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New in Theaters July 10: Minions, Self/less, The Gallows

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By Chris Kavan - 07/09/15 at 06:51 AM CT

Inside Out managed to just squeak by Jurassic World for the 4th of July holiday (and weekend), meaning that the debut of Minions this weekend will be all the more telling. It looks like it is going to be a dual between two animated titans, as the horror offering and a sci-fi mystery thriller aren't likely to draw as much of a crowd. What is certain is it should be another good weekend for Hollywood as it should provide enough incentive to continue gaining ground over last year.

MINIONS Universal landed on a goldmine with the Despicable Me franchise. The first film $251 million domestic ($291.6 million worldwide) while the sequel banked $358 million in the U.S. and over $600 million on the global scale. A big part of the success has to deal with Gru's cute, yellow and hilarious helpers known as the Minions. It was only a matter of time before they got their own spinoff and here we are. The film concerns the history of these little, yellow guys - and yes, they still speak their own language. How this film is going to go without being subtitled, I'm not sure, but it still looks like a lot of fun. The question is whether Minions will reach the same success as the previous films - especially with the still-strong Inside Out to contend with. Two huge animated films coming out at the same time means one is going to have to be the runner-up. Despite the fact Inside Out has already been in theaters for for three weeks if anything it is gaining speed rather than losing it. But that doesn't mean there isn't room for two family-friendly animated movies out there - but one is going to have to blink and it will be interesting to see which one winds with the bigger audience.

SELF/LESS I can't be certain, but I'm almost positive that I've seen more trailers for Self/less than any other film this year. And I remember seeing the first one many months ago - meaning that Focus Features hasn't skimped on the advertising. However, despite the efforts, I don't see Self/less making that many waves. The premise seems solid - immortality (for the rich, of course) by trading in your broken, dying body for a brand new, younger model. But everlasting life comes with a price - especially when the "old" life starts creeping back in. Such is the case for Ben Kingsley who finds himself a new man, literally, when he becomes Ryan Reynolds thanks to the efforts of suitably creepy, mad-scientist-type Matthew Goode. When he begins looking into his "real" life, it complicates things and puts his life (and that of his new body) in jeopardy. Still, I can't help feel this is a bit too generic to really stand out - nothing I've seen in the many trailers had me excited to see this and, let's face it, Reynolds track record has been shaky at best (though, I have to say, I'm kind of stoked to see what he does with Deadpool). I predict this is going to be in the middle of the pack at best and most likely a better contender for Netflix, at least for me.

THE GALLOWS Finally we come to the mid-summer horror offering - The Gallows. A tale as old as time - a horrific accident 20 years ago occurred during a small-town home play. Now, in a misguided attempt to honor the memory, they put on the same play only to learn (too late) some things are best left forgotten. This story has been told many times before so the originality is out the window. According to IMDB, at least some of the some of The Gallows was filmed in Nebraska so, hey, hometown pride! (though most of it was filmed in Fresno, CA). The entire film was pretty much independently financed until Warner Bros. stepped in to give it a shot in the arm - it also means this is one of those low-budget, low-risk proposition - as even if the film doesn't make a huge amount of money, it's almost guaranteed to make money. That being said, I like horror overall and would be willing to give this a shot... at home at least. Here's hoping it finds a decent audience and continues to bring fresh faces into the horror game.

The weekend should be big as dueling animated films battle it out - and don't forget Jurassic World, which still has some mighty roars left in it. Self/less and The Gallows are likely to battle in the middle range - but we'll see if either have enough strength to break out of the pack. I'll be back on Sunday with the results.


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