Posted by Rande Iaboni on August 9, 2012 at 7:48 pm
As The Dark Knight Rises continues to take control of the summer box office, some new films are headed to theaters to try and take the top spot, but can they do it? Let’s take a look at the three new releases hitting theaters this weekend:
So technically this film is already out (released on August 8th) but most people probably won’t even see it until the weekend so let’s discuss. It tells the story of an old married couple (Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones) who have lost the spark (sex) in their relationship. They seek the help of a specialist (Steve Carrell) and attempt to spice things up. The film itself doesn’t look too bad, just a tad boring. Although, I don’t think I’m really the demographic here, this will probably be a big hit with the baby boomer generation. But even though the film doesn’t look entirely interesting to me, the performances look stellar, and according to early reviews, they are the highlight of the film. It currently sits at a modest 79% on Rotten Tomatoes right now, low for a Meryl Streep film, but overall a high score. I don’t think this will be a huge hit at the box office, more likely audiences will want to rent this. But like I said, I’m not the target audience so what do I know?
The Bourne Legacy
Next up is the four-quel to the ever popular ‘Bourne’ films, The Bourne Legacy. These films are usually great hits with critics and audiences alike, but this time there’s a catch. The title character will not be played by Matt Damon this time around but instead Jeremy Renner. Renner has proven to be not only a fantastic actor (The Hurt Locker & The Town) but also a credible action star (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol & The Avengers) so there’s no doubt in my mind he can pull the part off, but will audiences feel the same way? The trailer looked very promising and even though the actor is different the tone seems exactly the same, not to mention the tie-in with Matt Damon’s character appears to be well done. My only fear is that it is a fourth film in a franchise and Jeremy Renner, while talented, is not as much of a household name as Matt Damon is. It currently has a mixed 61% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics comment that the film is not as thrilling as the original 3, but commend Renner on his performance. This will probably do well at the box office, but I don’t think it will be enough to beat The Dark Knight Rises, I expect a number 2 spot.
And last but not least (or maybe so) is the political comedy ‘The Campaign’ starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as two men competing for the same position in office. Here’s my issue with this film, the concept is dumb but the trailer still looks funny. But with films like these there is always the concern that they are showcasing the funniest moments in the previews and when you see the actual film it’s just not good. Fortunately for this film it seems to be receiving decent reviews with a promising 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. My concern is this film should have been released a bit later in the year closer to the actual election time, not during the summer blockbuster season. Comedies have not been doing so well this summer (see ‘The Watch’) and Will Ferrell hasn’t had a hit in a very long time (I cannot wait for ‘Anchorman 2,’ that will be his official comeback). I think the film will still be successful and will fight for the number 2 spot with ‘The Bourne Legacy’ but fall just a bit short at number 3.
And there you have it Banters! The good thing about this weekend is it looks like there is something out for everyone. The older audiences will definitely go for ‘Hope Springs,’ the raunchy comedy lovers will go for ‘The Campaign,’ and those who have already seen ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ but still looking for action can check out ‘The Bourne Legacy.’ If I had to pick one it would be ‘Bourne’ simply because I have always been fond of the films and Jeremy Renner is fantastic in any role. It’s going to be a fun weekend for moviegoers and I am very excited to see how it plays out, but I don’t think any of these films can take down the juggernaut that is ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’
Let us know what movie you’re most looking forward to! Have a great weekend Banters.
*UPDATE* Well, it looks like I over-estimated ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ this weekend! ‘The Bourne Legacy’ ended Batman’s reign atop the box office and took the number 1 spot with an impressive $40.3M. ‘The Campaign’ wasn’t far behind with $27.4M in 2nd place and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ rounded out the top 3 with $19.5M bringing it’s cumulative total to a whopping $390.1M! ‘Hope Springs’ took in a modest $20M for a 5 day total (opened on Wednesday), and positive word of mouth could mean good things for the film. Kudos to all 4 films for an impressive weekend at the box office, and congratulations to Jeremy Renner for successfully headlining his first action film!