This Week’s Theatrical Releases.

1. Rush Hour 3 (3,000+ Theaters): The team that took the buddy film, to a whole other level is back.

Why? Well, because they really didn’t have much anything else to do.

The Rush Hour movies are sort of a “mother’s purse” movie for these two. If times are getting tough, and you need some cash, you hit up mom for money.

Chris Tucker, outside of Michael Jackson videos, hasn’t done anything outside of these movies since 1998. Jackie Chan has been busier, working in films on both sides of the Pacific, but none quite as successful as the Rush Hour flicks. So, therefore, both men return to the franchise for a quick (and they hope, lucrative) payday.

If you are going to return to the well again to make a quick buck, this is the way to do it. It’s been six years since the last one of these films–just long enough so that people are still interested but soon enough that their reteaming isn’t silly.

2. Stardust (2,300 Theaters): The recent trend in Hollywood of looking to comics for adaptation fodder has meant some of the greatest authors comics contain have got some valuable screen time.

First was Alan Moore (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell, V for Vendetta and the forthcoming Watchmen), then Frank Miller (Sin City, 300, and, to some extent, Daredevil) and now Neil Gaiman gets his time in the Hollywood spotlight.

Of course, not all adaptations of the works of said comics masters were all that positive. The movie LoEG resembles Moore’s LoEG as about as much as it does a Sweet Potato Casserole. Which is not much at all.

Stardust does have a great cast and a good filmmaker in Matthew Vaughn. And Neil Gaiman seems to have given the project his seal of approval. I, for one, hope that this flick does well so Gaiman can get the chance to bring his character, Death, to the big screen.

3. Daddy Day Camp (2,184 Theaters): This could be one of two things for Cuba Gooding, Jr.’s career. Either a step back towards respectability or another swirl in the downward spiral he’s been on since he won the Oscar.

Daddy Day Care, the prequel to this movie, was a surprise hit for Eddie Murphy and kind of set him on the road to becoming a family movie star. There is a lot of money to be made in family fare these days. And if this movie is successful, Cuba could become a marketable actor in the genre.

That being said, Murphy passed on this film. That is a baaad sign, especially when you know that Murphy didn’t pass on the Adventures of Pluto Nash, one of the worst movies of all time. Heck, Jeff Garvin didn’t even return! And it’s not like that guy has a boatload of movie offers to choose from.

Judging from the preview, it looks like the downward spiral will continue. I weep for Cuba Gooding, Jr.. But not much, because no one forced him to follow up his Oscar Winning role with Snow Dogs or Boat Trip.

4. Skinwalkers (650 Theaters): Personally, I don’t consider 650 theaters to be wide release, but Box Office Mojo does, and that’s good enough for me.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a werewolf movie. It seems like once a year, Hollywood brings out a werewolf movie hoping that it will catch on like the zombie movies or vampire flicks have. To date, it hasn’t worked.

Sure, we had American Werewolf in London, which was horror mixed with great special effects and a dose of humor,Teen Wolf, which was a comedy, Wolf, which was more drama than horror, Underworld, which was vampires versus werewolves, and the more traditional Howling, but nothing that caught on in a big way. Sure, most of the above had sequels. But you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a zombie movie. Werewolf movies are less prevalent.

This one doesn’t seem to be the one to change things. The plot involves two groups on werewolves fighting over a boy who could be the future of their kind.

By the way, I think Skinwalkers is a damn silly title for a movie. I just do.

So, how do I think the Top 5 will look like this week?

  1. Rush Hour 3
  2. The Bourne Ultimatum
  3. The Simpsons Movie
  4. Stardust
  5. Underdog

I wish that Stardust would do better, but I believe that there is a chance that it might not even crack the top 5. I think Skinwalkers and Daddy Day Camp have little or no chance to break in.

About William Gatevackes 1966 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.
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Rich D
Rich D
August 10, 2007 9:28 pm

Based on what’s been reported on its early Wednesday opening, I’ll be surprised if we’ll see DADDY DAY CAMP break into the top ten.

I think the Academy should think about holding a recall election for Cuba’s Oscar.