Weekend Forecast for June 7-9, 2013
By Reagen Sulewski
June 7, 2013
Remember what I said last week about that slate of films being not particularly memorable? Historians looking back at these last two weeks (why? Obviously they're bored) will view last week as a combination of Titanic and Back to the Future in comparison to this week's pointless and forgettable example of summer films. It's June and this is the best you can do, Hollywood?
It's a bit of a toss-up as to which of the two new films this week will be the highest grossing, though at the same time it's safe to say that neither is going to challenge seriously for top spot. I'd give a slight edge to The Internship based on star power, but it's a weak advantage at that.
In the film, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson star as two salesmen left behind by the modern economy who weasel their way into internships at Google, where they must find their way in the digital age as the dinosaurs they are, competing against a group of actual tech-savvy nerds. What do Vaughn and Wilson have to offer Google? Their off-kilter attitudes, apparently, and like Homer with the Springfield University nerds, they're going to teach them how to live!
I wish could do better than The Onion's takedown of this film as the “most anticipated comedy of 2005”, but that is such a perfectly constructed phrase that anything else will seem like poor imitation. Vaughn and Wilson are both past their “it” stage of comedy, with between four and five years for each of them since they could really claim a hit based on their star power (voiceover performances decidedly do not count). In broader terms, one might say they've each lost their edge, and the choice of setting only seems patronizing.
Leaving aside the lack of actual, you know, jokes in the trailers (which is of course a major problem), there's also the question of just who this movie is for. The youth audience doesn't view the starring pair as a relevant comedy duo, and will see the Google pandering for what it is. Older audiences aren't hunting for a watered-down Animal House revival about a subject they don't know anything about and reminds them of their own upcoming obsolescence. In short, this is a film for Wilson and Vaughn fans entirely, and that number is shrinking by the week. I predict a soft $15 million opening for this film.
The plot for The Purge can probably be filed under “Don't Think About This Too Hard, But Ain't It Cool?” Set in a future United States where just about every problem has been solved, unemployment is under 1%, crime at an all time low, bowling averages are up and mini-golf scores way down, it's also a country that for 12 hours a year decides to let anything go in a giant relief valve of violence. This mostly plays out as people hunting other people for sport, because isn't that what everyone really secretly wants to do? Anyway, apparently in the movie world, this purge is what's brought about these fantastic conditions so people put up with it. Yay, political allegory!