Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard-earned dollars. The weekend warriors of June 26, 2015 includes Ted 2 and Max, as well as the limited release of A Little Chaos. Box Office Battlefield is here to help you decide which movie(s) will take priority over the others and determine who will be victorious. Should you see ’em, skip ’em, or rent ’em? Find out below!
Last weekend, Jurassic World continued to dominate cinemas, snubbing Inside Out and destroying Pixar’s track record for always coming in first on their opening weekends. And over the past week Jurassic World became the fastest film to gross $1 billion worldwide, breaking Furious 7’s record of 17 days and crossing the line in an astonishing 13. Will the joke be on previous contenders with Seth MacFarlane coming back with Ted for Round 2? Where’dya pahk the fahking cah Boo Boo? This is the Box Office Battlefield:
Ted 2 (Seth MacFarlane) Rated R [115 min] – Newlywed couple Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent, Ted will have to prove he’s a person in a court of law. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Barth, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton, Sam J. Jones, and Morgan Freeman
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 45% • Audience – 75%
I liked Ted. Seth MacFarlane held nothing back with his foul-mouthed teddy bear comedy that had a clever mix of heartfelt bromance and disgusting fraternity humor. After that mess of a follow-up film, A Million Ways to Die in the West – my review, I wasn’t sure if the writer/director/star/producer could pull Ted of a second time. But when we look at comedies, it all comes down to the viewer’s sense of humor. To me, I very much enjoyed Ted 2. I believe the jokes are sharp, full of hilarious pop culture references, and built up with enough set up to where most are rewarding. Some of the humor can go over your head if you’re not a huge film or TV buff, but there’s plenty here to get you by. Sadly the message of the film gets stretched very thin and inherently lost at times. Ted 2 is cohesive and makes sense, but the emotions it wants you to feel aren’t as strong as the first. Ted is not essential viewing to understand this sequel, but there are a handful of jokes that relies on your knowledge of it. MATINEE IT!
Max (Boaz Yakin) Rated PG [111 min] – A dog that helped US Marines in Afghanistan returns to the U.S. and is adopted by his handler’s family after suffering a traumatic experience. Starring Thomas Haden Church, Josh Wiggins, Luke Kleintank, and Lauren Graham
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 38% • Audience – 76%
“Though the lead performance would do Lassie and Rin Tin Tin proud, the increasingly ludicrous, cliché-packed plot generates not an ounce of suspense.” – Sheri Linden (The Hollywood Reporter)
“Mr. Yakin opts for bullets, explosions and blood vengeance when handcuffs and perp walks would do the job. Not that “Max” has any clear or coherent sense of mission.” – A.O. Scott (New York Times)
Max looks like manipulative Hallmark dribble that could have been a decent inspirational film back in the ’90s. The twist that it looks to inject into the movie looks forced and overly cheesy. Based on the reception by critics, Max does not seem like a very fun nor entertaining piece of cinema worth your dollars. WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX!
A Little Chaos (Alan Rickman) [Limited] Rated R [117 min] – Two talented landscape artists become romantically entangled while building a garden in King Louis XIV’s palace at Versailles. Starring Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci, and Matthias Schoenaerts
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 41% • Audience – 47%
”While he shines in his supporting role as the satisfyingly complex king, it’s hard not to imagine what the film would have looked like with Rickman as the romantic lead.” – Kate Erbland (The Dissolve)
As Alan Rickman’s second time in the director’s seat, this period piece looks very polished. However, there doesn’t seem to be a solid plot worth building a story around to capture any kind of attention. I’m not big on period pieces to begin with, although some do catch my fancy, but I find no intrigue here other than the star-studded cast. And based on what other critics are saying, I think there isn’t enough here to set it apart from other similar titles. WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX!
This past week Jurassic World continued to defeat Inside Out, but that could be due to the fact that kids are in daycare and parents are working. Families cannot attend movies together except at night. And even then, both films were neck and neck. Ted debuted in 2012 with $54 million with a similar RT score to Ted 2. The film is very similar in tone, maybe even a little sillier. I found myself laughing more often this time around. I think audiences may latch onto this one more because it’s less about Mark Wahlberg’s character and more about Ted. But on the other hand, Ted 2 is rated R, which restricts many moviegoers from seeing it. I think it will open a little higher than its predecessor, but not by much. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend will be: