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article image'We're the Millers' off and running; 'Planes' and 'Elysium' await

By Tim O'Brien     Aug 8, 2013 in Entertainment
It was another one of those early starts as two films blasted out of the gate on Wednesday. That leaves two more wide releases for Friday. In all, the movies offer diversity for the audience.
"We're the Millers" already banked $6.7 million while "Percy Jackson: Seas of Monsters" heads in with a $5.4 million take. With the four new wide releases, the screen time gets crowded once more. "Planes" takes off Friday, as does the sci-fi film "Elysium." It is the latter film that will be one of those hits or misses that matter this weekend. Will the plot turn people off? Or is it compelling enough to ward off what will become a political matter?
Let's see, the basic takeaway for "Elysium," the wealthy live in one place and the rest on Earth in shambles. It is a tale of the have and have-nots. Damon's character seeks to find a way to get his daughter to the place where the wealthy are, and no doubt, where the healthy people live.
Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis star in "We're the Millers." Out already and proving that plots with pot can and often are popular, and very predictable. When that is the case, it takes the performers to take over. In this case, the charm of Aniston and the idea of her stripping will appeal to many.
The popularity of Sudeikis will not hurt, either. But, it is a comedy about a fake family and pot. That does not mean blockbuster status and will likely end up in the $30-50 million opening range.
August 7
1. "We're the Millers"- 3,260 theaters
2. "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" - 2,907 theaters
1. "Planes"- 3,400 theaters
2. "Elysium" - 2,700+
3. "In a World" - 3 theaters
4. "Lovelace"- Limited
Then there is "Planes, which is nothing more than "Cars" but with airplanes. Ever wonder if kids will revolt and say, "enough is enough" with all this animation? They might if they understood that they are the target audience for these films. It works on two levels. The kids ask to go, and the parents take them. Meanwhile, if they all enjoy it, then it becomes that family event so sought after among advertisers and marketers.
Once again, now is the time to pay closer attention to those slow roll-out films. Many of them are the films that played festivals and are now hitting theaters. It is these films that often take the award season by storm. For those who closely follow film, it is no surprise, but for many, they get blindsided, and often utter that they "haven't seen any of the nominated films." They are out there, just not all over the place. "Fruitvale Station" is an example. Even "The Way, Way Back" could be in that category, judging from its release schedule.
A limited theater count begins for "In a World." A story of a voice actor comes to light here. It is these films where performers and writing shines, not effects. "Lovelace," story of porn actress Linda Lovelace also get a limited opening this weekend.
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