Chris Pratt and his menagerie of Guardians came in slightly below most projections (including our own USD $160 million) but hey, USD $145 million is nothing to sneeze at and this second effort outgrossed the original by a hefty 54% and when’s the last time that could be said? And here’s something else…it looks like moviegoers actually enjoyed it. Audience Cinemascores were a straight A and the film garnered positive critical reviews and an 82% Rotten Tomatoes number.
The film gets Hollywood’s summer off to a successful start but “GOTGV2” also succeeded in taking the sails out of the rest of the marketplace as it was the only film to gross more than USD $10 million. It was the sole weekend in 2017 where only one film hit double digits. In fact, one has to go back to the weekend of September 16-18 of 2016 to find the last time that occurred. “Fate of the Furious”, “How to Be a Latin Lover” and “The Circle” all took precipitous drops and we won’t even mention the 69% that “Baahubali 2” took. Well, I guess we just did.
Can the Guardians get a little help here? Let’s look at this coming weekend for clues.
“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” (WB)—Evidently it’s an unwritten rule that every ten years or so Hollywood has to take a crack at the Arthur legend and here in 2017 it’s “Snatch” director Guy Ritchie’s turn to have a go at it. Thirteen years ago Antoine Fuqua tried his hand to the tune of USD $51 million and Sony’s “First Knight” preceded that effort and grossed a dismal USD $37 million in 1995 (though Sean Connery’s Arthur was more of a side character in that film). It’s rather sad when the most inspired retelling of the legend of the Knights of the Round Table came from the Monty Python gang.
I doubt we’ll see any killer bunnies or galloping coconuts in Guy Ritchie’s version but what we do have is Charlie Hunnan from “Pacific Rim” and TV’s “Sons of Anarchy”, Jude Law, Eric Bana and Djimon Hounsou. The film’s HSX value has been falling as of late and exhibitor screening reactions are just OK, plus the film’s Twitter page only has 8,400 followers. Just to put it into perspective, Terminix Rodent Control has three times that number. Sorry, Charlie.
The Verdict: Arthur films are always more successful overseas than in the States as attempting to get Mr. and Mrs. Texarkana out of the house to see a film that takes place in 12th century England is a bit dicey. Still, Ritchie can open a big budget period piece (think the “Sherlock Holmes” movies) so theoretically there is a chance this finds its audience. USD $21 million (although we wouldn’t be surprised to see this in the teens either)
“Snatched” (Fox)—Amy Schumer’s second starring vehicle is a mother/daughter comedy that pairs the comedian with comedy legend Goldie Hawn in her first on-screen effort since 2002’s “The Banger Sisters”. Schumer’s “Trainwreck” in 2015 was a solid hit and finished with USD $110 million. In addition, there’s always room for female driven comedies during the summer months. The last few years have given us “Bad Moms”, “Spy”, “Tammy” and “The Heat”. It’s doubtful that Schumer’s recent head-scratching anti-PETA interview on Stephen Colbert will harm the film’s chances.
The Verdict: Perfect, light summer entertainment for a female audience, “Snatched” is poised to claim the #2 spot [behind GOTGV2] this week with a very respectable USD $28 million.
LOW RIDERS (Ind)—Eva Longoria drama set in East Los Angeles
PARIS CAN WAIT (Sony Classics)—Diane Lane and Alec Baldwin in a kind of a “Under The Alsatian Sun”, directed by Francis Ford Coppola’s wife Eleanor
WHISKY GALORE (Ind)—Remake of 1940’s Scottish whiskey comedy with Eddie Izzard and a ton of co-stars whose last names all start with “Mac”
THE WALL (Amazon/Roadside)—No, not That wall. John Cena military actioner from director Doug Liman
ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING (Ind)-Odd sci-fi comedy directed by Monty Pythoner Terry Jones starring Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale and featuring the voices of Robin Williams (in his final film) and the other living members of the Python gang. This was already released in 2015 and is just making it to these shores. Never a good sign.
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