Weekend Forecast for December 16-18, 2011
By Reagen Sulewski
December 16, 2011
Look, would you people just see a movie already? Are you going to make Hollywood beg? Okay, okay. Here is Hollywood just begging you to pleeeeeease see a movie this weekend. There's a bunch of Benzes that are going to get repossessed!
At least they're meeting us halfway, with two and a half franchises populating the weekend, along with the expansion of an Oscar contender. After last weekend, one of the worst performing in recent memory, the box office is going to need it. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows leads the way, two years after giving Robert Downey Jr. his second successful franchise, and who'd have thought those words would make sense five years ago? Anyway, we now have the titular detective on the hunt of his more infamous enemy, Professor Moriarty (played here in a genius bit of casting by Jared Harris of Mad Men) throughout the European continent as he apparently threatens to throw it into anarchy. Also returning in the cast are Jude Law as Watson and Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler, though the female lead mostly gets tossed to Noomi Rapace, making her English-language debut.
Although it was fairly stylized for a detective movie, the first Sherlock Holmes was actually relatively reserved for a Guy Ritchie film. With the sequel, it's apparently time for the cry of “UNLEASH THE RITCHIE” and we've got more time effects, more 'splosions and overall more style per square inch than half a dozen other action films. This may or may not be your preference, but it certainly gets the film noticed. I don't see a ton of enthusiasm for this film, however. The first film was an… all right blockbuster, but it had its moments of tediousness. A lot of this is going to depend on how you feel about Downey's slightly unhinged portrayal of Holmes, for which he's attempting to craft it into his own Captain Jack Sparrow. As this summer showed, there's a pretty big appetite for zany leading characters in any context, so it's not a terrible strategy for Downey and the film. Unfortunately, I don't think this Holmes film has done enough to distinguish itself from the first one, and combining that with soft reviews, it's going to be a tough slog for the film to match the $62 million opening weekend of the original. I think we're in store for a $55 million bow here.
The movie theater is once again not safe for parents with the release of the third Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, this one subtitled Chipwrecked. The Alvin movies have been a shockingly lucrative as they have been devoid of actual quality, and I sure hope Jason Lee's house is nice, and that David Cross can some day regain his self-respect.
This film sees the Chipmunks and the Chipettes marooned on a tropical island, and they unfortunately didn't take my suggestion to have them resort to cannibalism, taking this movie instead into the adventure route, with pop song parodies. Not just that, but some of the most annoying pop songs out there, including that Willow Smith monstrosity. The producers of Happy Feet 2 have to be wondering where they went wrong. Were they just not annoying enough? Perhaps that's a question best left to history.