Weekend Forecast for April 24-26, 2015
By Reagen Sulewski
April 24, 2015
Hollywood's habit of running away from the weekend right before the summer season starts is in evidence once again, as pre-Avengers weekend sees just one new wide release, one limited appeal niche film, and one expansion to national release, leading to a very quiet frame.
The wide release is Age of Adeline, starring Blake Lively as a woman who stops aging in her 20s following an accident. Something of a twist on the Benjamin Button scenario, it deals with the complications of not growing older and all the unwanted attention that could bring from authorities. To combat that, Lively's character retreats into seclusion – until she meets someone worth risking her secret for, and then the whole thing turns into a perfume commercial.
A sub-Sparksian romance that puts a weird spin on the May-December concept, it also stars Michiel Huisman (that's Daario Naharis to you) as the love interest and Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker as his parents. So it's got an OK cast but a large hole at its center in trying to insist that Lively is a box office draw. But, you might point out, The Last Ride showed that you don't necessarily need a big name to open a film like this, to which I'd respond that I'm the one making the clever points here, thank you very much. But more seriously, a film's lack of stars can be in some ways a neutral factor for romances, but Lively is possessed of that rare substance known as anti-charisma, and can drive viewers off by her very presence. In some ways she's actually untested as a marquee name, with no films that really rested on her ability to bring in paying customers on her resume. I maintain, though, that most people's opinions of her settle on “blah.”
The absolute best case comparison here is The Time Traveler's Wife, but that rested on a much more popular book and star. With mediocre reviews and not a lot of studio support, I'd expect a lackluster weekend of about $11 million.
The other new film, opening in just over 1,000 venues, is Little Boy. Directed by relative unknown Alejandro Monteverde and with the production backing of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, it's a faith-based film set in the waning days of World War II. The film is centered around a young boy who is small for his age (hence the title, but, wait for it...) and his close relationship with his overgrown child of a father (Michael Rappaport). However, with the breakout of WWII, that father is called off to the War in the Pacific. Meanwhile, a magician visits his town and convinces the boy that he has psychic powers, which he then starts to direct towards the goal of bringing his father home. Instead of disabusing him of this notion, the town indulges it, which seems like a crazily risky strategy (what if he dies? That happens a lot in war, after all) including the local priest, who decides that it's a gift from God. Cause...hwahaa?