Steven Spielberg’s viability as a kids-entertainment brand gets a test this weekend with his stately and stolid adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The BFG.” I wasn’t nuts about it. Long, stiff, with a third act that has all the action the first two acts desperately needed to keep adult and child attention. Decent reviews, but not glowing.
Yet another version of “Tarzan”? Well, every generation gets its own, and this one, PC to a fault, dull leading man, generic Christoph Waltz, who has become a synonym for “Euro-villain,” and an out of place American model/actress (Margot Robbie) and lots of digital backgrounds and digital animals, it has little heart and zero guts. “The Legend of Tarzan” does a few things well — where they jump into the story, the period (the Belgian genocide in the Congo) they set it in. But it’s not much fun, and most critics agree.
“The Purge: Election Year” tries to cash in on the subject that’s dominated cable news for two years. Will it pay off? As much as I loved the political allegory of the original “Purge,” which seems prophetic now, the fall-off in the second one leaves me leery of this one. Iffy reviews for this one, not previewed in most markets. Nothing says “We know what it is” than a studio limiting access.
Will any of them shove “Finding Dory” out of the way at the box office? No. “Dory” is holding audience, and the Box Office Guru ox Office Guru suggests that “BFG” won’t do any better than $28 or so. “Purge,” he figures, is a proven brand. I do wonder if his $25 million prediction is barmy, seeing as how most of us go to the movies to escape “Election Year.” And “Tarzan” is a better known brand. Only $24 for the Ape Man? I don’t think so.
Box Office Mojo figures “Purge” will do the best of the new releases, over $25, with “BFG” and “Tarzan” only managing to get into the teens over the three day weekend, $20s including Monday.