Although this weekend at the movies wasn’t the most “magnificent,” we still have plenty in “stork” and a lot of information to “deliver” in this week’s Making Dollars and Sense at the Box Office – Week 39!
Riding into the number one spot this weekend was Magnificent 7, a remake of the 1960 Western classic that in turn was based on the 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai, proving yet again that there is nothing new under the sun. However, it opened with an underwhelming $34 million on a $90 million budget, so despite taking the top spot, it still has plenty of work to do to come close to being a monetary success. From a critical standpoint, things were a bit more optimistic. The cast was praised not only for their performances, but for making this little Western action flick a fun night at the movies, and in this world of extended universes and franchises, perhaps a one-off was a bit of fresh air for audiences this weekend.
And speaking of fresh air (because birds), Nicholas Stoller’s animated film Storks took the number two spot with $21 million on a $70 million budget. Yes, it was another underwhelming performer monetarily, but this bright-and-beaked kids film was a crowd-pleaser. It doesn’t have the emotional, societal, or multi-faceted dark weight of this year’s Zootopia, Finding Dory, or Kubo and the Two Strings, but it’s a fun little family treat along the lines of The Secret Life of Pets or how the upcoming Sing or The Lego Batman Movie look to be (although I would posit that The Lego Batman Movie is going to be the best Batman film since The Dark Knight). And speaking of Legos, there’s a hilarious short before Storks starring a character from the upcoming Lego Ninjago Movie that was arguably funnier than Storks itself! But back to the birds at hand, Storks is a simple story with light jokes and a smooth, short run time, making for a cute little bundle of joy with some heart, but nothing that is going to change the face of animation. And that’s okay, because this year has had a beautiful spectrum of kids films ranging from new classics (Zootopiaand Kubo and the Two Strings) to solid sequels (Finding Dory and Kung Fu Panda 3) to light and fun flicks (The Secret Life of Pets and Storks) to the downright atrocious (The Wild Life and Nine Lives), which is a welcome change from years past when we only get the best of the best and the worst of the worst with no real middle ground. Between horror films and kids films, 2016 has been a gold mine for their respective demographics, and Storks is another fine addition to the kids’ table.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Deepwater Horizon bursts onto the scene as what I predict will take the number one spot. It’s an action-drama about the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion back in 2010 from the director of the heavily patriotic war film Lone Survivor, which also starred Mark Wahlberg, and between the “white man in danger with a family back home” storyline and all the talk of “heroes” in the trailer, this is a safe pro-America entry coming out just enough before the election to not be lost in the white noise, but close enough to get a boost from the increase in nationalism that will continue through the next couple months.
Also coming out this weekend is Tim Burton’s newest effort Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which is a sort of gothic teenage X-Men starring Eva Green and Asa Butterfield, based on the novel by Ransom Riggs. Although I doubt this will take the top spot, this is the film I’m most looking forward to, partially because of my love for Tim Burton films, and partially because it looks like a refreshing dark fantasy tale to whet the palette for any new spooky October films we may get next month.
And lastly, we finally see the release of Jared Hess’ crime-comedy Masterminds starring Zach Galifianakis and Kristen Wiig. This film has been pushed back and rescheduled four different times since its original release date of August 2015, which is normally a bad sign for any movie, but with a cast like this and a cult following like the Hess’s have, I can’t see it being the absolute downfall of this film. I just doubt it’ll crack the top five next weekend.
That’s all for this week! We’ve got a starkly different trio of films opening this weekend, so there’s sure to be something for everyone! Go see a film or two, and tune in next week for Making Dollars and Sense at the Box Office!