Monday, June 24, 2024

Transformers, Larry Crowne: Will Bad Reviews Matter This Weekend?


This weekend’s two big movies are “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (the title sounds like it’s missing “side” but maybe Pink Floyd would object) and “Larry Crowne.” They have respectively, 36% and 37% ratings on–very bad reviews, the worst, really. Aside from Tony Scott having too much caffeine or sugar, the New York Times review is not very good. The rest are much worse.

Paramount is wisely just pushing “Transformers” as a product and will just try and make the most money it can over the five day holiday–from today through Monday. Internationally, “Transformers” will do great because it requires no language skills. In the U.S. I’m sure it will break some kind of record that no one cares about–best opening for a semi-coherent movie opening on a Wednesday in June but ending on a Monday in July.

“Larry Crowne” comes next. The affable Tom Hanks and the strident Julia Roberts are said to have no chemistry at all in what has been described by some as “embarrassing” or “like a Nickelodeon film.” But I do trust Tom Hanks. He co-wrote the film with Nia Vardalos, and directed it. It sounds like a straight PG movie, not even PG-13. But this weekend, with “Transformers” uninteresting to anyone over 20, “Larry Crowne” may overcome its saccharine provenance and bring in the adults who’d like to a movie in which nothing explodes.

On the other hand, the winner of the over 20 box office this weekend may be Woody Allen‘s “Midnight in Paris.” With $28.7 million already banked domestically, “Paris” is a big hit. It’s the only film from the first six months of 2011 with Oscar potential. And people love it. They just love it. They haven’t loved a Woody Allen film this much in 25 years. And it had great reviews, and great word of mouth. If “Larry Crowne” doesn’t make it, “Paris” will have been its downfall. And who could have anticipated that? No one. It’s not even in 3D!


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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