Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard-earned dollars. The weekend warriors of July 1, 2015 includes Magic Mike XXL and Terminator: Genisys, as well as the limited release of Amy. 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 barely took the top spot with $54.5 million as Pixar’s Inside Out was close behind with $52.3 million. Ted 2 opened fairly poorly in third place with $33.5 million, considering the first opened at $54.4 million. The rated R comedy did manage to put down the inspiration dog movie, Max, which came in at fourth place with $12.1 million.
Does Jurassic World have what it takes to make stay king of the castle for a fourth weekend in a row? Or will it slip out of first thanks to the body oil exuding from the male stripper sequel? But don’t count out Skynet’s ruthless ability to stay ever vigilant in its quest for domination. My saddle’s waiting, come and jump on it! This is the Box Office Battlefield:
Magic Mike XXL (Gregory Jacobs) [7/1 Release] Rated R [115 min] – Three years after Mike bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, he and the remaining Kings of Tampa hit the road to Myrtle Beach to put on one last blow-out performance. Starring Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash, and Amber Heard [Watch the trailer]
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 62% • Audience – 75%
After being pleasantly surprised by Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike, I was a little skeptical going into the sequel without the auteur director. As producer and first assistant director for Magic Mike, Gregory Jacobs at least had a hand in understanding the male stripper with a heart of gold coming into the sequel. Magic Mike XXL is far more commercial and less dark than its predecessor, but it still has a greater sense of drama than what many audiences are going in to enjoy. On the other side of the coin, the choreography is fantastic and even more stimulating to the senses with all the gyrations and thrusting. The comedy is more streamlined, but the jokes are built up well thanks to the camaraderie amongst the cast. Given that the first movie is more of a character study, Magic Mike XXL is a lot more lighthearted and fun; but not goofy-fun to the point that it’s breaking away from the original’s tone, more so that it brings additional flavor and continues to build the world around the Kings of Tampa. There is also an interesting dynamic of gender roles, feminism, empowerment, and a strong theme of taking pride in your sexuality, which comes across very sincere. MATINEE IT!
Terminator Genisys (Alan Taylor) [7/1 Release] Rated PG-13 [125 min] – John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, and J.K. Simmons [Watch the trailer]
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 26% • Audience – 70%
I’m going to be on the opposite side of the fence on this one in which I decree Terminator: Genisys is not as terrible as the majority would have you believe. What really makes this decent film in my book is the characterization of Reese (Courtney), Sarah Connor (Clarke), and the Guardian T-800 (Schrawzenegger). I liked the dynamic chemistry they had going on. The action is fairly good too. However, there is a lot of exposition spewed out on multiple occasions where you have to keep your wits about you. Granted, there are a fair amount of plot holes and story elements that don’t add up, but they the filmmakers have the best intentions and nothing feels absolutely forced. For some reason I had fun watching Genisys as a popcorn blockbuster. It’s not overly convoluted, and the cast makes it worthwhile. RENT IT!
Amy (Asif Kapadia) [Limited – 7/3] Rated R [128 min] – The story of Amy Winehouse in her own words, featuring unseen archival footage and unheard tracks. Starring Amy Winehouse, Mitch Winehouse, Mark Ronson, and Russell Brand
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 97% • Audience – XX%
“A shattering documentary about a silenced voice.” – Devin Faraci (Birth.Movies.Death)
“Amy is a celebration of its subject’s talent… But it’s also a terribly sad portrait of an addict surrounded by enablers and opportunists.” – Alison Willmore (BuzzFeed)
I’d pick a fantastical world over the real world any day, but apparently this documentary about the late Amy Winehouse has critics in an almost unanimous praise. It seems like it would be an interesting watch for anyone who likes these kinds of flicks. It’s just not for me. MATINEE IT!
Both Magic Mike XXL and Terminator: Genisys are not huge spectacle films, but they have their nuances. The Terminator franchise has run fairly dry with the last two sequels not stacking up to their superior predecessors. But maybe Game of Thrones fans will be interested to see Khaleesi outside of the land of dragons and into a different role. Genisys is also rated PG-13. Magic Mike was such a surprise hit back in 2012 that there’s not denying the anticipation of its latest sequel. However, it is a film that will draw in a very niche audience, regardless of the shenanigans to be had seen throughout. XXL is rated R though and even limits its audience even further. The top previously releases such as Inside Out and Jurassic World are still going strong and may even upset the new contenders. With limited options for children, Pixar has a great opportunity this holiday weekend to capitalize. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend will be:
Winner: Magic Mike XXL
Movie synopses courtesy of IMDb.com and Tomatometer Scores from Rotten Tomatoes