Weekend Forecast for July 19-21, 2013
By Reagen Sulewski
July 19, 2013
An already stuffed marketplace gets four new films this weekend, with studios seeing the summer coming to a close and hoping to get their highest potential titles out there while the irons are hot. Some studios might be well served to dial down some of those expectations, however, as a summer that's already seen some high profile failures looks certain to get one more. Hint: Ryan Reynolds may want to rethink that down payment.
With four new films, obviously the weekend couldn't hold them all, so Turbo gets its mild disappointment out of the way before the weekend, beating the rush, as it were. Opening to $5.5 million on Wednesday, it barely beat out the two-weeks old Despicable Me 2, and that's with the benefit of first-day anticipation. Thursday will undoubtedly see it already slipping to second or worse. In DreamWorks Animation's latest, Ryan Reynolds voices a snail that's always dreaming of racing in the Indy 500. After a trip through a nitrous-infused manifold, a miracle occurs, and he's suddenly capable of travelling at 200 mph. I mean, I guess it's no weirder than Spider-Man on some level, but...
Really, this seems to have developed from no more than “what if a snail could go, like, really fast,” which also makes me wonder what they're using for inspiration material over at DreamWorks, and whether Snoop Dogg(sorry, Snoop *Lion*)'s inclusion in the cast is telling in any way. Anyway, cut to 357 variations of “A snail can't race in the Indy 500!” “Yes I can!” and you've got your movie. Gripping stuff, I know.
Filling out the rest of the film, we have the requisite cast of mid-level celebs in voice roles (because that's what kids care about!), such as Sam Jackson, Paul Giamatti, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Michelle Rodriguez and Ken Jeong, but without Pixar's branding or an established franchise or property to connect this to, adults are wincing in fear of what might be waiting for them (fear not – worse is coming soon). The pudding has already been proven with the Wednesday opening, and we're looking at something like a $31 million three-day total for Turbo.
On to Friday's contenders, which have basically switched orders since this schedule became apparent. The Conjuring was a low-budget, low-buzz horror film from a director who had largely worn out his welcome and had struggled to live past his biggest hit (ring any bells, Eli Roth?). James Wan started to turn things around a couple of years ago with Insidious, which relied more on creepy than torture for its horror elements. This film brings back Patrick Wilson from that movie and teams him up with Vera Farmiga as a couple of real-life paranormal investigators (who were behind publicizing the Amityville story). While looking into the story of a potential haunting in a house owned by Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston, they discover that there's more to the story than just a simple ghost (there always is, isn't there?).