Cocktails and Movies: Flicks to Pick This Weekend

BY TIM BARLEY AND MIKE REYES

And there goes Memorial Day! What a weekend beat down the boys with the NO2-fueled, supercharged FF6 put on the poor Wolfpack from Hangover III. Thanks for coming to play, and buh-bye! At the time of writing this, Fast and Furious 6 has made approximately $131 million and may just have enough to win this weekend’s box office, even with two new movies debuting in theaters, one with Will Smith and son. The other a top-notch cast with a fun premise.

The question, going into this weekend, is: does either new movie this weekend have Cocktails and Movies Now You See Meenough horsepower (or star power) to dethrone FF6? Some might say that a Will Smith vehicle could do it, but After Earth looks weak, especially when you see who the director is. (SPOILER ALERT: we’re telling you who directs this film later.) Plus, we’ve already had Oblivion to whet our post-apocalyptic Earth appetite. Additionally, we’re not sure that Smith is the box office pull he used to be. (When you’re reactivating an old franchise, Men in Black 3, to pay your bills while working on another film, it spells trouble. We’re not sure Smith still has it. We’re definitely sure that his son isn’t ready for the big time…

Then there’s Now You See Me, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman and Woody Harrelson. It is Cocktails and Movies event for this weekend here on the West Coast and it looks like a fun enough of a romp to pay attention to in between sips of our cocktails. (You know, instead of After Earth in which we’d be hurling our cocktails at the screen and getting tossed out of the theater…) With Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and FF6 still in theaters, will there be enough guys to go see After Earth, or will their dates ask to be taken to Now You See Me?  Enough conjecture, let’s see what the weekend looks like.

New releases for the weekend of May 31st:

After Earth (rated PG-13) Distributor: Columbia Pictures, Director: M. Night Shyamalan, Starring: Jaden Smith, Will Smith.

Cocktails and Movies After Earth

The only poster that doesn’t have Smith & Smith all over it.

BIG red flags here. Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, based on a story from Will Smith, produced by Jada Pinkett Smith and starring Will and Jaden Smith. It all smells so wrong… Set 1000 years after humans abandoned Earth due to a cataclysm of some type, the planet has evolved without human interference into a dangerous place. Will Smith plays Cypher Raige, the leader of the Ranger Corps, a peacekeeping organization and he has a teenage rebellious son named Kitai. The mother encourages Cypher to take their son to Earth, viewing his behavior as a yearning to explore. The ship crashes, leaving only the two of them alive, but for how long on the dangerous planet we used to call home!

Now You See Me (rated PG-13) Distributor: Summit/Lionsgate Pictures, Director: Louis Leterrier, Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Morgan Freeman

An FBI detective and an Interpol agent track a team of professional illusionists who pull off outrageous bank robberies and reward their audiences with the money. There isn’t a whole lot of information on this film, and that could be both good and bad. But, our money is riding on the fact that with this cast it will be a lot of fun. How can you not like magicians and illusions and bank robbers who rob banks half a world away while performing in a Las Vegas casino?

***No luck on seeing these films beforehand (but if you’re reading this and you can get us into pre release screenings, there’s a bottle of your favorite in it for you from Cocktails and Movies).***

So, here’s last week’s Box Office Numbers. Again, our reviews are linked to the films we’ve already seen:

Last week’s Top Ten at the Box Office (4 day weekend):

1. Fast and Furious 6 – $120 million

2. Hangover III – $51.2 million

3. Star Trek: Into Darkness – $47 million

4. Epic – $42.6 million

5. Iron Man 3 – $24.4 million

6. The Great Gatsby – $17 million

7. Mud – $1.9 million

8. 42 – $2.4 million

9. The Croods – $1.6 million

10. Oblivion – $1.1 million

We’re patting ourselves on the back with self congratulations here at Cocktails and Movies. We correctly picked the top movies, but fell short on expectations on FF6 and probably gave Hangover III way too much credit. Still, it was one of the best Memorial Day box office takes in history. So, way to go movie goers!

With that, here are this week’s Top Three picks:

1. Fast And Furious 6

With a couple of less than stellar movies opening this weekend and a lot of money beingCocktails and Movies fast & furious 6 movie poster spent last weekend on beer and grilling materials, not to mention a LOT on last week’s opening films, there isn’t much left here. But, FF6 looks like it could stay #1 for at least one more weekend. Most blockbusters of this caliber need at least two weeks in order to satisfy the majority of its core audience and the Fast franchise’s last two entries evened out after a 62% drop. So, watch for a significant drop off, but with weak competition and great word-of-mouth, expect this to stay on top.

Cocktails and Movies uneducated guess: $57 million

2. Now You See Me

Tough choice here. We’re not sure that this movie is going to beat After Earth, because it IS will Smith in the other film and the man is still a charmer! Still, we can just feel something special about this movie that don’t with the Will Smith and Son vacation epic. Don’t expect a huge opening from this movie, but it does seem to be gathering a good head of steam (Morgan Freeman falling asleep during an interview notwithstanding). This could be a sleeper…

Estimated Opening: $27 million

3. After Earth

Look for this to be tied with Now You See Me and both films come in way under expectations. Will Smith has long been a huge draw for many film goers, but adding your son to the mix seems like hubris of epic proportions. Plus, with all the off screen issues regarding Jaden Smith, will audiences care to go see him and his dad?

**Mike’s Note: Oh, After Earth… you’re lucky to even be considered a top three contender, considering your director’s shaky pedigree and your stars’ rather mixed profile as of late. Between shoving his kids down our throats, the ever present taste of that lousy Seven Pounds still soiling our eyes, and the fun, but WAY watered down Men in Black 3. Will Smith isn’t the safe bet he used to be. And what’s more, we’re expected to believe The Karate Kid is ready to star in a summer tent pole?!?! Honestly, I’m close to banking on Star Trek: Into Darkness or even (gulp) Hangover III for the number three pick again. I know we don’t have a lot of options here, but Benedict Cumberbatch ALONE should have the advantage here.

Estimated Opening: $23 million

And with that, Cocktails and Movies weekend “Flicks to Pick” have been selected! Consequences be damned, that’s what we feel will take place. Anybody want to agree/disagree with this weekend’s picks? Send us some competition in the Comments section below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

We’ll see you again on Monday, when we’ll finally know if there’s a career in this prognostication stuff or not. And if this Cocktails and Movies thing is just what we should be doing all day… or if we’ll have to go work for M. Night Shyamalan in order to repay the debt of our hubris. Save us, angel investors!!!!