Whatever you do, don't take your kids to see Tower Heist this weekend! Why? Is it the language, the violence, or sexual situations? No, it's just because their heads are going to explode when they keep hearing the familiar voices of famous cartoon characters and wonder why those voices are coming from all these middle aged men!
In this corner we have the voice of Donkey from the Shrek franchise and Mushu from Mulan, in this other corner we have the voice of Alex the Lion from the Madagascar movies, and in our final corner (we must be inside a triangle) we have the actual voice of The Lion King and Despereaux. When we say we live in a world where most kids have only heard of Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, and Matthew Broderick, we actually mean they've only heard them.
[Ok, maybe a bunch have seen Stiller in the Night at the Museum movies, but don't think I'm going to go back and change my thesis now. This bullet train only goes one way, people, so hold on and hang tight... At least until we crash into the side of a mountain or fall into the ocean or something.]
We know Ben Stiller is money when it comes to the box-office. He's only had two mainstream (as opposed to smaller films that weren't intended for mega-bucks) non-hits in 10 years (Envy and The Heartbreak Kid). Only Adam Sandler's topped that record with a single flop (Funny People) and it ties him with Will Smith (Seven Pounds & Ali).
Meanwhile, Eddie Murphy hasn't actually been as bad as you might think in the last 10 years. Even without his Shreks, he's had real hits with Dr. Doolittle 2, Daddy Day Care, Dreamgirls, and (I can't believe I'm typing this) Norbit. It's just the sheer craptaculuarness of the Meet Daves and Pluto Nashes that have scared most of our memories of him.
Since we can acknowledge no one is going to see this film based on Mr. Sarah Jessica Parker, that leaves us with director Brett Ratner. Film snobs are always quick to throw stones at him, but anyone's who's been able to direct five Mariah Carey videos must have something going for him. I mean, he even did Heartbreaker, the video where she ended up in a fight with herself and thus you had no idea who to root for. I know for a fact Alfred Hitchcock would've totally botched that scene, so give the man his props.
Case in point, if people are buying what the marketing team is selling, Tower Heist has a chance for a really good opening weekend as there's no other direct mainstream competition being offered. However, if people are feeling this Tower is tired and has "renter" written all over it, maybe they can still get it into Redboxes by the holidays.
The "other" big release this weekend is A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. Given that the last two Harold & Kumar films combined didn't even open to $20 million might mean these aren't the blockbusters you're looking for. Still, at least this was one of the 3D movies that was actually filmed in 3D. Perhaps they'd have had an even larger audience, though, if they'd gone the Spy Kids 4D route and used AromaVision to produce the necessary smell of pot in the theater required to actually to enjoy these films. Then again, it'll probably already smell like that in there anyway, so what's the point?
Join us on Monday to see how the latest films fared and if Puss in Boots was able to put his foot down and stay at #1!
by Matt Neuenburg on 11/03/2011
Movies Mentioned in this Post:
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas,
Puss in Boots,