Neither Benedict Cumberbatch nor the team of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone stand a chance of bringing down “Gravity” this weekend. That responsibility falls upon a petite high school girl with some bully-killing super powers.
“Carrie” is the only new movie with any hope of dethroning “Gravity,” filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón’s sci-fi hit which has already collected $136 million at the domestic box office. Industry analysts predicted another $30 to $25 million more for the critically praised drama this weekend, with estimates for the remake of the 1976 horror classic, “Carrie,” coming in anywhere between $20 million and $35 million.
The Stallone/Schwarzenegger prison movie team-up “Escape Plan” arrives in theaters this weekend, alongside “The Fifth Estate,” a movie version of the story Wikileaks and its controversial leader, Julian Assange, played by Cumberbatch.
Reviews haven’t been too great for “Escape Plan,” “The Fifth Estate” or the “new blood” version of “Carrie.” The second cinematic adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is much closer to the book than director Brian De Palma’s film. For example, the cruel scene where the famous pig’s blood poured on Carrie at the prom is obtained gets its first interpretation on film. The sympathetic gym teacher’s name is switched back to the one she had in the book. There are modern touches as well, such as the inclusion of PDAs and social media.
Chloë Grace Moretz, 16, is no stranger to adaptations of course, having starred as Hit-Girl in both “Kick-Ass” movies as well as taking on the role of Abby in “Let Me In,” the English-language adaptation of Sweden’s “Let the Right One In.”
“Gravity” has already given Sandra Bullock and George Clooney their biggest opening weekend of their careers and topped the box office two weekends in a row. It boasts a staggeringly strong 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, which aggregates reviews from film critics. If “Carrie” performs closer to the conservative $20 million studio prediction, a third #1 should be a cinch for “Gravity.”
“Escape Plan” looks to be the latest in a series of solo outings and combinations of the veteran action heroes from “The Expendables” to disappoint at the box office. Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Jason Statham have all released turkeys since “The Expendables 2.” It will be August, 2014 before fans will see “The Expendables 3,” featuring new additions like Harrison Ford and a beefed up Mel Gibson. The tale of two guys trying to break out of prison isn’t tracking well; industry projections put the “Escape Plan” opening around $10 million.
“The Fifth Estate” will most likely earn just half that amount, with returning hits “Captain Phillips” and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2″ filling the spaces on the box office scorecard between “Carrie” and “Escape Plan.”
In limited release, much-buzzed about critical darling “12 Years a Slave” will cruise into just 19 theaters this weekend.