Last weekend, the box office saw a huge recovery thanks to two juggernauts. As I predicted, Jurassic World fell about 50% to $106 million, which was enough to stay in first place. Not far behind it, Pixar’s Inside Out brought in $90 million. I anticipate both films to continue to rake in big bucks for the next few weeks, with Jurassic World skating on it’s massive reputation, and Inside Out earning returns from being one of the best reviewed movies of the year – and the best Pixar has offered in several. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if the top two spots look exactly the same after this weekend, since the only challenger doesn’t seem to be earning much buzz.
Ted 2 – (R) 115 min. – The first Ted was an odd film. Yes, it was about a grown man and his sentient teddy bear being man-children together, but that wasn’t really the odd part. What was curious was the fact that it was actually a well structured film that hit all the right beats. The problem was it wasn’t funny. That didn’t stop it from debuting to one of the highest earning weekends of all time by an R-rated film. This time, Seth MacFarlane brings back Mark Wahlberg and his animated bear on another juvenile adventure. When Ted is deemed by the government to be “property” and not a human, the pair lead a crusade to get Ted the rights he feels he deserves. Early word about Ted 2 isn’t optimistic, and I’m not surprised. Comedy is subjective, and MacFarlane’s brand of comedy just doesn’t always work. His last film, A Million Ways to Die in the West, was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen and it was enough to sour my expectations about anything he does in the future. If you love Family Guy and jokes about poop, there’s no reason for you not to enjoy this movie.
Max – (PG) 111 min. – Oh jeez, get the tissues ready. It’s a movie about a dog. Isn’t that really all you need to know? Movies about dogs all tend to be the same. The dog undergoes a minor hardship early, gets adopted by a new family, wonder and joy ensue, then a serious obstacle appears, things get incredibly sad, and then they get redemptive and happy at the end (unless the dog dies). The trailers for Max look as though this will continue that trend. Max, a dog that assisted US Marines in Afghanistan, returns home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is adopted by his handler’s family and together they probably learn to feel safe again. That appears to be the extent of the plot. I’m not sure who this movie is for, but I can’t imagine it being any good. Kids might want to go see it for the cute dog, but with Jurassic World and Inside Out still tearing things up, kids have better options out there. But kids make bad decisions, so who knows?
The Bottom Line – These new releases leave a lot to be desired. If Jurassic World and Inside Out can still put up between $40-$50 million each, the weekend could prove to be a monetary success. I anticipate Ted 2 to bring in somewhere around those numbers as well. I would urge everyone to head out and see Inside Out, and skip Max in favor of finding a theater that is still showing Mad Max: Fury Road.