Weekend Preview (5.28.10)


If you’re in summer movie denial (which I can never, ever imagine having), it’s Memorial Day weekend, so get out and smell the fresh air! Two potentially big movies along with the earlier May hits will all go after everyone’s money on the holiday weekend, hoping the extra weekend night and day will maximize their profits.

The “Sex and the City” girls are back again this weekend (and a little earlier, coming out today not Friday) after raking in more many than they could possibly ever spend on shoes combined back in 2008. “Sex” will test its luck a second time despite taking some major criticism. For fantasy and action lovers looking for a little swagger that was lost when the “Pirates” trilogy finished, “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” could be your ticket.

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Sex and the City 2 (on Thursday)

Directed by Michael Patrick King
Written by Michael Patrick King, Candace Bushnell (characters), Darren Star (TV show)
Starring: Sarah Jessica-Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis

The Word: This is the epitome of a “you asked for it movie.” Despite bad reviews of the first, that film made around $400 million or so worldwide, so a sequel was a no-brainer. The girls end up going abroad and spending a lot of money in this one.

Rotten Tomatoes: 16% (horrible)

My Thoughts: I don’t have an attachment to this series and with scathing reviews like the ones I’ve read, it’s completely unnecessary for me to pass any further judgement. All I have to say to you is that this film is 2 hours and 27 minutes long. What happens if it’s as bad as they say it is.

Recommendation: Worth ignoring. If you’re a die-hard, just wait for it on DVD. Two and a half hours is a long time for a movie that’s supposed to be awful.


Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Directed by Mike Newell
Written by Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard, Jordan Mechner (video game)
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley

The Word: “Pirates of the Caribbean” creators Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer try and replace the hit franchise with an adaptation of a fairly well-known video game. The story follows Prince Dastan and Tamina, who try and keep a dagger that controls time out of evil hands.

Rotten Tomatoes: 48% (not good)

My Thoughts: Critics are largely split on this one, which usually means a film is entertaining but doesn’t offer much else. I think the visual effects look outstanding and anything at this point would help ease the pain of the terrible “Clash of the Titans” remake.

Recommendation: Worth admission if you like swashbucklers or wouldn’t mind watching shirtless Jake Gyllenhaal jumping around a lot.

Box Office Predictions

This is the first really tough weekend of the competition thus far. Two films with their sights set high will be vying for the top spot, which is usually the case on Memorial Day weekend, plus a family film in its second weekend (on a weekend without school on Monday) coming off a $70 million performance. This is tough. The top three should all finish close to another for a very distributive box office weekend. Kinda weird to predict a Communist outcome on Memorial Day weekend.

I feel far from good about this, but I’m going to pick Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time to eek one out over Sex and the City 2 with the only good reason I can think of being that “Sex” will come up short in its three-day total because it releases today (Thursday), which will cut about $10 million off its total weekend pull. The first film made $57 million in 2008 over a three-day weekend and I expect without that novelty the first time had of no one having seen the fab four in action in years will wear off with this one. Meanwhile, the closest thing to compare “Persia” to is the first “Pirates” movie when no one knew what to expect. That film made $45 million, which is exactly what I think “Persia” will make. “Sex” should land about $40 million.

Shrek 2 did well in a second weekend Memorial Day weekend run in 2004, but there’s no reason to suspect that the Shrek Forever After, the tired fourth film in the series, which fell way short of estimates, will hold up well even with the holiday. Expect the standard 50 percent drop to $35 million. I’m nervous that it could drop just 40 percent and end up between $40-45 million, which is smack between my very shaky estimates for the top two films, however, but you gotta guess something with confidence.

The holiday weekend should be helpful to the other main contenders from the last couple of weeks. Expect Iron Man 2 to earn at least $15 million and Robin Hood to make $10 million.

  1. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  2. Sex and the City 2
  3. Shrek Forever After
  4. Iron Man 2
  5. Robin Hood


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