New in Theaters July 02: Tammy, Earth to Echo, Deliver Us from Evil

By Chris Kavan - 07/02/14 at 11:47 AM CT

Happy 4th of July to all you fellow Americans - to celebrate the extra-long holiday, Hollywood has decided to give us three completely different films over the long weekend. However, none of them look like "blockbuster" material and I have a feeling that Transformers has the best chance yet of the summer to finally repeat as the box office champion coming off its red-hot $100 million debut. But who knows - comedy, horror, family - if there is an audience out there who decides to show up in mass (after blowing up stuff) maybe one of the three new entries can claim the crown for itself - but I personally think it's going to be an uphill battle.

TAMMY Thanks to the fact that Melissa McCarthy is on a winning streak - she scored some good box office numbers with both The Heat and Identity Thief - Tammy is the biggest threat to Transformers this weekend. Yet from what I have seen, Tammy doesn't appear to be the best showcase for McCarthy (despite being one of the writers). Even though she is known for being, shall we say, uncouth, Tammy seems particularly harsh. Sure, you have a lot of talent on board - Susan Surandon, Kathy Bates, Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd, Toni Collette, Mark Duplass and Sandra Oh are all along for this ride but this seems like a tougher sell than any of her previous films - at least to me. The success or failure of this one is going to ride on the shoulders of the female audience - who have proven with Maleficent already that if you can win over the crowd, the dividends will pay off. This could be a big hit or it could be a middle-of-the-road prospect. But it truly has the best chance this weekend, so if the box office hopes to make a recovery, Tammy better put up some decent numbers.

EARTH TO ECHO I'm not at all afraid to say it - Earth to Echo pretty much looks like a straight-up E.T. clone. I admit, I really enjoyed Super 8 - but that was more a homage to the Amblin Entertainment vibe - Echo looks more like it rips off the story and throws in a few extra kids, a more robotic looking alien but still that same story (adults are evil - keep that alien safe and he'll teach you some powerful lessons, kids!). The only advantage this has is the family market it light right now - How to Train Your Dragon 2 hasn't exactly been a barn-burner, so families looking for something other than flaming balls of exploding color - or adults looking to capture that 80s nostalgia - this will be the only ticket in town. Still, nothing I have seen has impressed me in the least, and I think a top 5 finish would be about the best it could hope for.

DELIVER US FROM EVIL It has been a long time since the big screen has been graced by a straight-up horror film - in fact, you have to go all the way back to the last week in April when The Quiet Ones made an unremarkable debut. That's the thing about horror - The Quiet Ones was also coming off a rather long horror hiatus, but failed to ignite much of a spark. Deliver Us from Evil has some bigger names: Eric Bana, Olivia Munn, Édgar Ramírez and Joel McHale - and the story does intrigue me a bit more (a cop and a priest team up to counter a city-wide possession outbreak). Even the trailers have been effective. But July and horror seems like a strange mix - and this could easily wind up like The Quiet Ones - but it has a better chance at grabbing an audience - but that doesn't mean it's going to succeed.

Without a major tentpole film over the long holiday weekend, it's going to be hard for any film to topple Transformers, but even moreso, I think the box office trend of trailing 2013 is going to continue as well. I'll be back after the long break on Sunday with the final results. Until then, have fun blowing stuff up (I know I always do).


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