By Chris Kavan - 07/18/13 at 11:47 AM CT
Pacific Rim may have made the wrong kind of splash, but last week's box office was still a strong one for an already impressive summer for 2013. This week we have a nice mix of offerings including the return of horror, a straight-up action movie, another animated offering and a comedy/action hybrid. It's also going to be a busy weekend for Ryan Reynolds, who is at the head of two our of these four new films.
TURBO Joining the crowded family market this weekend is the super-fast snail racing adventure, Turbo. Ryan Reynolds voices the main character and is joined by some pretty good names including Paul Giamatti, Michael Peña, Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dogg (or Lion or whatever) and Michelle Rodriguez. The idea is that a snail dreams of winning the Indy 500 and through some freak accident, actually has the ability to make his dreams come true. For me, this holds about as much interest as the upcoming Planes spinoff - that is, not much. This is the kind of movie I would watch when I was really bored someday just so I could say, "Hey, I watched this - it was OK". I'm more interested to see if the film can put a dent in the profits of Despicable Me 2. Otherwise, good or bad, I really don't have much interest in it.
Speaking of Reynolds, this is the other film he's starring in the weekend, opposite of Jeff Bridges in the buddy cop/sci-fi comedy R.I.P.D. In what looks a lot like Men in Black (with undead lawmen instead of sharp-dressed memory-erasing agents) the best law enforcement agents in history don't die - they stop other undead creeps from invading our world. I have a feeling the film isn't going to be that big of a hit, considering just how familiar it feels, but I also still kind of want to watch it just to see how it plays out. It's not going to be a major hit (early tracking is pretty low for the weekend) but it has to be better than Green Lantern, right?
It's been awhile since we're been blessed with a full-blown horror film and I guess it's about time for another run. This time, it's another "based-on-a-true-story" film brought to you by the same guys who gave us Insidious and Sinister (meaning, it can't be that bad). The Conjuring has been getting a mighty push recently, so it will be interesting to see if all those ads pay off. Regardless, the film has a mere $13 million budget, so it doesn't need to be a smash to make that back. With Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston on board, at least there is plenty of talent to go along with the creepy tale. These kind of low budget/big return horror films have been popping up all over this year (and last) and I don't see any reason why this won't be just as successful even given the crowded box office.
Finally we have an action sequel starring everyone's favorite gang of retired, extremely dangerous agents. Yes, Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Mary-Louise Parker are back, and joined by Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones this time around. This time the gang are on the trail of a portable nuclear device and, I'm going out on a limb here, I'm sure there will be several gun fights, plenty of explosions and lots of one-liners to go around. What's not to like? The only issue is that it's been a pretty rough year for action films with really only a handful standing out. If Red 2 follows in the same suit, expect only middling results. I had a lot of fun with the first film, but lightning rarely strikes twice.
There are a lot of options this weekend - will it be horror, family or action that takes the cake - and can any film top the fantastic run that Despicable Me 2 is enjoying? I'll be back on Sunday with the final results.