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New in Theaters March 22: Admission, Croods, Olympus Has Fallen, Spring Breakers

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By Chris Kavan - 03/21/13 at 09:41 AM CT

It's going to be a rush at the box office this weekend as four new movies try to unseat Oz the Great and Powerful and become the new box office champ. Once again we have movies coming from multiple angles - action, comedy, family and... edgy? Provocative? James Franco in cornrows? Anyway - considering the mixed reaction of audiences on all fronts this year, it's still going to be an uphill battle, but I give this crop a better chance than last week's offerings.

THE CROODS Family films are always a safe bet for making a decent amount of money. Even though Oz the Great and Powerful was billed as a family film, it brought in more couples than families, meaning The Croods still has the advantage in that department. Plus you have Nicolas Cage! Actually the voices looks pretty good: Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Cloris Leachman and Catherine Keener are along in this caveman romp that follows a prehistoric family as they move from the cave to the wide open world. The Croods may be a bit, well, crude compared to the high standards of Pixar, but it still looks like a lot of fun - certainly the kids will like it - and I think it has the best shot at reaching the top this weekend.

SPRING BREAKERS Normally I would laugh off a bunch of ex-Disney stars trying to shake off their nice image by appearing in movie half naked for most of the time along with cornrowed James Franco... but Harmony Korine 's tale made a huge splash on a limited scale. Now, this doesn't always translate to general audiences embracing it, but I give it a better chance this time around - even if the main audience is probably there just to see a bunch of ex-Disney stars shake off their nice image by appearing in a movie half naked for most of the time. And if there's a decent story to go along with it? More the better.


ADMISSION Normally I would assign a higher place for a comedy with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, but honestly there hasn't been a very big push for this movie and I think it's going to be more like Burt Wonderstone and less like Identity Thief in terms of opening numbers. I could be wrong - and believe me, I do like the talent involved, but this just seems like a pretty generic all-around comedy. I just haven't felt any spark from the previews I've seen. I have a feeling the actors would work well together - in fact, should work well together in theory - it's just that this particular movie does nothing for the pair.

OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN Oh woe to be a 2013 action movie - from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Bruce Willis, action stars have taken a drubbing this year. I have a feeling that Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman and Aaron Eckhart are going to join the club with Olympus Has Fallen. At least I have more faith in Antoine Fuqua (Training Day is excellent and even Shooter has its moments) than many other directors. Yet this "Die Hard in the White House" ( and R-rated to boot) will have to work hard to distinguish itself from all the other failures that have come along this year. It has a chance to succeed where so many others have failed, but I'm going to say that it's a slim chance.

This weekend has a great deal of potential - but an even greater chance to fail spectacularly. Audiences have been quite fickle this year, but if Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters can get a sequel greenlit on some pretty mundane numbers - well, then truly anything is possible. See you Sunday with the final results.


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