Now we’re talking. Now the big boys start coming out to play. This weekend begins a month and half run of weekends with capital B BIG releases. Will one emerge and smother the competition? Will they all open huge then fall to the next one up? And will any of them actually be any good? Even if not, at least it’ll be fun having something to anticipate every weekend. And for me, that’s what the summer movie season is all about.
Central Intelligence seems to be anticipating childless adults looking for something to do. It’s the only other wide release this weekend, and it’s firmly staking a claim on anyone not interested in animated fish. By themselves, Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart have been reliable if not spectacular openers. Warner Brothers is hoping that pairing them in a high concept comedy will boost that take. Aside from being some good counter-programming, it’s got a built-in excuse if it doesn’t have a big weekend: it’s only opening against a highly anticipated sequel to one of the most beloved films of all time.
Because come on, Finding Dory is going to kill it this weekend. When I was at the preview screening of The BFG last night, the line was out the door for early Dory screenings. Kids were about jumping out of their shoes. Teens were there in Nemo and Dory shirts. It felt for all the world like the early signs of a box office phenomenon brewing. It’s not Pixar’s first sequel dance, and there are definitely some grumbles out there about them going back to the same well rather than doing new things. But if they can alternate a Finding Dory with an Inside Out or two, let ’em make all the sequels they want. As for Dory, it’s pretty much critic proof. Even if it’s a straight up retread of the first film, it’ll be a hit.
And lord knows poor old Disney has been starving for those this year…