Weekend Movie Preview (5.13.11)

After two big opening weekends at the theaters courtesy “Fast Five” and “Thor,” things should cool off a bit this week in preparation for a huge rest of May. “Pirates of the Caribbean” sails into theaters next week and “Kung Fu Panda 2” and “The Hangover Part II” arrive Memorial Day weekend. For some of you, myself included, it’s a good weekend to take a break. For others, it might be harder to stay away given the specificity of the weekend’s offerings. Well-reviewed girls’ ensemble comedy “Bridesmaids” arrives as does the horror action/adventure film “Priest.”

New This Week


Directed by Paul Feig
Written by Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy

Summary: An eternally single woman (Wiig) is asked to plan her best friend’s (Rudolph) bridal festivities, yet she faces some fierce competition from the other bridesmaids as things begin to go wrong.

The Word: You’ve probably heard that this film is being compared to “The Hangover” but for women, especially given that it was produced by Judd Apatow. That poor choice of comparison aside (it sets the bar way too high), the aim here is to create a film targeted to women that doesn’t have to be an awful rom-com. Then again, doesn’t that make it targeted toward men? Either way, both sexes should get something out of “Bridesmaids.”

Rotten Tomatoes: 90% (excellent)

My Thoughts: Wiig seems like one of the best bets for making a female ensemble comedy hilarious, if you should have to bet on any writer/actor in Hollywood. Since premiering at South by Southwest, “Bridesmaids” has gotten great media attention and critical praise, so she must have done something right. Whether or not we have a hit on our hands at this weekend’s box office is a complete other story.

Recommendation: It appears as if there’s a lady-centered comedy that’s an indisputable must-see.


Directed by Scott Charles Stewart
Written by Cory Goodman, Min-Woo Hyung (graphic novel)
Starring: Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Maggie Q, Cam Gigandet

Summary: In a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by ages of warring against vampires, Priest lives in obscurity in a city under control of the church. A former warrior in that war, when his niece is abducted by vampires, he breaks his vows and sets out to find her.

The Word: Visual effects specialist Stewart seems to have really pigeon-holed himself as a director: this will be his second religious-themed post-apocalyptic action film starring Paul Bettany after 2010′s maligned “Legion.” “Priest” looks much more fully realized conceptually, but as a 3-D horror action film coming out a week after “Thor” and a week before “Pirates,” it has an uphill climb.

Rotten Tomatoes: 20% (bad)

My Thoughts: I’m impressed by the stylization of the action and am admittedly a sucker for post-apocalyptic tales, but the story and writing seem awful from the trailers. If I need a mindless way to kill time when this film is on DVD, however, it might be worthwhile. The cast contains several currently underrated talents, which is a plus, but not when they’re wasted on some cracked-out futuristic religious vampire movie.

Recommendation: In a summer with so many promising films coming out, anything with a negative vibe warrants being skipped.

Box Office Predictions

This is a rare summer weekend where nothing new looks to jump out and make bank, which means that even after underperforming last weekend, Thor should still be number one and with $30 million or so.

Beyond that it gets tricky. I’m projecting both newcomers and “Fast Five” to finish in the $15-20 million range. So, how to set them apart? My thought is Bridesmaids will take second. The positive buzz, the boost that it will get from men buying tickets and such should put it very close to $20 million. No romantic comedy has really taken off yet, but “Bridesmaids” could get it done with all the positive word of mouth.

Next I’m going to pick Priest. If Scott Stewart’s last film, “Legion,” with an almost identical plot and identical lead star could make $17 million in January and be awful, “Priest” should find similar success. I’m thinking $18 million. The May spot should help its numbers, but that should be countered by the fatigue for unoriginal storytelling and such. Fast Five will then slip right below it with $15 million, but there’s a chance more people would rather check that out its third weekend than “Priest” and the two could flip-flop.

In fifth, of all the returners I like Something Borrowed. It failed me last week, but like most comedies geared toward African-Americans, “Jumping the Broom” should fall much further and lose out by a hair to the slightly more feminine alternative to “Bridesmaids.”

1. Thor
2. Bridesmaids
3. Priest
4. Fast Five
5. Something Borrowed



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