Wednesday, April 24, 2024

“Rogue One” Blasts Off to $71 Mil Thurs-Friday Opening, Will Smith Loses “Collateral” with Worst Ever Friday


“Rogue One” has launched with wild success. The new “Star Wars” movie took in $71 million on Friday including Thursday previews of $29 million.

LucasFilm and Disney are now looking at a $150-$160 million opening weekend. It’s the second best December opening ever. The first best was last year’s “The Force Awakens” chapter of “Star Wars.”

Number 3 on the list– the final “Hobbit” movie– is far back in the pack at $85 million.

Meanwhile, Will Smith’s god awful “Collateral Beauty” made $2.4 million last night and might hit $7 million for the weekend. That will be Will’s lowest opening since 1993 and “Six Degrees of Separation.” This includes recent flops such as Focus, Concussion and Winter’s Tale.

I saw “Collateral Beauty” a few weeks ago and loathed it so much I couldn’t speak. But there was a review embargo until the last minute for obvious reasons. Manipulative and contrived, “CB” is the fake version of “Manchester by the Sea.” It feels like it’s written by a 7th grader. It’s so phony, such a studio concoction, and artless it’s hard to imagine how it happened.

“Collateral Beauty” should have been called “Payday.” So many fine actors and Oscar winners/nominees– Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Keira Knightley, Smith himself, Ann Dowd, not to mention Scientologist Michael Pena, and they’re all wasted. Mirren comes off the best, Winslet the worst. And everything else is just ridiculous. Avoid this movie. You have Lion, Manchester, La La Land, Moonlight for starters. Why waste your money on this?

Why does Will Smith take these roles? Ever since “The Pursuit of Happyness” he’s felt like he’s a savior of some kind, self-righteous, earnestly phony, humorless and pushy. He went from being Mr. Fun to Gag Inducing. Remember “Seven Pounds”? But this one is the worst. “Suicide Squad” was a step forward and this is three steps back. He’s got to stop it. Carlton would be horrified.

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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