PREDICTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
I hope you are a Russell Brand fan because he's likely to take the two top spots at the weekend box office. His turn as the reluctant Easter Bunny in Hop should be able to retain its winning streak for another week. Family films often don't suffer the same box office drop week to week since the audiences for such fare aren't as likely to show up opening weekend. It's projected to be on top of the heap with around $23 million.
Russell Brand is also starring, this time in the flesh not just the voice, in the remake of Arthur. This remake of the 1981 Dudley Moore/Liza Minnelli chestnut has reviewers asking "Why" and me very angry because why doesn't Liza even have a cameo in this? Ugh. The Arthur redux is so offensive to my delicate sensibility that I'm hoping it bombs, but industry forecasts project it to make around $16 million. I'm going to be surprised if it does that well. I mean, they don't even let him be an unapologetic drunk! What a nightmare. My guess is the retread does less than $16 million. Who is wanting to see this? Rent the original. And if you've seen it, rent the sequel, Arthur 2: On the Rocks. Both have Liza and are therefore guaranteed to be superior.
In other news, the stoner comedy Your Highness starring James Franco and Natalie Portman seems like fun for those who enjoyed Pineapple Express or Monty Python and The Holy Graill. This is the only R-rated movie opening this weekend and should do well with young men. I'm surprised its not expected to do better than its 12 million forecast, since its all about weed and knights and it has an Oscar winner in it, for chrissakes. I think it looks fun. Why not? But come to think of it, I've barely seen any press for this - Why isn't Natalie on the talk show circuit? Have I missed her?
What looks best to me on the docket this weekend is Hanna starring Saoirse Ronan as a teenage assassin raised in the wild. So basically The Bourne Identity meets Nell but with sort of an Atonement twist. Awesome sauce! The fact that Cate Blanchett lends her services makes this seem even more appealing. Oh, and Eric Bana! He's great, too. This one seems too sophisticated for the mass audience, so I'm guessing that it will only hit mid-list.
Finally this week in new releases we have Soul Surfer, about the girl surfer whose arm was bitten off by a shark. I thought this was a Lifetime movie until I realized it was actually getting a theatrical release. But I guess I'm not the target market, which is apparently Christian moviegoers. It's been aggressively marketed to them over the past week and is being released by Sony's faith-based division Affirm Films.
What are you going to see this weekend (please don't say Arthur)?