Being the only potential blockbuster opening this weekend, it is beyond me why Paramount would only predict a $25-$30 million opening for J.J. Abrams’ nostalgic creature flick ‘Super 8’. While other studios have criticized ‘Super 8’ for its low tracking numbers, Paramount says that it’s completely happy with this prediction – especially considering that the film currently resides in the mid-80 percentile on Rotten Tomatoes and was produced for only $50 million, less than one-third the cost of ‘X-Men: First Class’ or one-fifth the cost of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’. With a budget that low, Paramount is guaranteed to make its money back during the movie’s theatrical run.
Due to extremely positive early critical response, ‘Super 8‘ secretly opened one day early on IMAX, XD and other premium screens via a promotional partnership with between Paramount and Twitter. Although the Thursday sneak peek numbers will not be added to the weekend tally, the positive word-of-mouth from those who saw ‘Super 8’ a day early is expected to boost weekend ticket sales. Since premium screens usually carry a slightly inflated ticket price (but less inflated than 3D tickets), the one-day-only advance showings ought to prove to be a lucrative marketing plan. Like I said in my review, five-star ‘Super 8’ deserves huge success. For once, I’ll actually condone paying the extra fee just to see it on a bigger screen. In the case of ‘Super 8’, bigger is better.
Receiving a mild wide opening is kids flick ‘Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer‘. To be honest, when confronted a choice between attending a ‘Super 8’ screening or a ‘Judy Moody’ screening, I opted for the one that appealed to me more. Critic friends of mine who attended ‘Judy Moody’ claim that it’s absolute garbage, even worse than the ‘Wimpy Kid‘ movies. I’m sure ‘Judy Moody’ aims to please its demographic – which is not me.
Another genre film is opening this weekend, this one much more limited than ‘Super 8’. ‘The Troll Hunter‘, official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, follows a brilliant premise. A crew of documentary film students joins a modern-day troll hunter through the woods of Europe in pursuit of a rogue troll. It’s tragic that the film’s awesome idea is so terribly executed. For a trying-to-be cult film that is occasionally tongue-in-cheek, ‘The Troll Hunter’ takes itself far too seriously. The lengthy moments between the rare troll sightings are too wordy and boring, which makes it a harder movie to stay awake through. As the movie continues to expand in its platform release, I cannot recommend seeing it when it makes its way to your neck of the secretly troll-infested woods.
For the third week in a row, Woody Allen’s comedy ‘Midnight in Paris’ is expanding. This week it’s up to 944 screens, giving it the largest Woody Allen opening since 2003’s flop ‘Something Else’. Also earning a rare five-star review from me, ‘Midnight in Paris’ deserves to be seen by everyone, whether fans of Allen or not.