Attractions: Which of These Couples Will Win the Weekend?
Welcome back to Movieline Attractions, your regular guide to everything new, noteworthy and/or despondency-inducing at the movies. This week we finally get the new J-Lo pregnancy romcom we've been searching for, while Zoe Saldana and Jeffrey Dean Morgan blow up a bunch of crap. And the underdog has no clothes (kind of). Read on for the full weekend preview and box-office projections.
WHAT'S NEW: Some box-office wonks are actually convinced it's not what's new that's important, but rather what's been sitting around for a month. But I don't know that How to Train Your Dragon's near-upset last week against Kick-Ass portends another battle this weekend against underwhelming newbies The Back-Up Plan and The Losers. Dragon's family chops are certainly carrying it the distance until next week's Furry Vengeance and May 7's Iron Man 2, and I do expect some congestion in the 1-2-3 spots.
But we're not talking about a ton of money here: A total of $3 million or less separate the top finishers, the most lucrative of which should be Jennifer Lopez's flatlining romantic comedy The Back-Up Plan at around $16.5 million. Dragon should sneak in behind that at about $15 miilion, and assuming The Losers' B-list comic-book creds have the same sleepy momentum we saw last week with Kick-Ass (this one doesn't even have a little girl running around killing people and swearing), then the mercenary action thriller should settle in around $14 million.
Sorry folks, but that's about it for wide releases; it might be a NHL/NBA playoffs weekend, to be honest. Even the art house is relatively anemic: There's the oddball Jeff Daniels/Ryan Reynolds writer's-block/imaginary-friend dramedy Paper Man; the Disney sea documentary Oceans; the so-so art world satire Boogie Woogie; the epic, excruciating Korean spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad, the Weird; the epic, excruciating concert film Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D; the inspirational family indie A Shine of Rainbows (from the distributor that brought you Delgo); the Anna Halprin documentary Breath Made Visible (NYC only); and the arts-and-crafts doc Handmade Nation (L.A. only).
THE BIG LOSER: Can Kick-Ass even manage $9 million in its second week of release, particularly opposite The Losers? Look out below for falling hubris.
THE UNDERDOG: If you haven't yet seen the Banksy "doc" Exit Through the Gift Shop, go this weekend. It had an excellent opening a week ago, and people will be talking about it later this year as one of 2010's best. If you have seen that, give Behind the Burly Q a shot. (It opens this week in NYC and May 7 in L.A.)Leslie Zemeckis's doc about the golden age of burlesque is perhaps a little too rutted in its rotation of talking head-archival footage-photo-rinse-repeat, but the sheer volume of anecdotes, history and gossip from the era mostly override the visual shortcomings. Occasionally riveting while fitfully confusing, Burly Q is never anything less than compelling.