Cocktails and Movies: Weekend Flicks to Pick

BY TIM BARLEY AND MIKE REYES

Looking for a movie this weekend? Here are some Cocktails and Movies ideas

Cocktails and Movies monsters u vs WWZIf there was ever a weekend to have a cocktail and see a movie, this would be it. “They’re” coming for us all, so grab a drink and hunker in your bunker with us as we take a look at the latest “last weekend on Earth” at the Box Office with our Weekend Flicks to Pick. Now, you can follow us with the hashtag #FlickstoPick on Twitter and Facebook! (If you don’t know how to use hashtags on Twitter or Facebook, check out our friends Total Engagement Media, our social media consultants.)

The world is under siege, now more than ever. Monsters and zombies are amassing their armies to launch an all out assault on humanity. They’re coming for our old, our young, and everyone in-between. They want one thing and one thing only… your Box Office Dollars. Let’s look at those films and see what’s beating down our doors to find your movie dollars.

New releases for the weekend of  June 21st:

World War Z (rated PG-13) Distributor: Paramount, Director: Marc Forster, Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Matthew Fox, James Badge Dale, and David Morse.

(Note: Mike made his way into a LATE night showing of this flick last night, and should be putting a review up later today.)

With a zombie plague sweeping the globe and humanity’s last days seeming very close at hand, a U.N. Investigator (Pitt) is sent on a globe-trotting quest to figure out where this infection originated and how to stop it. With his family and a select few safe at sea on aircraft carriers, time is running out on the human race; and each human we save is one less we have to fight.

This could have been a decent Summer blockbuster, if it wasn’t for the fact that it was supposed to be released last December. Or the fact that the production has been so troubled that the third act had to be completely overhauled, thus delaying the release. World War Z is one of the most troubled productions in recent years, and the fact that it’s almost a prequel to the book on which it’s based doesn’t help in the confidence department. Still, there’s a decent buzz around the film even as some reviewers dig into it and taking potshots. This flick opens at even money in the overall horse race, but it’s something new and pretty much everyone has seen Man of Steel has seen it, so we can’t count it out yet.

Monsters University (rated G) Distributor: Disney, Director: Dan Scanlon , Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Helen Mirren, Charlie Day, Dave Foley, Patton Oswalt, Bonnie Hunt, and Nathan Fillion.

(Note: Tim got to see a sneak peek and his review is already posted on our website.)

Before they were Monstropolis’ top scarers, before they were even friends, James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (Crystal) were academic rivals at their alma mater… Monsters University. Of course, we know the story will change by time this trip down memory lane concludes. Nevertheless, a new Monsters film calls for new obstacles, new Randy Newman music, and, well… new monsters.

This flick has three big factors going for it: it’s new, it’s children’s counter-programming, and it’s a sequel in a nostalgia heavy property. The first two factors bode well, but nostalgia might not be enough to carry this film to the heights that Toy Story’s 3D re-release scaled. When given the same 3D treatment earlier this year, Monster’s Inc.’s reception was tepid at best. (It opened in 8th place in December, and managed to drop out of the top 10 three weeks in.) Pixar’s sequel happy behavior as of late seemed like a good idea with Toy Story 3, but became a damned foolish idea with Cars 2. Consider this the fence post that lets us know whether they’re heading down the right path or the wrong.

It’s a tough field this week, even without Man of Steel‘s shadow looming over the box office race. Last weekend was a good one as most films beat their estimates. Here’s where the actuals took us last week, and as always, our reviews are linked to the films we’ve already seen:

Last weekend’s Top Ten at the Box Office:

1. Man of Steel: $116.6 mil.

2. This Is The End: $20.7 mil.

3. Now You See Me: $11.0 mil.

4. Fast and Furious 6: $9.6 mil.

5. The Purge: $8.3 mil.

6. The Internship: $7.1 mil.

7. Epic: $6.28 mil.

8. Star Trek Into Darkness: $6.26 mil.

9. After Earth: $4.1 mil.

10. Iron Man 3: $3 mil.

Man of Steel is breaking records with his single bound into Summer. Already at $161.8 million with six days of receipts, Kal-El and friends look ready to take another weekend at the box office, no questions asked. But with a new movie in a well known kids property, and zombies from a New York Times Best Seller both flooding out theaters this weekend, some might be scared away from repeating their business with Metropolis’ favorite son. To the best of our awesome abilities, here are our predictions for this weekend’s top 3!

Mike’s Pick

1. Man of Steel

This is happening, whether we like it or not. Reviews are generally positive, the film keeps chugging along with record pace, and people love a good superhero flick. Zach Snyder’s practically signing the contract that binds him to Man of Steel 2, Justice League, and whatever else Warner Brothers demands in return, all thanks to this record maker. (Hopefully, Sucker Punch 2 won’t be one of the conditions in the deal.) This installment is only $38.3 million away from outgrossing Superman Returns’ TOTAL grosses. Looking at both Returns, and even Iron Man 3’s second weekends, there’s roughly 59% drop in grosses in both franchises. Though we’ll give the film a slight bump for its positive image going into the second weekend.

Estimated Take: $55 million

2. Monsters University

The advantages weighed, this film is still a very iffy proposal. With no competition, as little demand for its presence as Monsters U has, and the addition of an IMAX 3D component to its launch, Cars 2 managed to make $66.1 million in its opening weekend. Expect this film to make a little less, as it’s been way too long for a proper sequel to be had, and (again) the reception to the 3D re-release of Monsters Inc. has shown that this film doesn’t have the same “Toy Story” factor working towards its memory.

Estimated Take: $38 million

3. World War Z

Two words: Morbid Curiosity. That’s what’s going to send this flick into the top 3, but it’s what might send it back down to the lower 5 after this weekend. The buzz isn’t strong enough to kick this film above even Monster’s University, but it’s strong enough to have hardcore Zombie/Max Brooks devotees show up this weekend for its maiden voyage. Whether they vilify or vindicate this film will be seen, most likely, at an early phase of its opening weekend.

Estimated Take: $29 million

Tim’s alternate picks (because he’s the boss)

Tim has a difference of opinion.

Tim has a difference of opinion.

Tim has been in this business a long time and although some weekends have flummoxed him in the past, he thinks he has a great bead on this weekend. So, with a large bloody mary in hand this morning, and in his best Drunk Uncle impersonation, he suggests THIS is who wins, places and shows this weekend:

(and Tim liked Sucker Punch)

 

1. Monsters University

Never underestimate either Pixar or the power of kids (or parents who take their kids to films they want their kids to see instead of the violent action film). Summer kids movies and the power of Pixar take this to the top.

Estimated Take: $82 million

2. World War Z

Here’s the thing: I (Tim) still believe that the power of zombies is alive and well. Yes, this movie has been troubled. Yes, Paramount has done a horrible job promoting it. BUT, as Mike pointed out, there is a morbid curiosity factor here.

Estimated Take: $55 million

3. Man of Steel

Man of Steel will probably slip to third place just because that’s how numbers work and with a new #1 and #2 film, logic dictates that it falls to #3.

Estimated Take: $47 million

And with that, your weekend’s “Flicks to Pick” (#FlicksToPick) 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 find out whether we’ll be checking under our beds, examining friends and family alike for bite marks, or continue to look up to the skies!  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.