Chronicle's high view count for its various trailers online did not translate into a super-huge hit, but the movie performed well above expectations, as did the view-deprived Woman in Black. Those movies each made over $20 million last weekend and continued a winning streak for the Hollywood box office. The movies could not have been more different in how they used online marketing and yet, they were neck-and-neck this past weekend. This week, we see the return of Denzel Washington, George Lucas gives us a 3D Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, the Journey to the Center of the Earth is now just a Journey in its sequel, and Hollywood makes a Nicholas Sparks story without Nicholas Sparks.
Safe House Features The Commanding Denzel Washington We All Love
Safe House looks to be your typical double-cross, twisty thriller, with Denzel Washington as a rogue agent sent to a safe house and Ryan Reynolds as the CIA guy who sees his people using illegal methods to question him, leading to a daring escape. Thus, who is the real bad guy? and explosions.
But still, it looks pretty darn good doesn't it? The official trailer has over 8 million views, which is a great sign considering that's one of the top view counts I've seen this year. With Chronicle the view count was probably high because of the "wow look at that" factor, but Safe House is your everyday thriller, so it will be interesting to see if this movie is huge this weekend. Bare minimum we're looking at over $20 million this weekend, which is par for the course this year so far.
Universal Pictures has a huge blowout of content to watch online. Here's a featurette with Washington and Reynolds talking about their characters and the story:
And like a million TV spots focusing on different aspects of the story. They had two Super Bowl ads, one called Deception:
And another called Home:
The Vow Unites Past Nicholas Sparks Actors For Valentine's Day Drama
Every guy knows Nicholas Sparks. He's the guy, consciously or unconsciously, men curse in the night for writing impossible romantic dramas that many women eat up and think that's how romance is supposed to be. He's behind stuff like The Notebook, Dear John, and Message in a Bottle. Well, this weekend, Hollywood has made a Sparks-like tale called The Vow for Valentine's Day starring The Notebook's Rachel McAdams and Dear John's Channing Tatum. It's about a married couple who get into an accident and McAdams gets amnesia and can't remember her husband. And they aren't shy about using that Sparks connection in the trailer:
The various trailers for The Vow put the view count over 5 million. Guys, you're screwed. This should be a pretty big hit overall, especially since this is considered Valentine's weekend.
Here's a cute clip of Tatum feeding McAdams chocolates:
And a "wedding memories" clip:
Sony Pictures has given the movie a social media connection by giving fans a chance to be a part of a fan video:
Journey 2 Is A 3D Adventure That Looks Embarrassing For All Involved
Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, takes over for Brendan Fraser in the sequel of the adaptation of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth called Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. What's strange about this sequel is that the original Verne material, The Mysterious Island, was a sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but the book itself did not share all that much in common with that story, either. Ah, liberties.
The official trailer doesn't have many views, but that probably won't matter since this is directed at kids:
The trailer is actually good, but then you see a clip like this:
Poor Luis Guzman.
There is also a behind-the-scenes featurette:
I think this will actually do some pretty good business since kid movies have been few and far between for a couple of months. The 2008 Journey actually became a surprise hit, and it was also one of the early 3D successes that led to 3D becoming more of a thing, better or worse.
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Gets The 3D Treatment
I know very few people who enjoyed the Star Wars prequels. Myself, I kind of liked Revenge of the Sith, but it wasn't nearly what it could have been had the other two movies not sucked so horribly. Then we saw the evisceration of those movies by Red Letter Media, the extremely funny reviews of those movies that point out exactly why we hated them so much. Still, I suppose there will be people who feel the need to watch this in 3D. But I'm betting against this being a breakout re-release like The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast.
Here's the re-release trailer:
And here's the first trailer for the movie when it was originally released:
And trailer #2:
"Wipe them out...all of them." You see all that Darth Maul and all that action, and you shake your head. How did this turn out so badly?
The Take For The Weekend
This should be Safe House's weekend, but I would not be surprised if The Vow gives it a close run, if not beat it. But that sneaky Star Wars...no, it can't win. It just can't. Truly a big weekend of choice at the movies and it wouldn't be shocking to see any of these come out on top. I'm picking Safe House.