Families vs Fanboys At The Box-Office - Week 6 Preview | Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted | Prometheus

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Families vs Fanboys At The Box-Office - Week 6 Preview

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
It's not every weekend when two films people have put on their Top Five list open on the same day. That's what can happen when a high-profile movie doesn't see the other high-profile movie as a threat or merely assumes it's a completely different audience heading to the screen next door. The problem arises when people only have time to see one movie on the weekend, which one will they choice? It's like having to choose your favorite Pauly Shore movie. How can you choose just one?! (P.S. The answer is Son in Law and only Son in Law. It was his Citizen Kane and a young Carla Gugino sure doesn't hurt it a bit.)

These "battles" often seem to be waged between family films and non-family films. Sometimes there are clear winners. Last year Kung Fu Panda 2 tried to Dragon Warrior The Hangover Part II. Instead, Po had a po'er showing at the box-office than expected while The Hangover Dos Equis did outstanding. Sometimes there are draws. Terminator: Salvation thought it could Sarah Connor Night at the Museum's Battle at the Smithsonian. The result had both films making less than expected explaining why we haven't seen another film from those series since. Will we have a winner this weekend or will or a "weak end" bring the end to both of these franchises?

If there's going to be a real winner, you'd think it would be Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. Madagascar 2 opened to $63 million four years ago and there's been a lull in kid films since The Lorax. It's not uncommon for films like this to make $200 million in the summertime. Still, for the critic who claimed Madagascar 3 was on par with Toy Story 3, that's kinda like saying I Still Vaguely Remember What You Did A Couple Summers Ago, But I Was So Blitzed That Night was as good as Scream 3. Wait, that's probably a pretty valid argument.

However, things seem slightly amiss with this iteration. Bus posters feature penguins wearing clown wigs and don't even mention the movie's name. Are promoters realizing the Madagascar brand name isn't as strong as they thought? Likewise, the whole "Europe's Most Wanted" subtitle has been dropped from many of the marketing materials. Are they afraid Tea Party parents are tired about hearing how things are done in Europe? Curiouser and curiouser.

Speaking of curious, what to make of Prometheus? Can it play the role of the hit intelligent sci-fi summer film like Inception and Rise of the Planet of the Apes? With its is-it-or-isn't-it Alien prequel pedigree, that certainly means a ton to the old-school fan boys who hold Alien and Aliens as cinematic nirvana. For kids these days who only know Sigourney Weaver as the narrator of Planet Earth and think Transformers movies are good, what are they to make of something trying to be something more?

The return of director Ridley Scott to the Alien premise is certainly key toward making Prometheus seem like that something more. After two terrible sequels and two "vs" movies with Predators, the Alien franchise resembles its transcendent first film about as much as Dracula resembles Twilight. Even if Ridley Scott had never made another film after Alien and Blade Runner, he would be remembered as one of the most influential sci-fi filmmakers of all-time. Having Ridley return to his roots for one last go is something any video-phile who's collected all the LaserDisc, Betamax, VHS, DVD, and Blu_ray versions of those movies is not going to miss.

by Matt Neuenburg on 06/08/2012

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Prometheus
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