rr-hotelfordogs

Welcome to yet another “throwaway weekend” at the movies here at the Reject Report. What’s worse, it’s the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. So a whole holiday weekend where people finally have some free time on their hands is about to get wasted on extreme down-market entertainment.

I dunno if Martin Luther King Jr. would be impressed with this lineup cluttering up the holiday in his name — movies like Paul Blart: Mall Cop. How about Hotel for Dogs?! Aren’t you fed up with dog movies by now?! Add to that lineup My Bloody Valentine 3D and we truly are in store for a schlock-filled weekend at the movies.

To be honest with you, I really am at a loss trying to figure out what is going to happen as far as what movie will win at the box office this weekend. I have been wracking my brain for hours trying to figure out the pulse of the North American moviegoing public, and there are plenty of conflicting opinions about what may happen out there.

Based on what’s gone down the last few months I was originally tempted to think Hotel for Dogs would win going away. That movie stars Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin, and Don Cheadle. Based on the book by best-selling author Lois Duncan, it’s about these kids who take in a bunch of dogs.

Seems as if the consensus among other prognosticators is that this movie will finish behind some of the other box-office contenders, even though it is on a hefty 3,000 screens. I sure hope they’re right, for a change. As I said at the start: people have got to be sick to death of these cuddly canines by now. I know I’m absolutely sick of them. I am going to predict $18 million for Hotel for Dogs because after Marley and Me, Beverly Hills Chihuahua and the rest of them, people have got to be tired of seeing the same old thing at theaters all the time. These bloody dog movies have to go.

Speaking of bloody — My Bloody Valentine 3D is due out in about 2,500 theaters and will be in 3D on about 1,000 of them. In fact, it’s been moved up from what was supposed to be a mid-February release date. It’s a remake of the low-budget made-in-Canada flick of the same name that was released in 1981. Horror fans will recall that was the era of Halloween, Friday the 13th and other slasher flicks. In fact I notice they are bringing back Friday the 13th this year, too. So the timing for the revival of the “slasher movie” is excellent. This flick is directed by Patrick Lussier and stars Jensen Ackles and Jaime King. It’s exactly what you expect it to be: a horror movie starring some guy wearing a miner’s mask who uses an axe to kill people.

The novelty is that this flick is in 3-D using the Real D technology that has been used before in Journey to the Center of the Earth. I think the 3-D thing is going to help this movie quite a bit. It won’t be a blockbuster, but I am predicting $23 million this weekend for My Bloody Valentine 3D.

The one piece of good news to report is that this movie actually has some people saying good things about it. It was running at 83 percent at Rotten Tomatoes when I last checked. So it may not be such a bad weekend at the movies after all, if you’re a horror fan.

Next is Paul Blart: Mall Cop. This one stars Kevin James as a lowly mall security guard forced to deal with a gang of organized thugs who try and take over his mall.

I have to be honest with you. I think this movie truly looks like a piece of junk. The trailers have looked just terrible. Yet I noticed on Steve Mason’s much-read box office prognostication column that he thinks the tracking for this movie is great, so he’s predicting it to finish in first place for the weekend. Now, Steve Mason usually has a track record for being right, but I looked at what he had to say and wondered if the rest of us were getting punk’d. If Steve Mason is right, then Americans have to give their own heads a shake about their taste in movies.

There is no way I am predicting a first-place finish for this lame-looking piece of mediocrity. I don’t care if it’s in a lot of theaters (3,000). My guess is $19 million for Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and I am being exceedingly generous in making that prediction.

Other flicks coming out this weekend include Notorious, a biopic about Notorious B.I.G. with Jamal Woolard in the lead role. I am predicting about $12 million for that.

Defiance has already been in limited release, but this is the weekend when it finally goes wide into 1,700 theaters. It stars Daniel Craig in a story of Jewish brothers in occupied Poland who escaped the Nazis during World War II and joined the resistance. This one looks like it will make a modest amount of money — about $10 million is my prediction here.

And finally, Last Chance Harvey, starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, finally goes wide and I am predicting $5 million for that. Which, incidentally, may not be enough to make the Top Ten this weekend.

Okay, I take it back. It’s NOT all junk at the theaters. Just wait a few more weeks, though, as Hollywood starts cluttering up the theaters with more romcoms and other throwaway non-entertainment. Then we’ll all be wishing the weekends were like this one. In fact we are in for a real glut of movies in the coming few weekends as Hollywood dumps its best junk, while these so-called Oscar contenders attempt to go wider at theaters as the big awards show looms. So we’re actually in for quite a bit of choice at the movie multiplexes in the next two or three weeks.

The likely order of finish for the 3-day weekend, as I see it, is as follows:

1. My Bloody Valentine 3D $23 million
2. Paul Blart: Mall Cop $19 million
3. Hotel for Dogs $18 million
4. Gran Torino $17 million
5. Notorious $12 million
6. Bride Wars $11 million
7. Defiance $10 million
8. The Unborn $8.5 million
9. Marley & Me $7 million
10. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button $6 million

As I said earlier, I am really going out on a limb here this weekend with my My Bloody Valentine 3D prediction, based more on the positive reports I hear about it than any other reason. I don’t want to see Paul Blart: Mall Cop at the top of the charts, and I REALLY don’t want to see Hotel for Dogs winning. If Hotel for Dogs wins, get ready for a bunch of Lassie remakes and regurgitations of Rin Tin Tin from the geniuses who run the studios. I am through with seeing dogs winning the box office race every freaking week. I want to see something original, darn it. (I guess My Bloody Valentine 3D isn’t original, either, because it’s a remake. But at least it’s not another dog movie.)

I’ll be back on Sunday when we’ll see if I have to eat dog food again over my box office predictions here at the Reject Report.


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