WEEKEND MOVIES: Decent reviews for “Smallfoot,” pans for “Night School” and “Hell Fest,” “Little Women”

Film Title: Night School

TIFFANY HADDISH stars in “Night School,” the new comedy from director Malcolm D. Lee (“Girls Trip”) that follows a group of misfits who are forced to attend adult classes in the longshot chance they’ll pass the GED exam.

The bar has been set high for Kevin Hart comedies, and adding new star Tiffany Haddish to the mix should prove a boon for “Night School,” an indifferent star-comedy with little to recommend it — a few laughs, widely scattered over two rather leaden hours of running time.

Remember, Kevin got his first decent break on “Freaks and Geeks.” He’s Apatow trained to keep his comedies going and going and going, even when they’re not working.

Box Office Mojo looked at Thursday night’s numbers and hasn’t adjusted its $32 million predicted opening for this one. Average for a Hart comedy, but there’ll be trouble if Thursday’s $1 million and small change doesn’t pan out to a big Friday and bigger Saturday. Reviews overall were a lot like mine — “meh” to “ugh.”

Deadline.com figures $30 million is a safer bet. In any event, this one should win the weekend with ease.

The significant competition will come from the cartoon comedy “Smallfoot,” which I thought was cute, with a science-over-superstition message that’s logically hard to beat. Most critics agreed. Both Deadline and Mojo are predicting a $24-27 million weekend for this one, not being a “brand” name Pixar franchise or anything of the sort. I am guessing it will make a race of it with Mr. Hart’s farce — both of them coming in around $30.

I saw “Hell Fest” with a pretty good sized audience Thursday night, so the horror audience could lift this one out of the hole everybody predicts it will be digging out of ($3.5-4 million). It’s terrible. 

Pitiful reviewed greeted the Pure Flix version of “Little Women,” but it could manage as much as $4 million, Deadline.com figures.

“The House with a Clock in its Walls” should finish its second weekend in the $12-15 range,

 

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