Weekend Forecast for August 20-22, 2010
By Reagen Sulewski
August 20, 2010
With it being their last chance to get films two full weekends in before Labor Day, Hollywood rummages around in its closet to release whatever it had left over from the movies you actually wanted to see this summer. Hey, if they can't release quality films, they may as well release a lot of whatever they can come up with.
One of the five films new to wide release got a jump on the weekend with a Wednesday release. Vampires Suck, the latest Friedberg/Saltzer atrocity, arrived in the middle of the week to almost literally zero acclaim, holding a coveted spot at 0% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes until after its release date when one lone reviewer stuck up for it (surprisingly, it wasn't professional contrarian Armond White).
A paint-by-numbers parody of Twilight, Vampires Suck's lazy approach to comedy does the seemingly impossible – making one feel sorry for Stephenie Meyer for having her work treated in such a way. If you've seen the directors' other works, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans, Disaster Movie and Date Movie... well, your brain is probably a non-functioning pile of goo, so you can't read this column. Look up at the pretty pictures! But if you've seen less than all of those movies, you know what to expect and can still be saved.
Tragically, the film claimed several hundred thousand unsuspecting victims and looki-loos on Wednesday, as it opened to $4 million, almost beating the first weekend total of Disaster Movie. While that film's failure gave us hope that this pair were dead and gone for good, they've clearly learned from that and are now just making the most obvious jokes possible about only one movie, instead of just throwing every trailer they saw in the last six month in a blender. Picking on the most prominent current sensation in film surely doesn't hurt, as there's surely a large group of people eager to see Twilight get the piss taken out of it. But – not like this, not like this. Opening at over 3,200 venues, Vampires Suck should find its way to about $15 million this weekend.
For something a little more intellectually challenging, perhaps turn to Nanny McPhee Returns. Emma Thompson returns as the eponymous anti-Poppins charged with taking care of a group of unruly and spoiled children in rural wartime Britain (sending them to work in the coal mines apparently having been ruled out. Stupid child labor laws). The buck-toothed and warted one accomplishes this mostly by the use of flying cars and elaborate Busby Berkeley style production numbers involving pigs. You know, I never thought of LSD as a babysitter before, but it just might work.
Disappointingly retitled from its UK release (where it debuted as Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, which is probably already in production from Vivid Video), it follows the 2005 film in this series, which opened to a little over $14 million. It's tough to imagine this budging much from this mark in either direction, as the target market remains firmly in the 12-and-under demographic, and the character remembered fondly but also seeming a bit quaint. Look for around $13 million.