It looks like Jurassic World might finally lose it’s number one spot at the box office this week. It’s weekend total was just under $55 million, which though impressive, is just low enough to put it’s reign in jeopardy. What could be powerful enough to take down an amusement park of out-of-control dinosaurs? How about a freakin’ Terminator? Probably not thrusting male pelvises. Those are precisely the two things that will try to become the new number one film in America. Gee, do you think Hollywood likes making sequels?
Terminator: Genisys – (PG-13) 125 min. – When Arnold Schwarzenegger’s original Terminator uttered “I’ll be back”, I don’t think anyone expected him to come back this many times. The last good Terminator sequel was Judgment Day, so it’s a wonder why filmmakers keep coming back to this pool. Terminator: Genisys is supposed to act as a bit of a reset for the franchise, using its inherent time-travelling plot to its advantage to undo the damage done by the subsequent crummy sequels (a la X-Men: Days of Future Past). As for the actual plot, it sounds awfully familiar. Future John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends future Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) to the past to protect past Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), but things go wrong. Groundbreaking stuff. To find out if this movie will be any good, I just looked to the MPAA rating: PG-13. Nope. Nothing good can come of that. The Terminator is cold-blooded killer and shouldn’t be restricted with a PG-13. This rating tells me there’s going to be lots of (probably terrible) CGI and rubbery action to make up for the lack of blood, turning this into a completely soulless venture.
Magic Mike XXL – (R) 115 min. – I didn’t expect to enjoy the first Magic Mike, but it ended up being a really good movie. Despite being a movie about male strippers, it had a surprising dramatic heft to it and was clearly crafted with care. It was also the first film to convince me Channing Tatum could act. Will the ridiculously titled Magic Mike XXL be another surprise? I’m less optimistic. While the first film dealt heavily with the dark underside of the business, advertisements for the sequel look to be all about fun fun fun. Mike (Channing Tatum), returns to the stripping world to road trip with his crew, the Kings of Tampa, for a final blowout performance in Myrtle Beach. There will likely be lots of dancing and good deal of laughter, but it just doesn’t look like this will deliver that weight that made the first so good. This appears to be the film that everyone expected the first one to be: an over-the-top display of oiled-up abs for women to gawk at.
The Bottom Line – I expect Terminator: Genisys to put a hefty dent in Jurassic World’s box office haul, if not win the weekend outright. However, I don’t expect it to have much endurance, and will likely drop off significantly in the following weeks. Magic Mike XXL will find its audience the same way the new “50 Shades of Grey” book flew off the shelves, but probably not with the same intensity. I don’t think there is much to see in theaters this weekend, so you might want to just spend the Fourth of July with your family.