Attractions: Titans! Will! Wreck Miley Cyrus and Tyler Perry!
Welcome back to Movieline Attractions, your regular guide to everything new, noteworthy and/or sword-wielding at the movies. This week, a (likely) blockbuster is born, Tyler Perry makes his semi-annual appearance, and Miley Cyrus grows up. Kind of.
WHAT'S NEW: We can argue all day about the cynicism and greed behind remaking the 1981 cult favorite Clash of the Titans -- about the pumped-up machismo of it all, the half-baked bombast, the CGI usurping the place in our imaginations where Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion effects held fast for decades. But ready or not, Louis Leterrier's big-budget do-over is here, and it's going to hit hard this weekend: A substantial boost from the 3-D marketplace should land it north of $70 million, where, barring the worst word-of-mouth ever, it'll enjoy first place this weekend before backing into the same position next week. A real titan, Tyler Perry, will be lucky to pull down half that much for Why Did I Get Married Too?, the sequel to his hit 2007 matrimonial-philosophical melodramedy, but he and Lionsgate will settle for second place with what I think will be a better-than-forecast $31 million.
Miley Cyrus has had her run of things at the multiplex the last two days, opening up her Nicholas Sparks teen-romance adaptation The Last Song 48 hours ahead of the Titans juggernaut. Still, that nice Wednesday debut should unfold into a modest but solid $23 million or so, with maybe a little more in store if your family, like mine, can't stay away from PG-rated hormonal treacle to celebrate Easter. It's cheaper than buying a big ham, tastes about the same, and there's no mess to clean up afterward.
Also opening: The Chinese action spectacle The Warlords; Thomas Haden Church's dark comic neo-noir Don McKay (check out an interview with actor here later this morning); Michel Gondry's intriguing semi-autobiographical family documentary Thorn in the Heart; the dissolving relationship study Breaking Upward (NYC only); and in Los Angeles only, the gay-themed trifecta Just Say Love, Manuela and Manuel and Dream Boy.
THE BIG LOSER: Nice reviews aside, How to Train Your Dragon didn't blow any minds with last weekend's opening in the low 40s, but it might shock some people with a drop of more 40 percent as a new 3-D kid comes into town. That said, it, too, has the holiday weekend going for it, so it's really anybody's guess. Something's gotta give in any case, and this is a likely a victim as any.
THE UNDERDOG: I'll refer you back to the recent Two-Minute Verdict for more details about The Greatest, the sincere (if sincerely flawed) indie portrait of a grieving family who semi-reluctantly invite their dead son's pregnant girlfriend to live with them. Everyone here is doing his or best, with Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan hitting and missing as the bereft parents and Carey Mulligan, Johnny Simmons and Zoe Kravitz making up for them with their own strong, stirring work. Filmmaker Shana Feste's debut definitely has some of the usual beginner's jitters and miscalculations, but you can't help but think that this -- both on- and offscreen -- is the work of people who are going places.