Box Office Battlefield: ‘Oblivion’ and ‘The Lords of Salem;’ ‘The Place Beyond the Pine’ Expands

Box Office Battlefield Oblivion Lords of Salem

The weekend warriors for April 19-21, 2013 includes Oblivion and The Lords of Salem, along with a wider release of The Place Beyond the Pines. 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.

Last weekend, 42 struck out the competition, but this weekend they’ll have some heavyweights to contend with. There’s been a continual change of the reigns each weekend for the number one spot and Oblivion sure seems primed and ready to climb the mountain.

Will Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman be able to stop Team Cooper/Gosling? Or will Mr. Zombie rise up and steal the weekend? Show me the money! This is the Box Office Battlefield:

Oblivion Movie Title

Oblivion (Rated PG-13) 126 min – (Directed by Joseph Kosinski) Starring Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, and Andrea Riseborough

Synopsis: A veteran assigned to extract Earth’s remaining resources begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 58% • Audience – 68%

There is a lot of familiarity in Oblivion. If you watch the trailer, you’ll see hints of The Matrix, Moon, Independence Day, and more, but Oblivion does a fine job at holding its own to a certain degree. The imagery is gorgeous and clean, the score is romantically over dramatic, and the effects are fantastic. Oblivion is overly long. It could have slimmed down the story to get the same point across. There are some lull points, but mostly intriguing. Tom Cruise does a swell job and so does the rest of the cast. I just wish there was a bit more originality. MATINEE IT!

The Lords of Salem Title Logo

The Lords of Salem (Rated R) 101 min – (Directed by Rob Zombie) Starring Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeff Daniel Phillips, and Meg Foster

Synopsis: Heidi, a radio DJ, is sent a box containing a record — a “gift from the Lords.” The sounds within the grooves trigger flashbacks of her town’s violent past. Is Heidi going mad, or are the Lords back to take revenge on Salem, Massachusetts?

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 43% • Audience – 58%

Rob Zombie horrors can be hit or miss. I loved the first Halloween he did, not so much the second one. The Devil’s Rejects was good, but I wasn’t keen on House of 1,000 Corpses. The Lords of Salem looks like Zombie wanted to dip his feet into the art house realm. Again, Zombie uses Sheri Moon, Sid Haig and Ken Foree, along with a random ensemble of actors. There are some stunning shots throughout the trailer, but I can’t seem to grasp any particular weight behind the movie that will give it purpose or direction.  NETFLIX IT!

The Place Beyond the Pines Title Logo

The Place Beyond the Pines (Rated R) 140 min – (Directed by Derek Cianfrance) Starring Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn, Ray Liotta, Dane DeHaan, and Emory Cohen

Synopsis: A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 81% • Audience – 83%

I’ve gushed over this movie enough. They story is great, the cast is fantastic, the themes are well driven, and the score is a dream. I can’t say this film will be for everyone. It’s one of those movies that if you see it, love it, but may not want to watch again for some time. MATINEE IT!

Pines and Salem both have a low theater count between 1,000-2,000 each. Oblivion will be out nationwide in over 3,000 theaters. I can’t see folks flocking to 42 again and Scary Movie 5 is just a joke – in a bad way. The Croods won’t beat up Maverick. There’s only one true winner this weekend.

Winner: Oblivion

Movie synopses courtesy of IMDb.com

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