As anyone could have guessed, last week’s new releases got clobbered by the 1-2 punch of dinosaurs and feelings. Both Jurassic World and Inside Out made more than the combined total of newcomers Ted 2 and Max, with Pixar’s latest damn near overtaking Indominus Rex and company. In fact, it’s very likely Inside Out could take the top spot this holiday weekend. Which doesn’t bode well for this week’s debuts.
I liked the original Magic Mike just fine; I preferred it more when it was in rollicking good time mode as opposed to serious melodrama mode, but it was solid and entertaining. I just don’t see the need for a sequel. Then again, I’m likely not the target audience for Magic Mike XXL, so they probably won’t miss me much. Channing Tatum could certainly use a boost after the disastrous Jupiter Ascending, which XXL could come close to outgrossing just on this weekend. Without Steven Soderbergh behind the camera, I doubt this is going to get the critical praise the first film got, but there’s not a lot of female-friendly fare out there right now, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this finishes ahead of its fellow newcomer this week.
But after seeing Terminator: Genisys last night, I’ll be rooting for it to show this weekend. When you hit the fifth film in a franchise, your expectations are way down, so maybe it had a low bar to reach, but I had a ton of fun with this. It nicely tweaks but also pays homage to the original films, has some satisfying character interaction, and some decent action. It’s a perfectly fine piece of summer fluff. The only problem is the film’s biggest draw: Arnold Schwarzenegger. For whatever reason, audiences have simply not taken to him since his return to the big screen. Going back to his star-making franchise could help, but I get the feeling all those years in politics — and some of his personal scandals — have dimmed the enthusiasm around him. If a Terminator film can’t net him a hit, I don’t know what can.
Next week, Universal’s Minions arrive to take on Pixar’s emoticons in what should be an epic battle of animated films. Although after Jurassic World though, Minions could open in single digits and Universal would probably shrug and go back to lighting cigars with $100 bills.