The July 4th weekend warriors starting July 3, 2013 includes Despicable Me 2 and The Lone Ranger. 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, Monsters University dominated the box office for the second weekend in a rowing, beating The Heat and taking White House Down. However, Pixar has quite the contender on its hands with Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 2 and Disney’s other flick The Lone Ranger.
Can Pixar defend its crown against Gru’s army of Minions or will the spirit walker and Tonto earn justice and claim the top spot at the box office this weekend? Hi-yo, Silver! Awayyyyy! This is the Box Office Battlefield:
The Lone Ranger (2013) (Rated PG-13) 149 min – (Directed by Gore Verbinski) Starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Helena Bonham Carter, William Fichtner, and Tom Wilkinson
Synopsis: Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 23% • Audience – 68%
Lacking in any sense of character or adventure, Gore Verbinski strikes out hard and fast. For an overly exhausting two and a half hour flick of galloping throughout the desert, The Lone Ranger is void of any heart. The plot is very uninteresting, so the film relies heavily on its only gun, Johnny Depp; who pulls out a Johnny Depp performance. Dan Reid, The Lone Ranger, is written so shlocky that it’s hard to root for him as our “lead,” despite Tonto taking up most of the film’s focus. The villains are rarely threatening enough, there’s a forced romance, and the plot is overly convoluted. SKIP IT!
Despicable Me 2 (Rated PG) 98 min – (Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud) Starring Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, and Miranda Cosgrove
Synopsis: Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help deal with a powerful new super criminal.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 75% • Audience – 89%
I was never one for Despicable Me. It isn’t my kind of bag. But many latched on to it, my guess is mostly for the Minions and one quote in particular from Agnes, “It’s so fluffy!” I can’t remember a single detail that sticks out other than those two elements. And Despicable Me 2 uses them to its advantage. They continue to make Agnes adorable and the Minions are more involved with the story than ever. The filmmakers make a decent attempt to balance the story with its countless Minion humor, but at times it just feels like they sacrifice story for cheap laughs. The main threat does seem to take the backseat for most of the movie, but Gru is able to at least make the film tolerable when the plot fails to move forward. Like I said, this film isn’t for me, but I do believe that many will thoroughly enjoy the physical humor and the arsenal of gags Despicable Me 2 provides. The animation and 3D is superb. MATINEE IT!
If neither of these movies interest you, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, a comedy-documentary on the life and times of Kevin Hart, gets a semi-limited release. And also, The Way, Way Back, a touching, coming of age dramedy that was written/directed/acted by the team who won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, The Descendants (Jim Rash and Nat Faxon) has a very limited release. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend shall be: