Weekend Preview (8.20.10)

And so we’ve reached the summer dumping ground. With schools getting started either earlier this past week or next week, most of the films coming out these next couple weeks will not be particularly worthwhile — for most people.

Five films get wide releases this weekend (the largest of the summer, and that’s not a good thing). One was released on Wednesday — the parody movie “Vampires Suck” from the minds who brought you everything called “____ Movie.” Then there’s the horror film remake “Piranha 3D,” African-American-targeted comedy “Lottery Ticket,” romantic comedy “The Switch” with Jason Bateman and Jennifer Anniston and UK-based family fantasy sequel “Nanny McPhee Returns.”

Now Playing

Vampires Suck (Wed)

Written and directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer
Starring: Jenn Proske, Matt Lanter, Chris Riggi

The Word: Yup, this is another one of those spoof movies. “Vampires Suck” spoofs the readily spoof-able “Twilight Saga,” a little more specific of a focus than “Superhero Movie,” “Epic Movie” or “Disaster Movie.”

Rotten Tomatoes: 6% (horrible)

My Thoughts: These films have never been any good, so why should a timely vampire-focused one be any different?

Recommendation: By now you know if these films are up your alley. If you don’t, you have your warning.

Piranha 3D

Directed by Alexandre Aja
Written by Pete Goldfinger, Josh Stolberg
Starring: Adam Scott, Richard Dreyfuss, Ving Rhames, Elizabeth Shue

The Word: Loosely based on a B-horror classic, these pre-historic chompers wreak havoc on a small town in three dimensions.

Rotten Tomatoes: 83% (great)

My Thoughts: It’s been awhile since movies reminded us that it’s not safe to be in the water. I can’t say that this is revelatory horror cinema, but a good time is not out of the questions. Aja has directed some interesting horror films in “Mirrors” and “The Hill Have Eyes” remake.

Recommendation: Another one of those films that you simply know if you like. Either the title of this film appeals to you or doesn’t.

Nanny McPhee Returns

Directed by Susanna White
Written by Emma Thompson, Christianna Brand (characters)
Starring: Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ewan McGregor

The Word: The wart-nosed nanny returns to American cinemas after a luke-warm reception in the UK. This time, she uses her magic to help a young mother with her children and their spoiled cousins while the father is at war.

Rotten Tomatoes: 76% (very good)

My Thoughts: As far as family-friendly goes, this modern magic incarnation of Mary Poppins has been getting the job done. There’s no question, however, that there’s a reason Nanny McPhee has had a limited appeal in the States.

Recommendation: For the kids.

The Switch

Directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck
Written by Allan Loeb, Jeffrey Eugenides
Starring: Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum

The Word: Jennifer Aniston will try to turn her critical luck around with the help of Jason Bateman. The film follows a trend of baby-based rom-coms: Aniston’s character throws an artificial insemination party only Bateman’s character gets drunk and switches his seed with that of the donor (Patrick Wilson).

Rotten Tomatoes: 52% (mixed)

My Thoughts: Bateman’s involvement holds the only promise for this film. It still might get lost in the August dumping ground anyway, but it’s worth noting.

Recommendation: Probably worth a rental, but if you’re looking for a date movie, it’s a better alternative to “Eat Pray Love.”

Lottery Ticket

Directed by Erik White
Written by Abdul Williams and Erik White
Starring: Bow Wow, Brandon T. Jackson, Naturi Naughton

The Word: He’s not ‘Lil anymore. Bow Wow stars in this comedy about a small community that’s rocked and divided when his character gets a winning lottery ticket.

Rotten Tomatoes: 32% (bad)

My Thoughts: The premise/promise of social commentary makes this comedy an interesting watch.

Recommendation: Clearly targeted at an African-American audience, which hasn’t been catered directly to since May.

Box Office Predictions

The only new film coming to more than 3,000 theaters is the one that came out Wednesday, so that negates any chance of a film doing damage to The Expendables which should earn somewhere between $16 and 18 million.

The trick part is predicting where our 3-D film of the week will end up. The first horror film in 3D was “My Bloody Valentine,” which earned $20 million. Last year at this time, “The Final Destination” was presented in 3D to the tune of $27 million (but was a sequel of course and was released in many more theaters). With some positive reviews and some generally positive clamor, I think Piranha 3D should easily make $15 million. Could be even more and threaten or flat out beat “Expendables.”

Eat Pray Love should finish right behind with around $12 million. It’s still the best offering for women out there right now and hold up fairly well.

This is about where I expect Vampires Suck to land, about $10 million or just shy of it. I think it has the goods to edge out The Other Guys, but I wouldn’t bet much on it. So yes, after five glorious weeks, I suspect “Inception” should finally bow out of the top five and I’m going to take a wild stab that “Nanny McPhee Returns” doesn’t make the cut.

  1. The Expendables
  2. Piranha 3D
  3. Eat Pray Love
  4. Vampires Suck
  5. The Other Guys


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment