Box Office Battlefield: Transcendence, A Haunted House 2, Heaven is for Real, and Bears

Box Office Battlefield Transcendence, A Haunted House 2, Heaven is for Real, and Bears

The weekend warriors of April 18, 2014 includes Transcendence, A Haunted House 2, Heaven is for Real, and BearsBox 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, Captain America: The Winter Soldier conquered the battlefield yet again, narrowly defeating Rio 2. This weekend has some small contenders to chip away at the Marvel Studios’ hold on the box office. Will that be enough for one of the new features to take first place or will Rio 2 swoop in for the win? Why is all the RAM gone? This is the Box Office Battlefield:

Transendence Title Movie Logo

Transcendence (Wally Pfister) Rated PG-13 [119 min] – As Dr. Will Caster works toward his goal of creating an omniscient, sentient machine, a radical anti-technology organization fights to prevent him from establishing a world where computers can transcend the abilities of the human brain. Starring Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, and Cillian Murphy

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 19% • Audience – 52%

This movie is more boring than spending time with your grandparents, because at least they tell interesting stories that will probably shock you. There is nothing interesting or transcending about this lackluster, disappointing sci-fi drama. It doesn’t bother asking any real hard-hitting questions that weren’t more eloquently told in Spike Jonze’s Her. WATCH IT ON NETFLIX WHEN AVAILABLE (IF YOU’RE REALLY BORED)! (Read my full review)

A Haunted House 2 Movie Title Logo 2014

A Haunted House 2 (Michael Tiddes) Rated R [87 min] –  Having exorcised the demons of his ex, Malcolm is starting fresh with his new girlfriend and her two children. After moving into their dream home, however, Malcolm is once again plagued by bizarre paranormal events. Starring Marlon Wayans, Jaime Pressly, Cedric the Entertainer, and Essence Atkins

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 8% • Audience – 79%

It irks me that audiences still throw money at these terrible parody films. I saw the first one last year and didn’t want to touch this film with a 836,159,851 foot pole, so I let others suffer through the torment of insanity for me (I’m sure Armond White LOVED this film):

“Calling this one an improvement is like saying that being kicked in the shin is better than being punched in the stomach. Either way, it hurts.” – Alonso Duralde (The Wrap)

“A Haunted House 2 is so bombastically stupid that its well-earned R rating doesn’t seem sufficient. The movie should come with another warning: The following 87 minutes would be better spent alphabetizing your spice rack.” – Stephanie Merry (Washington Post)

There you have it folks, SKIP IT! 

Heaven is for Real Title Movie Logo

Heaven Is for Real (Randall Wallace) Rated PG [100 min] – A small-town father must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world. Starring Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Thomas Haden Church, and Connor Corum

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 53% • Audience – 80%

There sure are a lot of faith-based movies this year. Just in time for Easter weekend too. He has risen? I didn’t catch this one, but here’s what some other critics had to say:

“The faithful should welcome it warmly. Others may come away unconvinced while appreciating the film’s sincerity and lack of anti-secular axes being ground.” – Ty Burr (Boston Globe)

“Preachy and pretty, Heaven is a classy-looking product with a vanilla flavor and a pastel palette.” – Jeannette Catsoulis (New York Times)

Seems like it is a bit hit or miss depending on where your faith lies. RENT IT? 

Bears DisneyNature Title Movie Logo 2014

Bears (Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey) Rated G [77 min] – A documentary that follows an Alaskan bear family as its young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons. Starring John C. Reilly

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 88% • Audience – 78%

I skipped this screening, but if you see it this weekend DisneyNature will donate a portion of the ticket sales to National Parks. Check out what the critics have to say:

“If the sight of bear cubs prancing through wildflowers doesn’t make you smile, then you probably won’t like the new Disneynature documentary Bears. You also probably aren’t human.” – Adam  Markovitz (Entertainment Weekly)

“Amid its heaping serving of cuddliness … the film doesn’t sugarcoat the harsh reality and unforgiving elements with which the bears have to contend.” – Martin Tsai (Los Angeles Times)

I’d say this is a safe bet for a families and far better than Rio 2. MATINEE IT IF YOU LOVE DOCUMENTARIES!  I don’t think audiences took to Rio 2 as much as the first, and from the sound of it, it’s pretty terrible. The Easter weekend will play a big part in family outings and could factor in to lower foot traffic at theaters. Captain America is still running strong and Transcendence is the biggest threat to Marvel, but it’s so terrible, word of mouth will definitely persuade people to stay indoors this weekend or go see The Winter Soldier again. And no one is going to see A Haunted House 2. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend shall be:

Winner: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Find me on the Twitter @TyRawrrnosaurus

Movie synopses courtesy of and Tomatometer Scores from Rotten Tomatoes

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