Box Office Battlefield: ‘Gangster Squad’ and ‘A Haunted House’

Box Office Battlefield Gangster Squad Haunted House

The weekend warriors for January 11, 2013 includes Gangster Squad  and A Haunted House. Box Office Battlefield is a recurring rundown of all the movie releases for the weekend. Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard earned dollars. Box Office Battlefield is here to help you decide which movie(s) will take priority over the others.

You’ve gotta hand it to Leatherface, he sure can draw a crowd. Last weekend, Texas Chainsaw 3D slaughtered The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to earn the top spot, edging out Django Unchained by a hair. Despite the movie being disappointing, it appears that audiences wanted a little fright in their lives this January.

Will Ryan Gosling and the good ol’ boys stand up against the Wayans brothers this weekend? I pray to the flying spaghetti monster they do. Click click boo (yes boo), this is the Box Office Battlefield:

Gangster Squad Title

Gangster Squad (Rated R) – (Directed by Ruben Fleischer) Starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, Anthony Mackie, Michael Peña, Giovanni Ribisi, and Robert Patrick

Synopsis: 1949: A secret crew of police officers led by two determined sergeants work together in an effort to take down the ruthless mob king Mickey Cohen who runs the city.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 32% • Audience – 73%

If flashy-gritty is what you’re looking for this weekend, Gangster Squad is your movie. It’s not perfect by far, but it entertains to an extent. There is some loose storytelling that becomes over complicated due to cliché subplots. The film is riddled with many plot holes too. In my mind, the action wasn’t shot too terribly well either. On the other hand, Fleischer does 1949 very well. The biggest reason this film works is because of the excellent casting job. RENT IT!

A Haunted House Title

A Haunted House (Rated R) – (Directed by Michael Tiddes) Starring Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, Marlene Forte, David Koechner, Nick Swardson, Cedric the Entertainer, and Affion Crockett

Synopsis: Malcolm and Kisha move into their dream home, but soon learn a demon also resides there. When Kisha becomes possessed, Malcolm – determined to keep his sex life on track – turns to a priest, a psychic, and a team of ghost-busters for help.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 10% • Audience 89% (dafuq?)

It’s been quite awhile since we’ve had a spoof film – 2010 was the last year with Vampire’s Suck. Marlon Wayans has brought us the likes of Scary Movie and Dance Flick, and this time he’s back with a vengeance with A Haunted House. This looks ten times better than Scary Movie 5, but it’s head-scratching to think how these movies obtain the green-light. They don’t do well in theaters, but I’m sure they don’t cost much to produce. Le sigh. If it wasn’t obvious… SKIP IT!

Apparently Zero Dark Thirty is getting an even wider release, which I’m assuming is an Oscar push for Columbia Pictures. I’d check it out before all the others if I were you. If Life of Pi or The Impossible is playing near you, go see those too!

Movie synopses courtesy of

Box Office Battlefield is an ongoing column providing analysis of whether you should see, rent, or pass on movies that are about to release. All of my opinions are based on what I have or have not seen from previews, various marketing materials, or have heard via word of mouth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.