2012's Total Recall (3,601 theatres) is a remake of the 1990 Paul Verhoeven film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Remakes always have a tough time going up against the original, but reviews haven't been too unkind in their comparisons--it appears to be partly a matter of preference. Schwarzenegger's one-liners or Colin Farrell's superior acting? "In the rare moments when [Farrell]'s not parkouring his way through would-be assassins, he imbues Quaid with a touch of genuine humanity," Maitland McDonagh says of the lead. Since The Dark Knight Rises is expected to earn around $35 million this weekend, Total Recall will end up in second if it stays within industry expectations of $25-30 million.
"Not so wimpy after all," according to THR's Michael Rechtshaffen, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (3,392 theatres) is on track to earn in the teen millions this weekend. The lead character is "closer to those wimpier roots" after he "came across as a little too mean-spirited the last time out." Parents may be twiddling their thumbs a bit if they tag along, but the "harmless" and "pleasant" comedy gets points from me for being one of the few kid movies about real-life kids, not animated creatures.
A couple learns to be friends after their divorce in Celeste and Jesse Forever, which received accolades on the festival circuit. Rashida Jones stars opposite Andy Samberg in a romance/comedy she co-wrote along with her own ex Will McCormack, reportedly using notes from their own romance-turned- friendship. The "juicy, self-referential part," as described by Marsha McCreadie, includes plenty of self-deprecating pratfalls, including a "comic bit where Jones floats by, passed out on a pool float." Also debuting on the specialty circuit is 360 (2 theatres), a tale of interconnected, round-the-world stories linked by each character's romantic connection. With "life practically bursting out of every pristinely shot scene," FJI critic Chris Barsanti feels "it's more than enough" to make it worth audiences' time.
On Monday, we'll see if Total Recall ends up close to or above The Dark Knight Rises, and if kids convinced their parents to take them to a Wimpy Kid screening during these last Dog Days of Summer.