Hollywood Puts the 'Labor' in Labor Day
Welcome back to Movieline Attractions, your regular guide to everything new, noteworthy and potentially unfit for human consumption at the movies. This week, consider making plans anywhere but the multiplex unless you have some end-of-summer catching up to do -- and even then, consider holding your breath when walking by a few of the stinkier auditoriums. A full (if brief) holiday rundown is after the jump.
WHAT'S NEW: The ADD-rocking, smash-and-dash directing duo of Neveldine/Taylor finally gets a release for Gamer, featuring Gerard Butler shooting everything to hell as a mercenary stuck in a first-person-shooter video game. Will he escape? About $16.2 million worth of vaguely curious moviegoers will probably stop in to find out, which still won't likely be enough to trump The Final Destination's inflated 3-D grosses and its second consecutive week at No. 1. (And Inglourious Basterds may yet pull away enough of the action audience for No. 2.)
The delightfully reviewed All About Steve, meanwhile, will see a boost from its box-office surcharge for haz-mat suits. The Sandra Bullock bomb is what Hollywood calls counterprogramming on the sluggish Labor Day weekend, but Fox isn't promoting it any more than it has to (read: at all), so that'll top off at about $9.7 million by Monday. Miramax is going smaller and just about as quiet with Extract, a relative masterpiece compared to its competition, which basically means it's the car that looks best after the pile-up. The comedy will pull down around $5.5 through Monday and disappear by the time we open for business Tuesday morning.
Also opening in New York only: Threesome addict Alexis Dos Santos's oversexed teen drama Unmade Beds.
THE BIG LOSER: It won't do four-figure Marc Pease Experience numbers, but Paramount Vantage's latest dumpee Carriers is probably destined for mid-five-figures and out -- perhaps making 2009 the first summer that two stars (Ben Stiller and Chris Pine) had films in the top 10 and bottom 10 of box-office returns. That is this Labor Day weekend in a nutshell. You're welcome.
THE UNDERDOG: I missed this one both at Sundance and recent previews, but the immigrant dramedy Amreeka seems to be the real deal -- at least among critics. I'm not sure if distributor National Geographic Films chose this weekend to court multiplex refugees with a taste for art-house adventure or what, but theoretically it's got the goodwill to crack a five-figure average in New York in Los Angeles. Previous underdogs World's Greatest Dad and Cold Souls are expanding this week as well; check your local listings, etc. etc.
FOR SHUT-INS: New DVD's this week include the middling Russell Crowe political-journalism thriller State of Play, the Sundance darling Sin Nombre, the Half Nelson crew's baseball-drama follow-up Sugar, Disney's nature-documentary attempt Earth, and at last, the first five seasons of All in the Family.