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New in Theaters May 09: Neighbors, Moms' Night Out, Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return

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By Chris Kavan - 05/08/14 at 06:44 AM CT

While Spider-Man 2 got off to a swinging start for the summer 2014 season - we'll see if a raunchy comedy can keep things rolling along. But though one film may garner the most attention, there is another comedy that capitalizes on Mother's Day weekend - Moms' Night Out. Finally, there is an animated film - the first one opening since Rio 2 - and will look to capture the family crowd. If Spider-Man 2 retains a decent audience, it could be another strong week - though matching up to 2013 is still looking like a stretch.

NEIGHBORS It's never too early to celebrate the R-rated hijinks that comes from ranching comedies. Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play new parents - and Zac Efron and Dave Franco play the frat president (and right-hand man) who move in next door. I'm sure the fraternity is going to be depicted just like always - loud, lots of booze and sex and up to no good - (a proud alumni of a fraternity I can vouch the image is only partially true). Of course a nice family and a group of rowdy frat boys can in no way get along - and eventually the two play a dangerous game of one-upmanship that gets a bit violent and eventually threatens the fraternity with expulsion from the school. From what I've seen - it actually looks like it is going to be a lot of fun. I'm no fan of Efron, but I usually like Rogen, so hopefully the two kind of balance each other out. This is exactly the kind of school-end film that guys will flock to in order to alleviate the scars of finals - I think the timing is pretty much spot on - and because of Efron and other frat boys, the girls might have as much fun as the guys this time around. I'm don't think it will have enough steam to knock off Spider-Man 2, but given that the critical response has been good - it has a good chance of coming darn close. I expect this to hands-down be the most successful new movie of the weekend.

MOMS' NIGHT OUT This is also a comedy, but of a much different stripe than Neighbors. There are Christian undertones to Moms' Night Out - and given the recent track record of religious-based films this year, that can only help things. Plus, it's sure to get a boost thanks to Mother's Day weekend as well. The cast consists of Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Patricia Heaton, Trace Adkins, David Hunt and Logan White. It essentially shows what happens with a group of mothers decides to have a night out on their own - and all the trouble it causes as their husbands find it a bit hard to cope with the responsibility. A missing child, tattoo parlors, a biker gang - it's like Adventures in Babysitting with an older crowd - and with a PG rating, it is sure to good for the entire family. Granted, I think it plays things too safe for my tastes, but for the right audience, this could be just the ticket. While it may not reach in to the stratosphere - I think it will do solid business.

LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY'S RETURN This is the first animated film to hit theaters since Rio 2 dropped on April 11 but despite the nearly one-month time frame, Dorothy's Return does not look to be a hit in the making. Lea Michele (of Glee fame) plays Dorothy while the rest of the cast is an eclectic mix: Dan Aykroyd, Kelsey Grammer, Martin Short, Oliver Platt, James Belushi, Bernadette Peters, Hugh Dancy and Brian Blessed all lend their voices (and perhaps musical talent) to the film. Now, from what I've seen, the animation isn't exactly up to Pixar (or Disney) quality and the the story, while it could very well appeal to the much younger crowd (aka children), doesn't look to offer much to adults or even teens. Because of that narrow scope, once the new film has worn out its welcome with families, it's likely to fall off quickly. This is one that will do much better in home viewing sales rather than the big screen - I don't expect big box office numbers out of this, but DVD sales should be robust.

With Spider-Man 2 and Neighbors leading the way, the Mother's Day weekend should see a very strong weekend - once again, I don't expect it to beat the 2013 numbers, but I also don't think it's going to be too far off.


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