Memorial Day weekend has now passed, and Hollywood could not be happier. The long weekend saw a huge opening for “Fast & Furious 6” which raked in $117 million in four days. It took six films, but the “Fast and Furious” brand is now officially a billion dollar franchise. Universal shows no signs of slowing down, and have already fast-tracked (pun intended) “Fast & Furious 7,” which will start filming soon.
The comedic relief at the box office was supposed to be delivered by “The Hangover Part III.” Instead the only ones laughing were the critics, who shot the film down to an abysmal 20% on Rotten Tomatoes. The third time was not the charm for “The Hangover III” which crawled its way to $50 million in four days.
Other notables for the weekend were, “Star Trek Into Darkness” ($47 million) “Epic” ($42 million) “Iron Man 3” ($24 million) “The Great Gatsby” ($17 million).
This week will likely slow the pace down, but some significant names are coming out with movies for your viewing pleasure. No bigger name than Will Smith, who is highly successful at emptying peoples wallets with his charismatic acting abilities.
May 31 Openings:
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Sophie Okonedo, David Denman
“A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.”
“After Earth” looks confusing, probably will be confusing, and drops Will and son Jaden Smith in the category that Will loves so much; Sci-Fi. The journey that this film takes us on will determine its success. It’s in the hands of imagination, and direction.
“Now You See Me“
Director: Louis Leterrier
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine
An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.
“Now You See Me” certainly has the cast to appeal an audience. The story is not groundbreaking, and the fun won’t be revolutionary, but “Now You See Me” has the names to make it an unexpected summer blockbuster.
“The East” (Limited Release)
Director: Zal Batmanlig
Cast: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell
An operative for an elite private intelligence firm finds her priorities changing dramatically after she is tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations.
“The East” looks very interesting. The cast is mixed well, the story is intriguing, and the director is a bold face on the scene. Check out the trailer.
“Shadow Dancer” (Limited Release)
Director: James Marsh
Cast: Clive Owen, Aidan Gillen, Andrea Riseborough, Gillian Anderson
Set in 1990s Belfast, an active member of the IRA becomes an informant for MI5 in order to protect her son’s welfare.
Huge fan of Clive Owen’s work. He does unique roles, and this one is already being praised by critics. You may know James Marsh from his Oscar winning documentary “Man on Wire,” if you haven’t seen it please do.
A handful of other limited release films will join this bunch, but it will be interesting to see the response for “After Earth,” an unconventional story featuring one of the most lucrative movie stars in the world.