Weekend Movie Preview (4.6.12)

After Easter weekend here, expect the box office to cool off with some April showers. Until then, however, it’s a weekend for nostalgists with “American Reunion” bringing “the gang” back together nearly 10 years later and “Titanic” sailing back into theaters 15 years later in 3D.

Now in Theaters

American Reunion

Directed by Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Written by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, Adam Herz (characters)
Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott

Summary: Nearly 10 years after “American Wedding,” the gang that changed the face of comedy reunites and just in time for their high school reunion.

The Word: As with a number of major franchises in the early 2000s (“Scream” comes to mind), the “American Pie” series has decided to make a comeback nine years later, or at least set aside the straight-to-DVD college party movies for the moment. The whole gang returns, but will their drawing power be anywhere near where it was? Only Hannigan has maintained a successful career over the entirety of that span thanks to CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.” Universal has handed the keys over to the duo behind the “Harold & Kumar” movies in hopes of a memorable reunion special.

Rotten Tomatoes: 49% (mixed)

My Thoughts: Although I think Hurwitz and Schlossberg are the best choices for making the most of this exclamation point on what’s certainly a generation-defining comedy, I’ve my doubts about this series rediscovering any of its former glory, and I’ve been less than impressed with the TV spots.



Titanic 3D

Written and Directed by James Cameron
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane

Summary: A wealthy young woman meets and falls for a zesty yet poor young man aboard the ill-fated maiden voyage of the Titanic.

The Word: The ever-scrupulous writer/director James Cameron has outfitted this 11-time Oscar winning Best Picture for 3D, certainly a first for this genre. The former highest-grossing film of all time won’t be able to catch “Avatar,” but should increase its all-time total nicely.

Rotten Tomatoes: 87% (great)

My Thoughts: If someone can post-convert a film effectively, it has to be Cameron. I don’t think that I could personally sit through a film more than three hours long wearing those damn glasses, but if a chance to taste one of film’s greatest love stories again on the big screen has you tickled, well then by all means.



Box Office Predictions

Well, it’s going to be tight this weekend for the two newcomers and our returning champ. Think of it as an intense game of box-office jeopardy. Historically speaking, 3D rereleases have done well and long-delayed fourth installments have struggled. So I’ll play it safe and take The Hunger Games for a third week. It should stay strong with Easter weekend and make $30 million.

It will be very close with Titanic 3D and American Reunion. The rerelease had a strong Wednesday opening and has good buzz, so I think it will near $30 million. The reunion special should do better than Universal estimates, but I think it’ll earn closer to $25 million. Honestly, these three could finish in any order.

Rounding out the top five, Wrath of the Titans should make another $15 million, while Mirror, Mirror should earn about $10 million.

1. The Hunger Games
2. Titanic 3D
3. American Reunion
4. Wrath of the Titans
5. Mirror, Mirror


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