So last week, I made what I thought was a rather bold prediction that The Avengers might actually beat Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’s opening weekend record with just over $170 million! Gosh, could it really happen? Well, yes…and then some. So with that, let’s get some obvious things out of the way. The film will make $1 billion in its theatrical run. Period. This will also put it in prime position for the top ten highest-grossing films of all time. That’s not a leap of faith. Finally, I’m not going out on a limb in predicting that The Avengers will be the first movie in history to rake in $100 million during its second weekend in theaters. What will be the unfortunate victim of this juggernaut’s second go-round?
Luckily, it’s arguably the most tired actor/director collaboration of modern times returning again to trot out tired macabre “kookiness” as the most banal form of recognizable cinematic branding. Their last work together, Alice in Wonderland, was the absolute worst film I saw in 2010. Of course, it also happened to be a smash hit. Dark Shadows – loosely, loosely, loosely based on the cult gothic fantasy soap opera – stars Depp as Barnabas Collins, a wealthy aristocrat who breaks the heart of a vengeful witch is cursed as a vampire and buried alive. Finally freed in 1972, he sets out to restore honor to the family name. Very little of this is based on the original story beyond a few characters, but hey, a vampire comedy might be refreshing in this age of sparkly vampires in theaters and oft-screwing creatures of the night on HBO. Then again, maybe not, since critics are characterizing the film as a tonally and narratively scattershot mess. I can’t imagine a lot of die-hard fans of the show itching to see this film and families won’t be as eager to see this the way they suffered through flocked to Alice in Wonderland. It’ll be making $25-30 million under the shadow of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
In limited release is Girl in Progress, starring Cierra Ramirez as a teenage girl who decides jump-start her own “coming-of-age” story after studying them in class (do high schools have those in their lesson plans now?) or something. Reviews have been mixed.
We also have Bobcat Goldthwait’s takedown of modern American culture God Bless America, about a depressed man and a disenfranchised teenager who deal with the miseries in their lives by rampaging against the most annoying reality television stars. Some critics call this abrasive dark comedy a real breath of fresh air, while others criticize how didactic and nonsensical it is. Joey himself was rather fond of the film’s sharp observations and forgave its other flaws because of it.
It’s gonna be pretty dry for the next few weeks while The Avengers looms large over the Cineplex. Will you be seeing it again?
Tags: Bobcat Goldthwait, Dark Shadows, Girl in Progress, God Bless America, Johnny Depp, the avengers, Tim Burton, Weekend Openings