Will Sherlock Outsmart The Chipmunks? - Week 8 Preview | Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol | Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows | Alvin and the Chipmunks – Chipwrecked

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Will Sherlock Outsmart The Chipmunks? - Week 8 Preview

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Alvin and the Chipmunks – Chipwrecked
Just two years ago two very different films faced off. One was a big-budget action-adventure movie starring a hot off the Iron Man presses Robert Downey Jr. The other was a sequel to a kids movie that was so lackluster even Jason Lee said, "Yeah, I'll be in that for like three minutes total." Suffice to say, the movie with a 21% Rotten Tomatoes rating out grossed the one with a 70% rating, even with just one "Alllllvinnnnn!" at the beginning and one at the end.

It was a fascinating race though. In 2009 Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel opened on a Wednesday two days earlier than Sherlock Holmes. For the next three weekends, Sherlock stayed just ahead of Alvin in the weekend tallies, yet that two day head-start kept Alvin in the total gross lead throughout. Some of these details may have been forgotten because there was a little film called Avatar that was raising a whole generation of young men to be strangely attracted to women with blue skin. Quite a shift from when I was a kid and it was the green-skinned women on Star Trek that hypnotized us.

Can things change this time around for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows? Robert Downey Jr. is still a popular figure, yet how much of Sherlock 1's success was based on novelty and Avatar screens being sold-out? Is the world's most famous detective smart enough to stand on his own this time around? More importantly, is he smart enough to have an accent people can actually understand without subtitles?

Meanwhile, Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked couldn't be more generic. There wasn't a TV show in the 70's that didn't have that "plane goes down on a deserted island" subplot, whether it was the Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, or The Incredible Hulk. The plus side here is that instead of Shaun Cassidy being the one to sing songs along-side the signal fire, it's helium induced vermin. By plus side I mean it's like sticking the plus side of 9-volt battery on your tongue for 90 minutes.

Still, the Alvin series has quietly been not just been a hit but a smash series. Their two films have made more than the Madagascar series and cost less than half to make. Maybe it's just like Glee. People put up with the inane plots, illogical character choices, and the feeling that each episode is exactly the same as all the others just as long as the music numbers deliver something folks want to download from iTunes later. Given that criteria, how can a Chipettes rendition of Whip My Hair miss?

The bizarre subplot to both of these films trying to claim the box-office crown this weekend is the odd game that Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is playing. Originally, this film was going to open wide the same as Alvin and Sherlock this Friday. Instead, and I'd say wisely, the studio moved the film to next Wednesday, yet they're still releasing it in IMAX theaters on Friday. It's like they want to open it but don't think it'll do better than Sherlock, so to protect them from that embarrassment they're screwing around the availability of the film so much, no one will even know that they can see it. I guarantee the thought process going into the marketing of this film has been more convoluted than anything in the movie.

Join us on Monday to see how the films fared and if we could finally have a movie besides Breaking Dawn actually open like a blockbuster!

by Matt Neuenburg on 12/15/2011

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Alvin and the Chipmunks – Chipwrecked, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
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