This weekend presents an interesting box office battle, made all the more interesting by the precipitous nosedive taken by Batman v Superman. Usually a film that opens north of $150 million can count on being a strong contender for #1 in its second weekend, and at least in the fight on its third. But BvS dropped nearly 70% last weekend from its opening, without any real new competition. That doesn’t bode well for a strong showing this week, where there are two new wide releases to compete with. In fact, the magic $400 million mark is looking kind of bleak for BvS right now; it’ll pass $300 million this weekend, but last year’s big super-hero movie, Age of Ultron, was already at $330 million going into its third weekend, $60 million ahead of BvS and with much better word of mouth and without the novelty of being the first team-up of the characters. I won’t say any film that’s sniffing a billion worldwide is in trouble, but this certainly isn’t what Warner Brothers was hoping for. And it’s really good news for the films opening today.
Melissa McCarthy bounced back from the relative disappointment of Tammy with last year’s Spy. That re-teamed her with her Bridesmaids and The Heat director Paul Feig though. Her newest film, The Boss, has her back with her Tammy co-writer/director and husband Ben Falcone. So the question is do we see the north of $100 million success of the Feig films or the more modest $84 million that Tammy pulled in? Whatever result, it won’t be for lack of McCarthy giving it her all; the previews show her tearing into her role for all it’s worth. The film is currently sitting at 17% on Rotten Tomatoes, but McCarthy may be veering into the bulletproof territory where reviews don’t matter, at least for opening weekends. I have a feeling it won’t matter for this one.
Hardcore Henry isn’t the first film to go all first-person shooter on us — the Doom movie featured an extended sequence using it — but it’s definitely the first to commit this heavily to it. Nearly the entire film is from the perspective of Henry as he kicks ass in quest of … well, it doesn’t really matter, as it’s merely the framework for said ass-kicking. Henry might be interesting solely as a technical exercise — it remains to be seen how entertaining this gimmick can be over the course of a entire feature film — but I have to give it props for at least trying something different and having what looks like the exact kind of gonzo, why the hell not kind of attitude something like this needs. I doubt it’ll come anywhere close to #1 — this has “cult classic” written all over it — but it’s what I’d check out this weekend.