Weekend Forecast for February 11-13, 2011
By Reagen Sulewski
February 11, 2011
The floodgates open this pre-Valentine's Day weekend at the box office, with four new films and a whole bunch of star power finding its way to multiplexes. Quality might be an issue, but, you know, baby steps as far as getting films in the theater that people actually want to see.
Although Valentine's Day is on a Monday this year, there's traditionally some spillover of romantic movie watching into the nearest weekend, which is why we're led off by a romcom on Friday. Just Go With It is Adam Sandler's latest, and seems to be titled as a metaphor for Sandler's career (alternate titles: You Deserve This and Whaddya Gonna Do, Read A Book?). In it, Sandler plays a plastic surgeon who uses the fake wedding ring gambit as a way to meet women, and then is forced to keep up the facade when he meets a woman (Brooklyn Decker's Boobs) he actually wants to have a relationship with. What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to be a douchebag.
The ready-made option for a fake ex-wife is his assistant, played by Jennifer Aniston (and you're ignoring her... why, exactly?) and her two kids (oh). All sorts of wacky sitcomish situations arise out of Sandler's inability to just fess up to Decker's Boobs – though really, think this one through. This ends well for him... how? But because this is Hollywood and Sandler's wish fulfillment, there's no way this ends without a horribly contrived “everything's coming up Milhouse” scenario.
Sandler has twice before gone for the romantic route on Valentine's Day, both times finding a lot of success. The Wedding Singer was the film that launched him from college dorm room cult figure status into the mainstream with $80 million in total. 50 First Dates surpassed that with around $120 million, although that falls towards the lower end of Sandler's hits, and with ticket inflation, the two films are pretty close to equal. Sandler's hit on a canny way to take Just Go With It to the next level however, and that's Brooklyn Decker's Boobs.
It's hard to argue that the former swimsuit model isn't the most attractive romantic object of desire in any Sandler movie to date, and having Decker's Boobs emerge from the Hawaiian surf like a modern-day Bo Derek is a masterstroke as far as the film's marketing. Targeting people who like juvenile comedy and boobs? Genius!
Sandler has shown a remarkable resilience over the years when playing to mass audiences – even things like You Don't Mess With the Zohan have hit despite their readily apparent mediocrity. And with the addition of Aniston and Decker's Boobs to keep things fresh for his core fans, Just Go With It should get a slight uptick from his recent film openings to around $45 million.
This week's wildcard release is Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, a 3D concert film about the inexplicably popular Canadian (a fact about which I will not apologize – Americans can stop making him a big deal at any time) haircut/singer. Can millions of screaming teenage fans be wrong? Absolutely. But they'll buy tickets anyway.