Well, I have this to say to all you people out there who spent hundreds of millions of dollars on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and claimed you loved the action and effects. All I have to say to you is simply this: see you all at G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Really, I’m sick of hearing all the whining and bellyaching from everyone and their dog about G.I. Joe when it basically is going to amount to roughly the same style of movie as that big hit Transformers — so far as I can tell. It looks like it has plenty of action and guns going off, just like Transformers. It’s even based on Eighties action figures, made by Hasbro! Yet while people were oohing and aahing about Transformers 2 and trashing the nation’s critics for panning the movie, the reaction to G.I. Joe among the movie fans has been far different. I haven’t seen so much bellyaching in advance of a movie in a long, long time. People are saying of G.I. Joe that “it’s got action and violence and babes! It’s going to suck!” Of course, not too long ago the exact same people were saying of the Transformers sequel that “it’s got action and violence and babes! It’s going to be awesome!”
Such is life for G.I. Joe, I think. The fact is that these days, so many people make their movie decisions based on rumors about the shoot, and based on leaked production stills and other snap judgments. People take one look at some photo from the set and decide that’s it, the movie is going to be terrible. People even make decisions about movies just based on whether they like the casting or even the idea to begin with. Give me a break, but more importantly, give these movies a break. If you’re going to form an opinion on G.I. Joe, or any other movie for that matter, at least wait until the movie is released when you can judge for yourself. Or at least wait until your close friends or people you trust can tell you whether it’s any good.
But that’s what is NOT happening with the movies these days, rightly or wrongly. I’m pretty sure this kind of thing is going to hurt G.I. Joe at the box office. Sure, it’s on over 4,000 screens, sure it’s got Sienna Miller, and Channing Tatum, and a few other people. But it seems like everyone’s decided the movie is crap before they even see this thing. In fact, this movie is running at C- in the Box Office Mojo tracking of people. People have a dim view of this movie, even before they’ve even set foot in the theater to see it (as I write this). That’s why you won’t see massive records for this flick, because of all the negativity.
Mind you, it may very well BE crap based on what went down earlier this week. I’m not going to rehash Paramount’s idiot decision not to screen this G.I. Joe movie for critics. That seems like a concession of defeat right there, an admission of guilt. But it at least would be interesting to compare the Tomato ratings to these other movies of the genre, to see how it stacks up. As it stands right now, the Tomato ratings are totally unreliable because so many of the top critics haven’t even been allowed to see the movie yet! And Paramount is basically announcing to the world that this movie is not high art anyway by refusing to screen it for the critics! Nice going, Paramount! Roger Ebert must be waving his finger of shame at you right now, just like he used to do on TV when this sort of thing used to happen.
Oh well. I am just ranting and raving again. In any event, it seems as if everyone has decided G.I. Joe is crap before seeing the movie, and everyone may yet turn out to be right. But this sort of thing still drives me crazy. I mean, give these movies a fair shake, that’s all I am asking. If G.I. Joe really is crap, wait until people have actually seen it to make that sort of decision. Don’t base it on production stills or rumors or any of this flimsy information. That’s all I’m saying.
As for my prediction: I am guessing a $47 million opening for G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra — because there’s bound to be a bump from midnight business, and also because this movie is basically The Last Stand of the summer movie season. After this week, you can be sure the studios will serve up some real throwaway crap. I’m not being judgmental about all these movies coming out — some of them may turn out to be good, but I’m just saying that’s what we usually can expect in August. As for this weekend, I’m convinced a lot of people will see G.I. Joe, no matter how much they say they will hate it, just because they know there’s not going to be any more action movies for a while. They know what’s coming down the pike in future weeks: even worse crap than this.
Next up — we having something for the adult crowd called Julie & Julia in almost 3,000 theaters. And I am convinced they have timed this movie’s release perfectly for all the adults who claim they are fed up with all these movies at the theaters aimed at young people (such as… G.I. Joe) So be ready to sit with an audience of older people when you go to see this one. Nora Ephron directs this flick that stars Meryl Streep as Julia Child and Amy Adams as Julie Powell, who wrote online about her experiences cooking each one of of the recipes in Child’s book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”.
It looks like interesting subject matter here, but as I have said, I think it will be an older crowd that will want to go to this movie. And since most older people don’t seem to be able to take the time out of their busy schedules to watch quality adult entertainment, I think you’ll see a depressed box office somewhere in the range of $17.5 million.
Finally we have A Perfect Getaway, starring Milla Jovovich, Steve Zahn, Kiele Sanchez and Timothy Olyphant. It’s a thriller about two pairs of lovers on a vacation in Hawaii and things go great, except there are murderers out there on the loose again. Fun stuff. We’ve seen this in movie after movie by now: don’t ever go on vacation to some exotic place — not even Hawaii. You’ll always end up regretting it. I regret to say this one will probably wind up at $9 million for the weekend.
So that’s how the new releases look to me and here is how the weekend will likely unfold:
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra $47 million
- Julie & Julia $17.5 million
- G-Force $12 million
- Funny People $11.7 million
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $11.4 million
- A Perfect Getaway $9 million
- The Ugly Truth $7.5 million
- Aliens in the Attic $5 million
- Orphan $4.6 million
- Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs $4.2 million
That does it for me. In honor of the late director John Hughes who died this week, I plan to do what Ferris Bueller once did: take the day off. And maybe I’ll spend that day off at the movies. See you later this weekend as we count the loot here at the Reject Report!