Weekend Forecast for June 4-6, 2010

By Reagen Sulewski

June 4, 2010

Wow, those Grey's Anatomy writers are saying terrible things about you on the Internet.

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Hollywood will be thrilled to say goodbye to May and its legion of disappointing films at the box office. Some may be expecting June to be much better. Those individuals may wish to postpone those yacht buying plans if they ride on the success of this weekend’s movies.

Killers comes in with the best pedigree of the four new films, at least in terms of above-the-title talent. It’s a film that dares to ask the question, what would happen if you married a CIA agent and then he had a hit put on him, forcing you to run for your lives (a problem that’s happened to so many of us)? Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl star as that couple in this action-comedy, directed by The Ugly Truth and Legally Blonde’s Robert Luketic.

More than a nominally similar to later-this-month’s Knight and Day, it’s a film with pretty high hopes because of its leads, who are riding pretty strong streaks with their movies' opening weekends (excluding limited releases). Kutcher was a part of the ensemble of Valentine’s Day, which opened to a ridiculous $56 million, and going back a few years, has racked up solid opening weekends for What Happens in Vegas and The Guardian. Heigl, when not sabotaging her own career by badmouthing every project she’s in, has had a few $20 million plus openers in a row.


None of this may matter, though, if the film’s no good. While we don’t have a real way of knowing, as the film has been withheld from reviewers, that’s basically an admission that the film sucks. For a major Hollywood release to go this route is a huge failure, although it doesn’t always mean disaster. See: G.I. Joe last summer, which still pulled a solid opening weekend out of absolutely nothing. Killers doesn’t have an established brand to carry it, though, and the footage we’ve seen is basically just quick cuts of random action shots. There’s no jewel hiding under this crap, but its stars may give it one not-awful weekend of around $19 million.

Awful children’s entertainment is handled this week by Marmaduke, an adaptation of the comic strip. If that sounds like thin sauce to base a movie on, you’re right. To pad out the film to a 90-minute running time, they’ve made it into a dog version of high school and added a bunch of celebrity voices like Owen Wilson and Kiefer Sutherland (who kids will mostly be unfamiliar with, ultimately defeating their purpose). And then there’s the humiliation of William H. Macy, who’s hit repeatedly in the crotch. Why, Bill, why?

Talking and/or dancing dogs happen to sell well, unfortunately. The past two years have seen Hotel For Dogs and Beverly Hills Chihuahua violate the eye sockets of movie goers to the tune of $75 and $95 million respectively. Chihuahua was the greater offender in that regard, with its pyramid of singing and dancing dogs inspiring slack-jawed horror. Marmaduke seems to have twigged on this as being the key aspect of that film and repeating the abuse of CGI for a choreographed production number.

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