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New in Theaters February 08: Side Effects, Identity Thief, Top Gun 3D

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By Chris Kavan - 02/07/13 at 03:44 PM CT

Even though Warm Bodies tried, the Super Bowl pretty much dominated one of the slowest weekends of the year. In fact, there still hasn't been a true standout film this year - although Mama has managed to do good for the horror genre. Will the three big names this week be able to finally deliver a knock-out weekend? Call me skeptical, but I'm thinking with a wacky comedy, a 3D re-release and a drama that targets a limited audiences, we're in for another underwhelming weekend.

SIDE EFFECTS Potentially this will be Steven Soderbergh's final big screen film. His previous three films: Contagion, Haywire and Magic Mike took on three very different genres (a virus thriller, an all-out action and a male stripper comedy/drama) with varying degrees of success. Side Effects looks to get back into the drama game - a pharmaceutical drama at that. With Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones on board, at least the cast looks exciting. Still, I can't help thinking that even though I think this psychological thriller looks pretty good, I don't think it holds enough appeal to bring in a large general audience. This is the kind of film that the critics might like but I don't think is going to translate to big box office numbers.

IDENTITY THIEF With comedy you either seems to have a knockout or a complete mess (see Movie 43 for the worst possible outcome). Even though I think Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman are great in comedies, nothing I'm seen of Identity Thief really makes me anxious or even that interested, in watching the film. Oh, sure, an R rating might give them the ability to really let themselves go, but I have a feeling this matchup just isn't going to be that good. The big question is whether it will open better or worse than the universally-maligned Movie 43. One thing is for certain, so far 2013 hasn't been kind to comedy fans.

TOP GUN 3D Do you still feel the need? The need for speed? Well, you're in luck! Because Top Gun is back... and in 3D. I'm not exactly sure why this was chosen as the film to upgrade to the 3rd dimension, but obviously enough people thought there was a built-in audience for this 80s classic featuring a young Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer and Kelly McGillis. The average grosses for 3D re-releases isn't terrible, but most of those films tend to target the young (Disney films) or the obsessed (Star Wars: Episode 1). It's hard to say how many people are going to drop extra money to watch Maverick, Iceman and Goose strut their stuff in the air (and on the volleyball court). It could bring in decent numbers, it could attract no one. This one is up in the air but I'm guessing anyone looking to release more films in 3D are going to be paying close attention to how this does.

I'm not looking for this weekend to rescue a slumping year. I think we have another week before a certified hit shows up - but I could be wrong. I'll be back with the results on Sunday.


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