This weekend could be the one that finally knocks ‘Inception‘ out of the top spot at the box office. Not because a movie of similar quality is storming the multiplexes of America, but because we all really love Will Ferrell and, to a lesser degree, dance movies. That’s what Hollywood is delivering to us this weekend. One of them is even being presented in high-tech 3-D. (Guess which one!)
The biggest movie opening this weekend, in terms of star wattage and marketing weight, is Adam McKay’s action comedy ‘The Other Guys,’ starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. I reviewed the movie the other day, so my feelings are now known. What isn’t known is how well audiences will respond to it. They seem to have gotten on board for previous McKay/Ferrell team ups ‘Anchorman,’ ‘Talladega Nights,’ and ‘Step Brothers.’ But this is the first time the pair has combined their sublime silliness with an action adventure plot. We’ll see. Also, I wonder what will happen to ‘Dinner for Schmucks.’ It didn’t exactly over-perform last weekend, and the two movies seem to be vying for the same audience (young males who are totally comfortable giggling in front of complete strangers). Also something to consider: Ferrell’s last big screen outing was the McKay-produced ‘Land of the Lost,’ a tonally schizophrenic mish-mash that failed to connect with audiences last summer. Will all be forgiven?
If not, Disney and Summit have ‘Step Up 3-D‘ coming to rock your world. The second sequel in the phenomenally popular ‘Step Up‘ series, this one was directed by the last sequel’s Jon Chu. Chu received a fair amount of notoriety for a short film he made while at USC, which almost led to him shepherding a new version of ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ to the big screen. That quite obviously fell apart. When Disney asked him to direct the ‘Step Up’ sequel years later, he was told that he’d have half the budget of the first film. Chu agreed, but only if they’d let him film twice as many dance sequences. Who knows how many dance sequences this new one will have, or whether or not the 3-D technology will be effective in bringing the urban, hip-hop-inspired dance moves to life? But the kids will come out for this one. In droves. Slap on the surcharge for the silly glasses, and you have the makings of a surprise hit. I really wouldn’t be surprised if this eclipsed ‘The Other Guys’ and ‘Inception’ to become the box office #1 this weekend. Then again, I’m still waiting for ‘The Kids Are All Right‘ to enter the Top 10.
On the smaller side of things, there’s the Joel Schumacher drama ‘Twelve,’ which looks like a slightly rougher episode of ‘Gossip Girl.’ There’s also ‘The Disappearance of Alice Creed,’ a movie that strives for suspense thriller cleverness but just comes across as cheap and exploitative. Even a strong cast, anchored by Gemma Arterton and Eddie Marsan, can’t save this movie from disappearing from your memory almost immediately after watching it. Additionally, there’s ‘Cairo Time,’ starring Patricia Clarkson, which appears to be the most boring movie ever made (this side of ‘The Last Station’ at least). Finally, ‘Middle Men‘ looks at how Internet commerce was revolutionized by the guys that monetized porn online. Hey, it’s all got to start someplace.