The Bottom Line: May 22, 2015: Can Science and Scares Win the Weekend?

Last week, the box office saw some impressive results with all of the top three films earning at least $38 million. Pitch Perfect 2 ran away with the number 1 spot, earning just shy of $70 million. Given the first film’s popularity, this wasn’t a complete surprise, but it is still a number worth singing about (especially given the mixed reviews). For a completely different demographic, Mad Max: Fury Road hauled in about $45 million, riding a wave of positive word-of-mouth from both critics and early audiences. On the superhero end, Avengers: Age of Ultron continued it’s solid run with another $38 million. With a considerably paltry new slate of films coming this weekend, will any of these films see a significant drop in their box office performance? Let’s take a look at their challengers.

Tomorrowland – (PG), 130 min. – The new Disney live-action film Tomorrowland earned a lot of early buzz from the exciting footage shown at various conventions. Film fans in general were curious to see director Brad Bird back in action with only his second non-animated film ever. The visually dazzling trailers will surely bring in a decent-sized audience, but what of the story? Tomorrowland follows Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), a curious teen that has stumbled on a mysterious pin that, when is touched, gives her the image of a wondrous unknown city. Casey tracks down former boy-genius Frank Walker (George Clooney), who she believes has a connection to the city. What proceeds is an inventive journey of discovery and danger. Tomorrowland seems to have all the ingredients for a hit, but whether or not it will be good is still up in the air. Early reviews are disappointing, featuring raves for the visuals and not much else. Personally, I see the fact that the screenplay was written by Damon Lindelof, who consistently churns out mediocre films (World War ZPrometheus, Star Trek Into Darkness, Cowboys & Aliens), and I hesitate.

Poltergeist(PG-13), 93 min. –  If the unnecessary remake of Poltergeist earns more than $20 million this weekend, I will be shocked. With barely any advertising presence, it would be surprising if people were even aware this film came out today. Even I was surprised it was already here; I didn’t know until I sat down to write this article. Poltergeist is a remake of the classic 80’s film of the same name, but will likely fail to reach the level of quality. The story seems to be about the same: A family is haunted by an unseen entity in their home, with their youngest daughter getting captured. Doesn’t seem like much has changed since the 80’s, but I’m sure this film will be “modernized”. In this case, “modernized” means “have jump scares added”. Even with talented actors Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt, and the brilliant producer Sam Raimi behind the scenes, things don’t look good for Poltergeist.

The Bottom Line is this: If you want to take a chance on a movie this weekend, check out Tomorrowland. The trailers show off some truly splendid visuals, and it will probably be worth it just for those. If you’re not interested in the Disney film, go see Mad Max or The Avengers again. At least that way you’ll know you’re in for a good time.


Leave your thoughts on The Bottom Line, Tomorrowland, and Poltergeist below in the comments section. For more Tomorrowland and Poltergeist photos, videos, and information, visit our Tomorrowland, and Poltergeist Pages, subscribe to us by Email, “follow” us on TwitterTumblr, or “like” us on Facebook.


About the author

Nick DeNitto

Nick DeNitto graduated with Honors from Adelphi University. He began writing movie reviews in middle school and has worked tirelessly to mold his own unique critical voice. He is currently affiliated with the National Board of Review and hopes that one day he is remembered as “The People’s Film Critic.”

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