Beyoncé Duels Psycho Temp, Mother Nature in Hunt For #1
Welcome to another edition of Movieline Attractions, your guide to everything new, noteworthy and mildly exploitative at the movies. If you like pulp, this is your week, with everyone from Beyoncé to Billy Bob Thornton getting in the B-movie mix. Also: Channing Tatum fights, Mike Tyson talks (a lot) and Disney spans the globe.
WHAT'S NEW: Beyoncé Knowles's stalker-temp thriller Obsessed wasn't screened for critics, prompting a handful of burning questions at the Movieline office and beyond. But at least one thing about the film is virtually certain: Obsessed will win the weekend, rolling out on 2,500 screens with an expected $18.4 million of date-movie booty. Some are predicting Disney's environmental-message spectacle Earth to compete near the top, but seriously: I would love to see the in-house data documenting the demand for sprawling, G-rated nature documentaries, whether they're pegged to Earth Day or not. It got a decent jump on the proceedings by opening wide on Wednesday, but the sharks and sandstorms (not to mention Zac Efron in the adjoining theater) mitigate the heart-tugging Arctic wildlife, and neither parents nor their kids are compelled enough by any of it to nudge Earth above $9 million for three days and $15 million for the five-day run.
But everyone loves a good Channing Tatum-beating-the-hell-out-of-everybody flick, which may actually boost the scrappy, guilty pleasure Fighting to its own $11.6 million opening on 2,300 screens. The Robert Downey Jr./Jamie Foxx triumph-over-batshit drama The Soloist isn't winning any critical hearts, but it's all the grown-ups have at the multiplex and will probably overachieve to the tune of $10.1 million.
Also opening: The sci-fi/horror curio The Mutant Chronicles (John Malkovich! Tom Jane! Mutants! Say no, I dare you); the bittersweet coming-of-age tale Treeless Mountain; the Oscar-nominated, urban activist-farmer doc The Garden; the Hebrew/Spanish drama Empty Nest; the meta-horror indie Red Velvet, and the dream-chaser indie Jazz in the Diamond District.
THE BIG LOSER: More on this a little later today in the return on Movieline's infamous Bad Movies We Love feature, but The Informers is exactly the kind of did-I-just-see-that spectacle of excess, bad taste and ADD plotting that could very well keep audiences entertained for years. Alas, not theatrical audiences, confronted with vague marketing yet woefully specific word-of-mouth condemning the Bret Easton Ellis adaptation without mercy. An ensemble like this (Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger, Billy Bob Thornton, Winona Ryder, Amber Heard's oft-bared breasts) will likely be good for something on a little less than 500 screens; $2.2 million is probably being generous, but really, the sooner you see it, the sooner you can get to planning your own incomprehensible edit for the DVD viewing parties sure to come.
THE UNDERDOG: James Toback was on to something this week when he told Movieline about Tyson's ability to move even the staunchest opponents of the ex-heavyweight champ. Was he cannily reaching out to the female quadrant? Well, of course, and he essentially admits as much. But at least his documentary stands up to that kind of hype, brilliantly fusing Tyson's stream-of-consciousness self-portraiture to a trove of archives underscoring key moments in his rise and fall. There's never been anything like it, and by the end, exhausted and unnerved (and sure, entertained), you're kind of glad for that.
FOR SHUT-INS: New DVD's this week include Oscar-season darlings Frost/Nixon and The Wrestler; the Biggie Smalls biopic Notorious; the direct-to-video horror entry The Burrowers; and, for Christian Slater's stalker(s), My Own Worst Enemy: The Complete Series.