Thursday, January 23, 2014

‘Ride Along’ to run over ‘I, Frankenstein’

Last weekend’s top earner, Ride Along, is once again expected to finish first in this coming weekend’s box-office race. I, Frankenstein is the only new major release bowing today, accompanied by expectations that are very, very low. As of this morning the film had a 0% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with most critics panning the incredibly loose adaptation of the Mary Shelley story for its bland premise and script. Frankenstein’s marketing has been trying to draw connections between the Aaron Eckhart vehicle and the popular Kate Beckinsale series Underworld, a franchise whose four films have all opened to over $20 million. But the comparison does not work in Frankenstein’s favor – savvy fans will likely call the movie’s blend of action and fantasy “rehashed” as opposed to “re-enlivened.” I, Frankenstein is currently tracking in the $10 million range (though some pundits are predicting returns as high as $15 million), whereas Ride Along is in a position to rake in another $20 million.

With a much smaller release (384 theatres to I, Frankenstein’s 2,753), the Vanessa Hudgens movie Gimme Shelter also opens today, via Roadside Attractions. Another film that has failed to find favor with critics (at least with those who diligently post their reviews to Rotten Tomatoes), Shelter, like Frankenstein, has been roundly panned. Although Hudgens does have her fan base, her younger supporters will not, in all likelihood, be turning out in droves for a teenage-pregnancy feature. Gimme Shelter is poised to rake in less than $1 million.

Beginning today, Oscar enthusiasts in more remote regions of the country will have their chance to view two more awards contenders: Nebraska and Dallas Buyers Club are both expanding. The former will screen in 986 locations, while Club, whose lead actor, Matthew McConaughey, is nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award, will play in 1,110 theatres.

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