Glancing at this weekend's slate of new releases, it looks more like mid-May rather than mid-February. With the marketplace now in bullish mode and sans football - expect a near-record take. All four quadrants are covered this weekend: a romantic fluff flick, a mindless 3D movie for the kids, a blatant 3D cash grab and lest we forget, one of the screen's biggest superstars with a wannabe alongside.
- Safe House ($24M) - Denzel Washington = money in the bank. Just one of his last nine movies has grossed less than $20M in its opening frame and no chance this is the second. Ryan Reynolds could use some of that mojo - his "headline act" status needs a cash infusion.
- Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace 3D ($22M) - This is the new "I'm Feeling Lucky" landing spot when "cash grab" is Googled.
- Journey 2: The Mysterious Island ($18M) - Tweens that have been on the sidelines are set to spend their allowances on this 3D banality.
- The Vow ($17M) - Seeing as I have repeatedly made the mistake of thinking it was Channing Tatum that got all lovey-dovey with Rachel McAdams in 'The Notebook' - it's quite splendid to have a legit reason for making that unforgivable error.
- Chronicle ($11M) - Didn't quite hit the sum I pegged it for last week but this surprisingly effective sci-fi flick still lit up the box office - recouping its budget and then some after its first three days.
- W.E. - Madonna's second directorial effort isn't as brutally bad as some would have you believe - that said, I can't recommend running out to see the thing.
- Rampart - Woody Harrelson missed out on an Oscar nod but this TV pilot of a movie gets a limited release this weekend.