The first weekend of June brings three types of counter-programming: the Michael Bay-produced sequel to ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’, a romance film adapted from a wildly successful novel, and an R-rated mockumentary from the Lonely Island guys.
Playing on more than 4,000 IMAX, 3D and 2D screens across North America is ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows‘. While the last ‘TMNT’ turned the pizza-loving, sewer-dwelling reptiles into mildly gritty and violent big-budget fanfare, ‘Out of the Shadows’ takes that glossy and loud style and applies it to the cartoony behavior and silliness of the 1990s animated television series. Nostalgia abounds – but that’s about the only thing the movie is good for. Following the arrest of Shredder, his Foot Clan and an unmotivated scientist find a way to free him, but before their plan can be executed, Shredder partners with a new threat that the Turtles will need to defeat.. Tyler Perry and Laura Linney join the original live-action cast, which includes Megan Fox and Will Arnett. If ‘Out of the Shadows’ plays as well as its predecessor, you can expect to see it gross north of $60 million this weekend, which will boot ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ from its one-week reign atop the charts.
It’s been a while since a romance movie had a decent opening, so it will be interesting to see how ‘Me Before You‘ plays out this weekend. ‘Game of Thrones’ star Emilia Clarke played another badass character last summer in ‘Terminator Genisys‘, but this year she’s branching out as a romantic lead. In this attempt, she plays a quirky 26-year-old whose job not only supports her, but her unemployed parents. Without much education, it’s difficult to find another job when her employer closes shop for good, so she jumps at the opportunity to become a 9-to-5 friend for a quadriplegic thirty-something male (Sam Caflin). Of course, she gets the job and both characters start to change. At first glance, you might expect this to be a formulaic chick flick in the vein of the many painful and predictable Nicholas Sparks movies, but it actually plays out much better than that. In fact, it shows glimmers of the great romance films ‘Love Actually‘ and ‘About Time‘.
The third wide release of the weekend comes to us from The Lonely Island. Not sure who that is? You’re not alone. Andy Samberg and the crew behind the Digital Shorts on ‘Saturday Night Live’ make up the comedic music group that wrote and starred in the cult comedy ‘Hot Rod‘. Their new movie ‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping‘ is a mockumentary that picks on the tabloid celebrity lifestyle of Justin Bieber-types. It opens on 2,300 screens. Doesn’t that seem a little excessive for an R-rated tongue-in-cheek comedy? Apparently, Universal doesn’t think so. While it appears to worth some solid laughs, how far out can you stretch this single gag?
Not much is opening on the indie front this weekend, however two limited releases will expand wide. After weeks of great success, Kate Beckinsale’s Jane Austin adaptation ‘Love & Friendship‘ moves up to 819 screens while Colin Farrell’s ‘The Lobster‘ expands to 560 locations.