Weekend Preview (4.23.10)


Earth Day weekend brings us a curious selection of new films, which at the least sets the box office up for another piss-poor weekend. That planned re-release of “Avatar” with extra footage would win the box office this weekend if it came out.

The date movie option of the week is CBS Films’ “The Back-up Plan,” a shorter version of the original title, “Jennifer Lopez’ Back-up Plan.” For action junkies who want something a little more explosives-driven than  “Kick-Ass,” there’s another comic adaptation, this one of DC Vertigo’s “The Losers.” Then for the Animal Planet and Discovery Channel junkies in all of us, there’s Disney Nature’s “Oceans.”

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The Back-up Plan

Directed by Alan Poul
Written by Kate Angelo
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin

The Word: CBS Films will try and jumpstart itself and simultaneously resurrect J.Lo’s film career with this romantic comedy about a woman who wants kids but finds the perfect guy only after she’s been artificially inseminated.

Rotten Tomatoes: 23%

My Thoughts: Considering the romantic comedy offerings out there are plentiful, CBS Films will have a tough go of fighting off the taboo surrounding J.Lo to finally earn some cash after “Extraordinary Measures” tanked back in January. Then there’s the slight obstacle of nothing appearing to be funny at all in this movie. A release of more than 3,200 theaters is a bit over-ambitious too.

Recommendation: Worth dismissin’.


The Losers

Directed by Sylvain White
Written by Peter Berg, James Vanderbilt, Andy Diggle (characters)
Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Idris Elba

The Word: The lesser-known comic book version of “The A-Team” will be a good barometer for future blockbusters. “Hancock” director Peter Berg and future Spider-Man reboot writer James Vanderbilt collaborated on the script for this movie about special-ops pros who look for revenge on the guy who turned on them and left them for dead.

Rotten Tomatoes: 42%

My Thoughts: I was reasonably optimistic that this would be a solid action romp when I assembled my top ten spring movies and at 42% and having read most of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, it appears that “Losers” is another film to walk the fine line between load explosive action stupidity and adrenaline pyromania fun.

Recommendation: Worth renting later.



Directed by Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzuad
Written by lots of French people
Starring: Fish and sea mammals and Pierce Brosnan (narrator)

The Word: Last year Disney nature gave us “Earth” to go with Earth Day. Now they take us into the depths of the waters that dominate our planet’s surface.

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%

My Thoughts: This is the kind of movie my grandparents would’ve wanted to take me to despite me being way too old to still be struck dumb by watching animals. “It’s supposed to be WONderful” my grandma would surely say. “Please, Grandma, don’t guilt me into this, I’m 14.”

Recommendation: Kids who aren’t old enough to see “How to Train Your Dragon” would benefit from being duped into thinking the movie theater is an aquarium for 86 minutes.

Box Office Predictions

This is just an awful weekend for predicting the box office. No newcomer really has the chops to own that number one spot. I see this as being a title battle between “The Losers” and “How to Train Your Dragon.” “Dragon” will have the smallest decline of any film already playing and it was nearly tied for first last weekend. I have to give the edge to “Losers,” however, because of its favorable PG-13 rating. I predict “Losers” will edge “Dragon” $16 million to $15 million.

Vying for third I have another tight battle between “The Back-up Plan” and “Kick-Ass.” Whether J.Lo can get it done is the big factor. Her last romantic comedy of note was “Monster-In-Law” back in 2005. Not exactly a number I can rely on. I will give her the edge, however. I think “Back-up” will bank $10-12 M and “Kick-Ass” closer to $10 M.

In fifth I expect “Date Night” to fair better than “Death at a Funeral” after the two were neck-and-neck last week, even with “Back-up Plan” giving couples a new option.

  1. The Losers
  2. How to Train Your Dragon
  3. The Back-up Plan
  4. Kick-Ass
  5. Date Night


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