Date Night has continued to play well as it has been holding up nicely during the week. Audiences want to see Steve Carell and Tina Fey in a comedy, and that is why people continue to see it. It had a very strong hold last weekend, but I have my doubts if it can have another low drop this weekend (just a gut feeling to be honest). I’m predicting a drop of 42%, giving Date Night a 4th place finish and a gross of $9.68 million.
Kick-Ass was hoping to have a stronger opening weekend as it barely squeezed out being the #1 film. It will be dethroned this weekend, and it’s going to have to split its audience with The Losers. What is good news for Kick-Ass is that it is getting much better reviews than The Losers so that might benefit it, but we’ll see. I’m predicting a drop of 56% for a gross of $8.7 million, making Kick-Ass the #5 film.
Clash of the Titans and Death at a Funeral will also be in the hunt for 5th place, but I think they will fall just short. I’m predicting that Clash of the Titans will edge Death at a Funeral for 6th place at the box office, as Clash of the Titans will drop 55% for a gross of $6.88 million and Death at a Funeral will drop 59% for a gross of $6.64 million.
Opening in limited release, we have the following films:
Oceans is the 2nd film from Disney Nature, and unlike their first film Earth, this film is an original film that takes viewers on a journey throughout the oceans of the world. Oceans opened yesterday in celebration of Earth Day, but it should not have a major impact at the box office. It’s hard to compare Oceans with Earth because Earth was released on 1,804 theatres last year and had an opening weekend gross of $8.8 million and finished in 5th place. Oceans is only being released in 1,206 theatres, so I expect a smaller opening weekend gross, and for it to be just outside the top five with a gross of $5.8 million. Reviews have been excellent, as Rotten Tomatoes lists the film at 78%.
Boogie Woogie is a comedy about manners set in London’s art scene. The film stars Gillian Anderson and Alan Cummings. It is being released in 1 theatre and has a 20% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
The Good, The Bad, The Weird is a Korean western inspired by the legendary Sergio Leone’s films. It is being released in 1 theatre and has an 89% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Paper Man is a comedy-drama that stars Jeff Daniels, Emma Stone, Lisa Kudrow and Ryan Reynolds in the story of a writer who has never grown-up and prefers to be with his imaginary friends, like Captain Excellent. It is does not have an official theatre count and has a 33% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
1) The Back-Up Plan – $16 million
2) How To Train Your Dragon – $14.7 million
3) The Losers – $12 million
4) Date Night – $9.68 million
5) Kick-Ass - $8.7 million
Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!
Russell Gets Another Idol – From The OTHER Tribe! JT Rolls The Dice On A Dicey Strategy To Break the Mythical All-Girl Alliance In Pdawg’s Survivor 20 Recap
Episode Nine of Survivor 20 will certainly go down as one of the most memorable and astonishing in the show’s history. From a statistical perspective, Amanda participated in her 100th day in the game to lead all players (Parvati is right behind and will hit the 100 day mark in the next episode). But the real shocker took place right after the Immunity Challenge with one tribe secretly handing the most dangerous player in the game a hidden immunity idol.
Episode nine started off with the down-on-their-luck Villains decompressing after their elimination of Coach at the last Tribal Council. Jerri is shocked at Coach’s departure and realized she is likely on her own with the members of her alliance all out of the game. Danielle and Russell assure Jerri that she is safe for the time being with Sandra and Courtney next in line to join the jury.
It’s already time for the Reward Challenge, but not before the tribes are asked to rank the five participants for the challenge from weakest to strongest. There’s some strategy here because you have to try and match-up with the other tribe without knowing how they will rank their own players. Should be interesting.
The challenge is a touch physical test where players compete head-to-head by using their arms to brace themselves between two walls, while their feet are perched on very narrow footholds. Every ten minutes, the castaways will move to smaller footholds. When they arrive at the challenge and see Coach has gone home the Heroes are convinced there is an all-female Villains alliance and Russell is next on the chopping block.
Russell sits out the challenge and the Villain women do surprisingly well and easily beat the Heroes. Jerri defeats Colby, Sandra trash-talks and defeats Rupert, and Courtney outlasts Amanda for the sweep. JT tells Russell to “hang in there” which puts a smirk on Russell’s face.
For Reward, the Villains win an Outback Steakhouse feast with all the trimming (no blooming onion?). While on Reward, Parvati discovers a scroll hidden in her napkin. She hides it and later discovers she has a clue to a hidden Immunity Idol. She shares the news with Danielle and they decide to keep things quiet from Russell and the others for the time being. When they get back to camp, Parvati and Danielle search for the Idol and find it with Russell lurking in the bushes.
Back at the Heroes camp, JT devises a plan to give Russell the Heroes’ Immunity Idol at the next challenge so that Russell can protect himself and blindside one of the girls in the process should the Villains lose the challenge. Somehow JT manages to convince the rest of the Heroes that this is a good idea – I can’t believe they all went a long with this strategy – and he drafts a letter to wrap the Idol in so that Russell understands their intentions.
The Immunity Challenge has one tribe member at a time from each team moving a bag of puzzle pieces along a rope obstacle course. Once all the bags are across the course, the tribe will need to put the puzzle together.
The Heroes take a slight lead and then once pathetic Courtney is on the course for the Villains, the Heroes pull away. This gives Colby the opportunity to tell Russell about their plan. “When the challenge is over, go to JT. He has something for you,” Colby informs Russell. The Heroes go on to easily win Immunity and Russell makes his way to JT who slips him the package while they exchange hugs. Russell has ANOTHER Immunity Idol.
The next segment of the show was hilarious as Russell himself couldn’t believe that the Heroes had given him the Idol. “You don’t hand the enemy the idol, especially when his name is Russell Hantz,” says Russell. Russell shares the news with Parvati and the two of them have a good laugh while reading JT’s note.
With Tribal Council on the horizon, Courtney and Sandra make a last gasp effort to try and stay in the game. Courtney tries to cozy up with Parvati and Sandra…well she’s Sandra. Things go as expected at Tribal Council and Courtney, the self-proclaimed ‘skinny chic’, is eliminated and becomes the second member of the jury.
Speaking of the jury, what was up with Coach and his Japanese Kimono/bath robe accented by a long feather necklace? He’s kind of like the Keith Richards of Survivor as Keith’s been known to wear feathers and coins in his hair and don some interesting attire. In fact, it looked like Courtney was laughing at Coach, who was sitting Buddha style, as her torch was snuffed-out.
Side note: Why didn’t Parvati take the opportunity this week to get rid of Russell? As soon as he showed her the Idol she should have rallied the girls to get rid of him. That was a huge opportunity as Russell’s trust-level for her was at an all-time high. It truly looks like Russell has the female Villains mesmerized by his abilities to manipulate and manage the game. Maybe they’re just keeping him around as the ‘ultimate bad guy’ that nobody will give the money to.
It looks like we get the merger next week, which will make things really interesting. How long can Russell keep the Heroes thinking that there’s this all-girl alliance? Will Sandra be able to connect with anyone on the Heroes side and make things difficult for Russell, Parvati and Danielle? Will JT and Russell connect and form a new alliance?
The Scribe Has Spoken…