Cocktails and Movies: Weekend “Flicks to Pick”

BY TIM BARLEY AND MIKE REYES

Celebrate America with a cocktail and a movie

Cocktails and Movies despicable me 2 vs lone ranger #flickstopick

Which duo will be king?

Let’s see who’s ready to set off fireworks of celebration… or dump their tea in the harbor and go home in this Special Edition of Flicks to Pick.

(Remember to follow us with the hashtag #FlicksToPick on Twitter and Facebook)

Independence Day. Men in Black. The Amazing Spider-Man. All of these films are members of the Fourth of July club. That distinctly advantageous release date, next to Memorial Day and the Winter holidays, which studios tend to book up a year or two in advance. Not all of  them can be winners, though, as Will Smith could tell you after making his own rather underwhelming Western for the 4th of July weekend. So, let’s see which movies made their reservations early..

New releases for the weekend of  July 5th

Despicable Me 2 (rated PG) Distributor: Universal, Directors: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan, Benjamin Bratt, and Miranda Cosgrove.

The Minions are back! At least, until someone starts stealing them away from Gru (Carell), who has (in)conveniently been drafted by the AVL (Anti Villain League) to find out who’s creating a top secret compound that could have rather monstrous effects on whomever it is exposed to it. As if this weren’t tough enough, he’ll face his biggest challenge yet… women.

The original Despicable Me was a blend of heart and humor, with a rather star studded cast. With the newest entry in the series, looks like both will be present in force, particularly with Carell having to use both his funnier and more sensitive/romantic sensibilities at the same time. Simply put, it looks like fun. Uncomplicated and adorable, take the kids (or see it with your friends) and be ready to have some fun.

The Lone Ranger (rated PG-13) Distributor: Disney, Director: Gore Verbinski, Starring: Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Wilkinson, James Badge Dale, and William Fictner

Ranger John Reid (Hammer) dies in the line of duty, only to be brought back by his soon to be partner in crime, Tonto (Depp). Together they’ll ride for freedom. They’ll ride to protect the innocent. Above all else, they’ll ride for justice.

The Lone Ranger is projected to be quite the bomb this Summer, which is disappointing considering Gore Verbinski is quite good at delivering a good time at the movies. (Especially when Johnny Depp is involved in the proceedings.) Still, there’s always the outside chance this flick will gain traction and surprise us all. With the marketing and attention Disney seems to giving it though, it seems as if they’ve written it off as another John Carter… and we all remember how much of a hit that film was.

The Way Way Back (rated PG-13) Distributor: Fox Searchlight, Directors: Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, Starring: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, Annasophia Robb, and Sam Rockwell.

cocktails and movies the-way-way-backNat Faxon and Jim Rash, two of the Academy Award wining writers of The Descendants (and the stars of TV’s Ben and Kate and Community, respectively), have once again made use of their partnership with Fox Searchlight to bring us an Indie flick that looks as good as its cast. Duncan (Liam James) is having a horrific summer with is mother (Toni Collette) and her jerk boyfriend (Steve Carell). Over the summer he’ll meet a girl (Robb), find a mentor (Rockwell), and just maybe, he’ll make a memory or two at the local water park.

Faxon and Rash are no stranger to the Indie Comedy circuit, especially considering that they won an Oscar a piece alongside Alexander Payne in 2012 for their stellar work on The Descendants. On top of their writing talents, they have another awesome cast of luminary figures in both the comedic and dramatic fields. Surprisingly released in summer, we wouldn’t be surprised if this flick resurfaces in time for awards season this fall. (Especially considering it’s opening on less than 20 screens this week, with an eventual rollout.)

Now, here are the Actuals from last weekend, with our reviews linked to each relevant film. As you’ll see, there really hasn’t been to much of a change.:

Last weekend’s Top Ten at the Box Office :

1. Monsters University: $45.6m

2. The Heat: $39.1m

3. World War Z: $29.8m

4. White House Down: $24.9m

5. Man of Steel: $20.7m

6. This Is The End: $8.7m

7. Now You See Me: $5.6m

8. Fast and Furious 6: $2.4m

9. Star Trek Into Darkness: $2.1m

10. The Internship: $1.4m

Last weekend, we saw the power of kids’ movies continue to rule the summer roost with Monsters University raking in two consecutive weekends of #1 finishes. That pattern is going to break this weekend though, as Despicable Me 2 has already shown itself to be THE film to beat this weekend. Meanwhile, White House Down, which would have been a slam dunk for Roland Emmerich in his heyday has turned out to be an underperforming flick at best. Even with most theaters promoting free tickets for active and veteran military, the film still doesn’t look to be catching the traction it needs to survive in the box office game. We might have another casualty of summer on our hands, folks; which is exactly what World War Z looked like before it managed to surprise us all. Can The Lone Ranger pull the same deck and manage to surprise us all with a strong finish?

Let’s talk about it in this week’s Flicks to Pick for July 5th – 7th:


1. Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me has become a big name in animation, but it’s not at Pixar levels of recognition. If anything, Dreamworks/Illumination Studios films excel at pushing sidekicks more than the main show. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s merely taking the strength of their projects and marketing what’s best. Still, the film is more known for The Minions (who are due to have their own movie next year), not Gru and the Girls. Still, it’s going to make bank, and with a 3D component being pushed (with awesome 3D goggles being handed out this weekend) it’s going to clean up handily, with an easy 1st place victory. NOTE: This movie has made over $34 milion on its first DAY. In the three day weekend, it COULD add another $75 million.

Estimated Weekend: $64 million

 

2.  The Lone Ranger

Here’s the part that’s going to hurt, as we’re Disney fans as much as the next guy. Unfortnately, the reviews aren’t particularly good for this $215 million budgeted blockbuster, and the public doesn’t seem too enthused to see it either. Let’s put it this way… last night, you couldn’t get a ticket for a screening to the 7 pm screening of Despicable Me 2. You could, however, still get tickets to see The Lone Ranger at the same time; and this was at a theater that’s been selling movies out left and right (due to renovation closing off one half of the building). Despicable Me 2 had a line and a healthy showing for an 11:50 screening, whereas no one was seen going into The Lone Ranger. Disney’s got a dud on their hands. Whether it’s an entertaining dud or not, is yet to be seen.

Estimated Weekend: $45 million

 

3. Monsters University

Just because Despicable Me 2 is out doesn’t mean that everyone’s seen Monsters University yet (or if they have, they might not have had their fill just yet). It’s a kid’s movie weekend, and we’re just living in it! Expect more money for Mike, Sully, and the rest of the Monsters University crew.

Estimated Weekend: $36 million

And with that, your weekend’s “Flicks to Pick” have been selected! We’re not professionals here, people. We’re just trying to be! So, if anyone disagrees with us, send us a comment or,  using the hashtag #FlicksToPick, follow us on Facebook or Twitter and start a discussion about it.

 We’ll see you again this Monday, when we try to thaw out Johhny Depp after a particularly interesting Freeze Gun “accident”. (SOMEONE HAS TO SAVE HIM FROM HIMSELF!)  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.