Cocktails and Movies Weekend “Flicks To Pick”

BY TIM BARLEY AND MIKE REYES

“Flicks To Pick:” Where Cocktails and Movies tells you what to watch

We’re coming off some great highs (Pacific Rim) and lows (Grown Ups 2) this past weekend and like every (film) junkie will tell you, it’s hard to concentrate after binging for so long. This week is going to be a tough one! First, we haven’t seen any of the movies coming out this weekend. (ahem, studio PR, marketing people…) Second, we have another crowded weekend of movies dropping in theaters and it’s a really difficult field to read. Break out the blindfolds, shots of Jameson and the darts, as we set the board up for some prognosticating!

In fact, this might be the hardest weekend of the Summer to figure out. At least, you know, until the next one. Admit it, except for a couple high profile releases, August is going to be a crap shoot. The next six weeks of movies is not going to be the greatest in movie fare as studios have emptied their chambers of their tent pole releases and aren’t going to share with us any huge Oscar bait until the late Fall. (Thank God for upcoming football season…)

We’ll cut the preamble at this point and jump ahead into this weekend’s “Flicks to Pick.” Trust us… we’re gonna need the extra room. Remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #FlicksToPick.

New releases for the weekend of  July 19th

Cocktails and Movies Flicks To Pick TurboTurbo (rated PG) Distributor: Dreamworks/Fox , Director: , Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Lion, Michael Pena, Luis Guzman, and Michelle Rodriguez.

Turbo (Reynolds) is an ordinary garden snail who’s just received an upgrade.  Through some exposure to NO2, he’s become super-charged with the power of increased speed. With the help of his human mentor (Pena), and a cast of colorful fellow snail racers, he’ll set his sights on the ultimate goal: to race in the Indianapolis 500.

Turbo opened on Wednesday with a strong first place ranking with last weekend’s releases. However, even with the iffy competition this weekend, it’s going to have to put some work into making it past the horrible trailer it’s been selling itself with. Also, Despicable Me 2 just might be able to sneak the kids’ market away, oh so quietly.

 

 

Cocktails and Movies RIPD FLICKS TO PICKR.I.P.D (rated PG-13) Distributor: Universal, Director: Robert Schwentke, Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Mary Louise Parker, and Kevin Bacon.

Nick Walker (Reynolds) is newly dead, but still working at being the best cop on the beat. After being killed in the line of duty, he’s been selected to join the Rest in Peace Department: a selection of the top souls in law enforcement, all enlisted to bring Deados (souls that have somehow stayed on Earth past their time) back to the Great Beyond. With his cantankerous partner, Roy (Bridges) and his boss (Parker) both breathing down his neck, it’ll be up to the entire force to defend the world of the living against a very present (and very dead) threat.

This release hasn’t really been hyped all that well, in fact Kevin Bacon doesn’t even make it into any of the trailers! Yet, he factors rather importantly into the film’s narrative. Come to think of it, we really can’t tell WHAT this movie is about from the trailer. Besides, ya know, a bunch of dead people having it out on the streets of Boston. It looks like Universal might have their first bomb of the Summer.

(Mike went to a Late Night screening of R.I.P.D. Last night, and will have a review in the queue shortly.)

 

Cocktails and Movies Flicks to Pick The ConjuringThe Conjuring (rated R) Distributor: WB/New Line, Director: James Wan, Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, and Lili Taylor.

Supposedly based on a true story, The Conjuring focuses on Ed (Wilson) and Lorraine (Farmiga) Warren: paranormal investigators at large. The couple behind the Amityville Horror investigation are called into investigating a family and their spectral woes. Something’s hiding in the farmhouse, and if the Warrens aren’t careful that something just might bring them over to the realm of the dead for good.

With a well regarded horror director at the helm, and a weak sauce weekend ahead, The Conjuring seems to be the favorite (if not dead heat competition for Turbo) to win the box office crown this weekend. Both Variety and Box Office Mojo have this one spiking the needle, albeit at different amounts that range from the mid $20 million to the low $30 million figure.

 

cocktails and Movies Flicks to Pick RED_2Red 2 (rated PG-13) Distributor: Summit Entertainment, Director: Dean Parisot, Starring: Bruce Willis, John Malcovich, Mary Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Anthony Hopkins.

After earning a quiet retirement through superior firepower, Frank Moses (Willis) seems ready to settle down with his girlfriend, Sarah (Louise Parker). That doesn’t last long though as he’s dragged back into the game with an old friend (Malcovich), an old flame (Zeta-Jones), and an new nemesis (Mirren): all on the hunt for a secret nuclear device smuggled into Moscow during the Cold War. You know… nothing big.

Word has it that this is better than the first, but will more action and explosions make for a better film than the nice, character-driven action film that was the first? This really wasn’t a sequel anyone asked for. At least not until the original made almost $200 million out of a $58 million budget, but it really wasn’t all that explosive at the market. Still, you can’t go wrong with bringing on the director of Galaxy Quest, as well as Anthony Hopkins as a eccentric nuclear physicist. Or can you?

Know what you can’t go wrong with? Heading out to the Arclight in El Segundo for the Cocktails & Movies screening of Red 2, after drinks with Overlord Tim at Jackson’s! Drinks at 6p, Show is at 7:20p!

Phew! That is a crowded field if we’ve ever seen one. We’ll cut the post chatter short, and head on to the actuals from last weekend, followed quickly by this weekend’s Flicks to Pick.

Last weekend’s Top Ten at the Box Office:

1. Despicable Me 2: $43.8 mil.

2. Grown Ups 2: $41.5 mil.

3. Pacific Rim: $37.3 mil.

4. The Heat: $14 mil.

5. The Lone Ranger: $11.5 mil.

6. Monsters University: $10.6 mil.

7. World War Z: $9.3 mil.

8. White House Down: $6.2 mil.

9. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain: $4.75 mil.

10. Man of Steel: $4.71 mil.

Despicable Me 2 held onto its first place finish last weekend, but can it stand up against ghosts, snails, and Kaiju tails? Let’s find out with this weekend’s Flicks To Pick:

1. Turbo

Despicable Me 2 was able to hold onto two weekends of a solid box office lead. About now though, kids are looking for something new to see. With Wednesday’s estimates placing Turbo above all others, it’s safe to expect this film to coast into an easy lead. However, don’t expect it to be a particularly commanding one, what with this film being a new, not particularly explosive, property.
Estimated Weekend: $34 million

2. The Conjuring

Horror sells. The Purge proved it, and You’re Next will probably (to a lesser, more indie extent) prove it again. James Wan has made a nice career in the horror niche, with hits such as Infamous and Saw, and this looks like a good continuation of form for the man who will be taking over the Fast and Furious franchise for the next installment. (Not before returning to his Insidious franchise, as Chapter 2 is set for a September 13 release.)
Estimated Weekend: $32 million

3. Red 2

The first Red opened with a strong second place finish against Jackass 3D back in 2010, followed by two weekends in third position. However, that was an October release, and October is like April in the regard that it’s a dump month for mid-field flicks being released before Tentpole season. That isn’t the same for July, as it happens to be the last month of big Summer releases. However, counterprogramming and star power will more than likely bring this film a nice and comfy third place opening.
Estimated Weekend: $27 million

 

***Overlord Tim steps in and makes alternate predictions***

Just to be difficult, I am going to offer a counter proposal to Mike’s (very solid) picks for the weekend. We haven’t seen a good horror film in a while and I think that the geriatric set is looking to spend some dough. I may be way off base here, but it’s also the middle of summer vacations, so I also think the B.O. is going to be light as well. Try this on for size:

1. The Conjuring – $27m
2. RED2 – $22m
3. Turbo – $22m

Yes, that’s right! A tie. Ooooooh!

And with that, your weekend’s “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. Remember to use the hashtag #flickstopick when challenging us or giving us a pat on the back for our good work!

 We’ll see you again this Monday, when we find out if our experiement in bringing Ryan Reynolds’ ghost into a garden snail has worked!  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.