Cocktails and Movies: Flicks to Pick This Weekend

BY TIM BARLEY AND MIKE REYES

Memorial Day Weekend has come! All roads have led to this. Here’s what you and your wolf pack should be seeing this weekend.

We’re gonna keep this brief, because this weekend is going to be a HUGE battle for boxcocktails and movies Memorial-Day office supremacy. It’s going to be a battle royale title fight that we won’t see for some time this summer. Two contenders, huge in their own right, are ready to duke it out for that #1 spot. And don’t forget kids’ movies do well on long weekends. Although, with our keen insight and ever improving prognostication skills, plus the fact that we’ve seen two of them and posted reviews already, it may not be much of a battle in the end. Enough spinning our wheels, let’s see what Hollywood’s offering us for entertainment this weekend.

New releases for the weekend of  May 24th:

Fast and Furious 6 (rated PG-13) Distributor: Universal, Director: Justin Lin, Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Luke Evans, and Gina Carano.

After four missions (remember, Tokyo Drift hasn’t happened yet), the Fast and Furious mega crew have decided to take one last job. The job that might clear their records and set them free from the path they’ve been running on. Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker), and the crew are drafted by Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson, reprising his role from Fast Five) to stop a crime ring running throughout the whole of Europe. They have fast cars, precision timing, and a ghost from the past (Michelle Rodriguez) on their side. You can read our review from earlier this week here.

The Hangover Part III (rated R) Distributor: Warner Bros., Director: Todd Philips, Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galafinakis, Ken Jeong, John Goodman, and Heather Graham

The Wolf Pack is ready to take their final bow after Alan (Zack Galafinakis) loses his father, and finally his mind. With their initial objective being to bring Alan to a rehabilitation facility, everything is soon interrupted (true to form for these guys) by a gangster (John Goodman) who’s on the hunt for Alan’s friend/troublemaker extraordinaire Lesile Chou (Ken Jeong). One last roll of the dice brings them to Vegas to finish the epic saga that began with The Hangover, and dwindled into stupidity beyond comedic relief with The Hangover Part II.

Epic (rated PG) Distributor: Fox, Director: Chris Wedge, Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Jason Sudekis, Colin Farrell, Aziz Ansari, Pitbull, Beyonce Knowles, and Christoph Waltz

A young girl (Seyfried) somehow winds up miniaturized and embroiled in a battle between kingdoms, while trying to get home and become her natural size. Take Honey I Shrunk The Kids, mix with Ferngully and Avatar, give Aziz Ansari some horrifically modern dialogue and call it a day. The creator of Ice Age is back with Fox’s latest mediocre looking offering, that you’ll admittedly be dragged to with your kids. (And you’ll probably wish you were sitting in one of the two films above instead.)

Now this week puts is in an awesome position for prognostication as Tim has seen both films before the weekend rush (both of which have been reviewed, and can be read by clicking on the film’s titles), and here’s what he has to say:

Fast and Furious 6:

The Hangover Part III:

With Tim’s inside info in hand, 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 :

1. Star Trek Into Darkness$70.6 mil

2. Iron Man 3: $35.2 mil.

3. The Great Gatsby: $23.4 mil

4. Pain and Gain: $3.1 mil

5. The Croods: $2.75 mil

6. 42: $2.73 mil

7. Oblivion: $2.22 mil

8. Mud: $2.16 mil

9. Peeples: $2.15mil

10. The Big Wedding: $1.1 mil

Star Trek Into Darkness was the only real choice for last weekend. This weekend we have a total reversal and complete mayhem. As Trek was smart to pick last weekend to open wide, it also has handicapped itself because this weekend’s possible three way split almost ensures that it will be knocked down to 4th place. Almost… see, the problem is that while Epic is kid’s counterprogramming, it’s counterprogramming that doesn’t look all that interesting to children, or anyone really. Not to mention, the ad buy on the film hasn’t been all that great, as there doesn’t seem to be a huge merchandising push behind the film. Star Trek‘s juice versus Epic‘s kiddie fare seems like an unfair match, but there’s enough factors in both film’s corners to swing either way.

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

1.Fast And Furious 6″

Look up “Roller Coaster” in the Box Office dictionary, and you’ll see Vin Diesel’s mug ready to end you, right next to the charts for all five installments of said franchise. While it started modestly, jumped healthily, and dove precipitously by the time the third installment rolled in, the franchise knew what it needed to do in order to survive by the time the fourth movie came along. When Fast Five debuted in 2011, the series had arrived at its true form.

Consolidating the all star cast and switching to the sexier heist genre made the film an all out action spectacular that even people who weren’t all that into street racing could enjoy. (Though it didn’t put a stop to teenagers pimping their cars out and driving as if they thought they were street racers.) It’s shown a steady increase throughout the past three installments, and has earned enough clout to make a well earned grab at the Memorial Day brass ring. Universal, we’ve criticized you before, but you played this one quite well for the past 12 years. Moviegoers take note, this is how you handle a franchise.

Estimated Opening: $90 million

2. “The Hangover Part III”

This movie is going to make money, there’s no two ways about it. From the initial Hangover to the second film, the franchise jumped about $41 million in opening weekend grosses. However, when it comes to total grosses, we saw a roughly $23 million drop in figures. (Probably because Part II was just like Part I, except the novelty and reasons why the first film was so great were forgone in order to carbon copy the supposed “winning formula” the film followed.) We’re ready to wager that there’ll be a drop in opening weekend numbers, but not big enough to hurt its starting total. However, we’re not expecting this movie to play a good long game.

Estimated Opening: $65 million

3. “Star Trek Into Darkness”

With only an $837.5K gap between the first film and the latest installment’s current (lesser) total, Trek doesn’t seem very far behind its predecessor’s track record. Which means that week two should see around a $38 million gross for Kirk and company. The funny thing is, even with a 3D release added onto the traditional and IMAX screenings that Trek ’09 had, Into Darkness is managing to slightly underperform. Still, with only $5.8 million left to make its budget back, it’s not a big deal as the picture is already practically solvent.

Estimated Opening: $23 million

**Tim here: Don’t ever discount the amount of pull that kids have on their parents when it comes to movies. The reason that the top money makers of all time are either G or PG rated films is that kids want to see them, and they can’t drive themselves to the theater. While Epic does not look good or all that interesting, with a low marketing budget, don’t doubt that it could sneak into a third place tie with $25 million in receipts.**

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 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 Tuesday, when we’ll finally know if Zach Galafinakis or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will win the First Annual “Cocktails & Movies Memorial Day Arm Wrestling Match” (Benedict Cumberbatch will be fighting the winner.) Until next time, may you treat your liquor like you treat your movies: know what you’re spending your money on, and do so responsibly. Happy Memorial Day to you all!