The dark, moody Prisoners (3,260 theatres) will be riding strong reviews to open around the $20 million mark. The "emotionally whipsawing kidnapped-child thriller with an unusually strong moral resonance," as described by our critic Chris Barsanti, is earning strong notices from critics: It's currently tracking 79% positive on Rotten Tomatoes. Those encouraging reviews will be especially important for the adult-oriented thriller, which may have trouble attracting audiences because of its dark subject matter.
Joining a line of ebullient dance movies like the Step Up series, Battle of the Year (2,008 theatres) may suffer because interest in the genre has been trending downward. Screen Gems has a target of $8-10 million for the feature, which centers on the b-boy style of street dancing. Still, there's a loose cannon element to the movie--I could see it being a surprise overperformer if, for example, a good portion of co-star Chris Brown's 13 million Twitter followers turn out.
The Wizard of Oz will re-release in 3D and IMAX this weekend, in 318 theatres. That's a 50% larger release than two previous 3D reissues of classics: Raiders of the Lost Ark and Top Gun. Neither of those two opened above $2 million, but The Wizard of Oz could do better. It's a family movie in a market that hasn't had a fresh offering in a while, and it's pleasantly old-fashioned--when was the last time a kids' movie wasn't animated? Our critic Kevin Lally considers the beloved fantasy mandatory viewing for kids. "Any parent who hasn’t yet introduced their child to this essential
movie classic, shame on you. But now’s your chance to make amends
with a big-screen reboot that should send everyone home humming 'Over the Rainbow.'"
The Kids Are All Right was a breakout hit, but writer Stuart Blumberg's next work (and directorial debut) about a sex addict group, Thanks for Sharing (269 theatres), isn't getting nearly as positive reviews--just about half are in favor. Still, our David Noh was one of those in the thumbs-up camp. Although some of the setups are "too pat...sharp
writing and strong performances handily
override your reservations." The strong ensemble cast includes Mark
Ruffalo, Josh Gad, Tim Robbins, and Gwyneth Paltrow, all of whom Noh
calls out in his review.
One of James Gandolfini's final performances can be found in Enough Said (4 theatres),
which opened on Wednesday. Gandolfini plays Julia Louis-Dreyfus' object
of affection in this well-observed romantic comedy from indie director
Nicole Holofcener, which will likely please fans of her work.
Opening on just 5 screens, Rush begins a platform release intended to stoke the buzz the racecar drama received at the Toronto Film Festival. Males over 25 are showing the most interest in the tale of rivalry, which "goes at record-setting speeds," and earns director Ron Howard the approval of our critic Harry Haun. He lauds the child star-turned-director for "providing a ferociously exciting backdrop for the real-life rivalry of two Olympian gods in Formula One sports cars." The target here will be the first weekends of features like The Master and The Fighter, which opened to astonishing $150,000 and $75,000 per-screen averages, respectively, that kick-started their Oscar campaigns.
This is my last day here at Film Journal International, but check back for updates as the blog passes its reins.