Well, this is definitely the weekend to zag away from the prodigious zigging going on with Captain America: Civil War. Something tells me we’re not going to see anything like the disastrous drop Batman v Superman took in its second weekend, so trying to go toe to toe with Cap and company would be foolish. So the two films opening this weekend aren’t even thinking about it. You’ve got a small horror film and a star-powered thriller that are perfect counter-programming to the super-heroics going on. And they’ve got a built-in box office buffer in that no one expects them to take down the reigning champ. If you’re going to get clobbered, better to roll with the punches.
The Darkness is yet another one of those “Hey this really happened!” horror films that make it seem like we’re living in some bleak ghost-ridden hellscape. Going by all these supposed true stories, all our walls should be dripping blood while creepy children lurk in the shadows ready to feed us to the Boogeyman. But The Darkness only cost $5 million — most of which likely went to Kevin Bacon, on hand to make his game just a few more actors easier — and there’s absolutely no competition for horror films right now, so this will probably be in the black by Monday with everything after that pure gravy.
I’ve been intrigued by Money Monster ever since I first saw the trailer a few months ago. Everything about it screamed “This is for the grown-ups!” Jodie Foster in the director’s chair, George Clooney and Julia Roberts in the cast, and a plot that feels just on the delightfully entertaining side of plausibly implausible. I do kind of wish they’d really played up the Jim-Cramer-But-Not-Jim-Cramer angle and just cast Bradley Whitford in the lead role, but hey, Clooney’s going to put more butts in seats. So I have high hopes for this one; or rather, I did, until the reviews revealed themselves to be pretty bearish. Still, this strikes me as a throwback to the old days when you didn’t so much go for the story that was being told, but to see stars you liked be in a movie. Maybe not the best of reasons to buy a ticket, but then again, I paid money for Wing Commander solely to see the Phantom Menace trailer. Clearly my opinion is suspect.
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