Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week. July 1st sees five films opening for the Independence Day (in the US) weekend. Finding Dory has been merrily swimming through animated film record after animated film record. Can it be slowed by giants, spies, maniacal purgers, Tarzan, or Bruce Willis?
The five new films opening this weekend range from adaptations of novels by Roald Dahl and John le Carre, action, horror, and whatever you would call Tarzan. Steven Spielberg teams with Disney for the first time (not the last with Indiana Jones 5 on the horizon) to bring The BFG (big friendly giant, Doom players, don’t go there) to the screen. Starring Mark Rylance in the title role, the family film is getting mixed-to-positive reviews. WB looks like it’s going to have another disappointment on their hands. The Legend of Tarzan looked intriguing to me from the trailer, but reviews have been pretty brutal and Edgar Rice Burrough’s creation has been out of the public consciousness so long that it really needed some positive buzz. Horror fans can return to the strange America of The Purge in The Purge: Election Year. It’s not getting amazing reviews, but the best of any film in that particular series. If you’re looking for more cerebral fare, Our Kind of Traitor, adapts a spy novel by John le Carre and stars Ewan McGregor and Damian Lewis. Finally, if you want straight-up action, there’s the Bruce Willis/Dave Bautista film: Marauders. However, it’s not being screened in advance for critics which is pretty much a full admission from the studio that they’re embarrassed of the film. Check out trailers for each of the five below:
The BFG (Mark Rylance, PG, 1hr 55min)
The Legend of Tarzan (Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, PG-13 , 1hr 49min)
Marauders (Bruce Willis, R, 1hr 47min.)
Our Kind of Traitor (Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis, R, 1hr 47min)
The Purge: Election Year (Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, R, 1hr 45min)
HOW DID WE DO LAST WEEK?
KT picked Finding Dory to repeat as champs, and the Pixar film easily fended off the underperforming Independence Day: Resurgence (raising my picking accuracy to 82.4%). Dory made $73.0 million in its second weekend, and just became the fastest animated film to pass $300 million in domestic earnings. It should probably end up taking in around $425-450 million in the US alone. People apparently had not been waiting 20 years for the return of Independence Day. Resurgence opened with only $43.0 million and poor reviews and increased competition mean FOX is going to eat it on the sequel if it doesn’t perform overseas. (Lifetime record 14-3).
WHO WILL WIN THE WEEKEND?
So we have five new contenders for Dory’s throne, including another Disney film (they’re bumping into each other now sitting on top of the box office throne). None of them are going to be enough. Dory on a holiday weekend is going to three-peat. Middling reviews on everything else and repeat viewing should keep the absent-minded fish atop the box office. Now, next week, I will be out of town (keep calm, I’ve scheduled posts for every day, but you can’t really do this column ahead of time other than to pick a winner). I think Dory’s reign will end the weekend of 7/8 when another well-reviewed animated feature, The Secret Life of Pets, opens. So we’ll see how we did on two calls when we next have this column on the 15th.