Monday, May 17, 2010on
Shrek Forever After (Paramount) - 3,800 theaters - Reviews
After challenging an evil dragon, rescuing a beautiful princess and saving your in-laws' kingdom, what's an ogre to do? Well, if you're Shrek, you suddenly wind up a domesticated family man. Instead of scaring villagers away like he used to, a reluctant Shrek now agrees to autograph pitch forks. What's happened to this ogre's roar? Longing for the days when he felt like a "real ogre," Shrek is duped into signing a pact with the smooth-talking dealmaker, Rumpelstiltskin. Shrek suddenly finds himself in a twisted, alternate version of Far Far Away, where ogres are hunted, Rumpelstiltskin is king and Shrek and Fiona have never met. Now, it's up to Shrek to undo all he's done in the hopes of saving his friends, restoring his world and reclaiming his one True Love.The prevailing sense around the Shrek franchise is that it's run out of steam. Honestly, does anyone feel any sort of positive buzz around Shrek Forever After? Even Paramount seems to not believe in their film, as the story looks vague and lame, advertising has been weak, and they can't seem to decide whether they want to call the movie Shrek Forever After or Shrek: The Final Chapter. It's like they don't want to put too much effort into promoting a movie they know is going to be a critical and financial disappointment. Being released in 3,800 theaters shows that Paramount doesn't think this final installment will draw in the huge crowds of Shrek 2 and Shrek The Third, as the film could probably have a release in over 4,000 theaters. Shrek 2 represents the high mark for the franchise with a $441 million gross. Shrek The Third, however, was a major departure in terms of quality, and it earned "only" $322 million. Considering the early reviews for Forever After are very weak, and the awful trailer leaves audiences wondering, "Why did they make that?" I'm thinking that it will see box office declines once again, though 3D ticket prices and brand recognition will lift the overall gross. At this point, $290 million seems like a sad box office total for this final ogre comedy.
MacGruber (Rogue Pictures) - 2,400 theaters - Reviews
Only one American hero has earned the rank of Green Beret, Navy SEAL and Army Ranger. Just one operative has been awarded 16 purple hearts, 3 Congressional Medals of Honor and 7 presidential medals of bravery. And only one guy is man enough to still sport a mullet. In the 10 years since his fiancee was killed, special op MacGruber has sworn off a life of fighting crime with his bare hands. But when he learns that his country needs him to find a nuclear warhead that's been stolen by his sworn enemy, Dieter, MacGruber figures he's the only one tough enough for the job. Assembling an elite team of experts -- Lt. Dixon Piper and Vicki St. Elmo -- MacGruber will navigate an army of assassins to hunt down Cunth and bring him to justice. His methods may be unorthodox. His crime scenes may get messy. But if you want the world saved right, you call in MacGruber.For the uninitiated, MacGruber is a popular Saturday Night Live skit that is a complete send-up of the cheesy action show, MacGyver. Will Forte plays the titular mulleted character in the over-the-top skits, which have him unsuccessfully defusing bombs and defeating villains in high pressure situations. Example here. This isn't the first time that Saturday Night Live has adapted a skit into a movie, but of all these films, only The Blues Brothers and Wayne's World (2) proved to be hits at the box office. MacGruber could go either way. It only cost about $10 million to make, so there isn't much riding on its success, but the early reviews are extremely strong, and Rogue should pump up its advertising to maximize box office potential. Based on the hilarious trailer, I'd love to see a $40-50 million gross for MacGruber, but I'm thinking that this may play more like Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. That film also felt like a skit that got stretched into movie, and it didn't play particularly well with mainstream audiences, earning only $18 million. I think MacGruber will come above that figure with a gross around $25-35 million.
Roller Coaster Tycoon Movie In The WorksSeriously? More game movies?! Am I going crazy here?! I can't imagine a less compelling movie than watching someone design an amusement park. Where is the story?
Pixar's Newt CancelledPixar's been working on a little movie called Newt for a few years now, and as I've heard more and more about the amphibious romantic comedy, I've been getting quite excited. Thus, it came as a major disappointment when Pixar announced that the film has been cancelled. It was especially tough for me to accept the fact that the promising original story was being shelved in favor of titles like Monsters Inc. 2 and Cars 2. It's not that I don't think Pixar will do well with those movies, I would just prefer to see the most creative studio out there really flex their creative muscles.
Charlie Kaufman Working On Kung-Fu Panda Sequel ScriptThe screenwriter of my favorite original screenplay, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, is reportedly working on the script for super-hyped sequel, Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom Of Doom. While Kaufman is only doing script revisions, the story still has me excited.
Twilight Moms Disgust MeThis really isn't a news story, but I couldn't agree more with this picture.