Two films opens this weekend - and by "weekend" we mean starting today. The July 4th holiday means that studios consider Wednesday to be the start of the weekend, this way, their weekend numbers look phenomenal. Who cares if its been in the theaters, raking in cash for five days, they still consider this a weekend and the bottom line is that the almighty dollar rules everything.
Actually one film opens today and one film goes to wide release. Here are the trailers and synopsis of each one. Clicking on the poster will take you to the film's website.
With great power comes great responsibility - everyone knows that - everyone, that is, but Hancock. Edgy, conflicted, sarcastic, and misunderstood, Hancock's well-intentioned heroics might get the job done and save countless lives, but always seem to leave jaw-dropping damage in their wake. The public has finally had enough - as grateful as they are to have their local hero, the good citizens of Los Angeles are wondering what they ever did to deserve this guy. Hancock isn't the kind of man who cares what other people think - until the day that he saves the life of PR executive Ray Embrey, and the sardonic superhero begins to realize that he may have a vulnerable side after all. Facing that will be Hancock's greatest challenge yet - and a task that may prove impossible as Ray's wife, Mary, insists that he's a lost cause.
Judge's Decision: We've seen the reluctant superhero routine before, but this is the first time its been done with such a respectable actor. Smith is clearly talented and a big box office draw, so the only thing that could make or break this film will be how well it's produced. Are the effects believable or is it just another CGI-fest? Is the story interesting, or just typical Hollywood boilerplate? Is there any substance, or is this just another lame big-budget Summer action flick? The latest numbers at Rotten Tomatoes suggests that "Hancock" is nothing amazing, nothing new and my guess, possibly not worth seeing.
Still, Smith can draw in good numbers and with not much else competing with it on this big holiday, it's bound to bring a huge opening. How long it will stay #1 depends on the three movies that are being released after it. (Meet Dave, Journey To the Center of the Earth, and Hellboy 2) My best guess is that Hancock will soar high this weekend, bringing in somewhere in the mid $60 million range, then quickly fall out of the top ten in record time.
UPDATE: the studio let a couple of theater chains open the film early last night and the early reports are that Hancock has made more money the night before its open than Iron Man did. Honestly, this means absolutely nothing to how well a film is going to do in its release, but studios use lots of tactics like this to help bolster their films and hedge their bets.
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (G)
Bright, inquisitive and generous, Kit Kittredge is a natural born leader. But her happy childhood is abruptly interrupted when her father loses his car dealership and must leave Cincinnati to look for work. Kit and her mother Margaret are left to manage on their own, growing vegetables, selling eggs and even taking in an assortment of boarders including an itinerant magician, a vivacious dance instructor on the prowl for a husband and a zany mobile librarian. When a crime spree sweeps Cincinnati, all signs point to the local "hobo jungle." Kit, who always has her antennae out for a good news story, goes to see the hobo camp for herself and writes an article that creates a sympathetic portrait of the camp's residents. But, when Kit's mother and their boarders become the latest victims in a string of robberies, Kit's loyalties are tested. With all of their savings gone, the Kittredges face losing their house to foreclosure. Determined to recover the stolen money, Kit recruits her friends Ruthie and Stirling to help her track down the real culprit. Together they uncover a plot that goes far beyond Cincinnati!
Judge's Decision: Originally released June 20th to only five theaters, the film goes wide starting today. It made an impressive $44,000 per screen, and I'm sure the studios are hoping for similar results. I honestly know nothing about this film, other than the rave reviews its getting at Rotten Tomatoes, and the fact that its a period piece - showing off depression era Ohio, so its got an artsy aire to it. If you are in the mood for a family movie, this is probably the one to check out. Best guess is that Kit will bring in somewhere around $12 million, depending on how much hype the studio puts behind it for this weekend.