Prepare yourself for a very long month where The Dark Knight Rises will more than likely dominate the box office. Christopher Nolan’s final film in his acclaimed trilogy made an estimated $162 million last weekend, and is on track for a $75-$80 million intake for its second go-around. The only other major new release, The Watch, can best be summed up by this image:
No, ladies and gentlemen, that is not a Pokémon being released — though admittedly, that would certainly be a lot more entertaining than what this generic comedy-meets-science fiction romp will be offering us — but is instead an alien device that tries its best to bring cows back to movie relevancy a la the glory days of Twister. In other words, The Watch probably won’t offer you anything new that you haven’t already seen before in any comedy, science fiction, apocalyptic, Jonah Hill/Vince Vaughn/Ben Stiller movie. So why are moviegoers going to flock to this film? Because Jonah Hill is just so likeable and endearing, even when he physically assaults a woman in a department store (see: 21 Jump Street) and thinks silencing his mother means caressing his fingers over her lips (if this sounds as gross as it does, it’s because it is). Oh, it also has Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, and while they may be “So 5 Minutes Ago” as opposed to Jonah Hill’s “Currently Trending” status, plenty of film goers still can’t seem to get enough of these golden guys of comedy (okay, that came off harsher than I meant it to). The film may have a difficult time surpassing the $30 million mark this weekend, as the reviews so far have been predominantly damning. Opening in 3,168 locations, I’m projecting a soft yet not terrible $25 million debut. Richard Ayoade and Rosemarie DeWitt co-star alongside the comedic trio.
Also releasing this weekend is Step Up Revolution, AKA the franchise we never thought would see a second theatrical release after the first film, let alone a fourth (Heck, even the American Pie movies started going the direct-to-video route after awhile). However, seeing as how Channing Tatum is currently at the height of his film career following three $100 million+ hits in 2012, I imagine some Tatum devotees will go out to seek the 4th film in a franchise that began with Mr. Magic Mike himself. Step Up Revolution, releasing in 2,567 theaters, will most likely fall in the $20 million range. In fact, this film may help pay back writer Adam Shankman for the losses he suffered with June’s Rock of Ages.
In limited release, we have Ruby Sparks, IFC’s Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry, and a film I’m dying to see (because of the NC-17 rating and because Gina Gershon is in it)…William Friedkin’s Killer Joe. Joey Magidson found Ruby Sparks to be one of the year’s best, if not the year’s best film so far, so that should be enough of a reason for you all to check it out! As for Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry, it’s one you should be on the lookout for come Oscar time. The documentary, which chronicles the life of famed Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei, managed to pick up the Special Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Finally, Friedkin’s long-awaited (at least to me) Killer Joe is making its first theatrical run this week, with actors who deserve to shine under the guidance of such a brilliant director. Reviews for the crime thriller have been mixed to positive (what else do you expect from an NC-17 film?), and I doubt it’ll reach the NC-17 box office heights of the heavily buzzed Shame or the cult fave Showgirls (the two highest grossing NC-17 films of all time). Still, yours truly cannot wait to check out Friedkin’s latest, and with Gina Gershon in tow (you’ll get your recognition one of these days, Gina), you can bet I’ll be seeking out Killer Joe when it comes to Los Angeles.
That’s all, lovers of film! Which movie will you be checking out this weekend? Please let us know in the comments section, and let’s see some reader box office predictions as well!