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New in Theaters July 26: The Wolverine, The To Do List

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By Chris Kavan - 07/25/13 at 07:12 AM CT

Despite throwing a lot of movies out last weekend, it was only the low-budget horror film, The Conjuring that found success. Meanwhile, Ryan Reynolds had a rough time as two movies he fronted, Turbo and R.I.P.D., failed to find much of an audience. It was also one of the few weekends this summer that was down compared to last year. Will this weekend get back on track? We have a popular super hero and a raunchy high school comedy to try to put Hollywood back into the black for the year.

THE WOLVERINE Last time Hugh Jackman took on the role of everyone's favorite adamantine-infused mutant, it made nearly $180 million at the box office. That sounds good, but it cost $150 million to make and it was thanks largely to the foreign grosses that we got this sequel. Critical reception could be described as lukewarm, at best. But The Wolverine changes the setting to Japan and does something that no other film has done to this character yet: it gets introspective. This movie is not just about Wolverine cutting people down with those claws (though it looks like there will be plenty of that, too) - it's about the character exploring his own immortality and facing some demons from his past. Seeing as how going a bit more dramatic and darker has worked for both Batman and Superman - going a little deeper into such a popular character can't hurt things. I, for one, an looking forward to seeing if they can take what has been a pretty much one-note character and making him compelling.

THE TO DO LIST It seems every year we get at least one entry into the raunchy teenage comedy genre. This year, it's being fronted by popular female comedian, Aubrey Plaza (mostly known for her role on Parks and Recreation) but she is joined by an interesting mix including the likes of Bill Hader, Rachel Bilson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Andy Samberg, Connie Britton and Alia Shawkat. Essentially is follows Plaza's character who decides that before college she wants to get some more experience in the sexual department and makes a list of all the things "to do" before attending college. I'm sure there are plenty of awkward situations, a few gross-out gags and plenty of crude language. Despite being fronted by a woman for once, I have a feeling this is going to follow pretty much every other raunchyp-type comedy we've seen over the past decade or so. It will probably find a decent audience, but not enough to top a guy with metal claws and immortality.

It will be interesting to see if The Conjuring can buck the horror movie trend by keeping a bigger share of its audience (not dropping 50% or more) and if Despicable Me 2 can continue its impressive run as well. I'll be back on Sunday with the details.


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