Weekend Forecast for February 10-12, 2012
By Reagen Sulewski
February 10, 2012
Suddenly, Valentine's Day (proximate) weekend is like July 4th, for all the potential hits opening up this weekend. Sure, we had to go back into our bag of past blockbusters for one of them, but that still counts. With four films that all look like solid earners, this could be one of the biggest weekends at the box office until May.
As the world turns its thoughts to the notion of “wuv”, we're presented with The Vow, a film which is kind of hard to believe doesn't come from the pen of Nicholas Sparks. Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum star in the film as a young married couple thrown into chaos when McAdams suffers near total amnesia in a car accident. Will she learn to love her husband again from scratch? Will there be tissue dispensers in the cup holders? Will Channing Tatum stare blankly off into space? C'mon.
Few genres are more time-of-year dependent than romance, with basically one weekend (maybe two or three) that they all shoot for, with it being a crap shoot for the other 51. This strategy has recently given us He's Just Not That Into You, Valentine's Day and is at least partially responsible for Just Go With It not being a career nadir for Adam Sandler (the other part of that being that he eventually made Jack and Jill). As the only game in town this weekend for this audience, The Vow is going to clean up.
Since starring in this generation's Love Story, The Notebook, McAdams has had a bit of an up and down career, picking up roles in the occasional giant blockbuster and knocking out a couple of modest hits, but she suffered a bit of a setback in 2010 with Morning Glory, which mostly just showed that people don't give a damn about Harrison Ford and/or inside baseball stuff on morning TV shows. Tatum's had some success of his own, particularly in Dear John, which was the week before Valentine's 2010, but he's really just Himbo Mk. 12, and while it's important to have recognizable names in this film, the specific actors don't matter all that much (though the implied connections don't exactly hurt). Reviews are kind of unimpressive, though that's fairly irrelevant to this crowd too. Look for this to dominate the weekend with $35 million.
You don't hear consistency praised much in relation to acting, but it's an invaluable skill for being a marquee name in Hollywood films. Take Denzel Washington, for instance, who stars in Safe House this weekend. (For the non-sports fans in the house, I apologize in advance, but it's the clearest metaphor I can think of) Denzel is kind of the movie version of Wade Boggs. Boggs was the very definition of a contact hitter, who rarely hit one out of the park, but almost never made an out, either. Over 18 years, he hit under .300 in just three seasons, with one of those being a mid-career dip and two others coming at the tail end of his career when he was older than dirt. In the same way, Washington has amassed an incredible record of box office – his last 12 films that opened in more than 2,000 venues started with 21, 22, 20, 16, 22, 20, 28, 20, 43, 32 and 22 million. I mean, just who else has a ten year run like that?