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new movies 03/22/2013
Focus / Fox / FilmDistrict / A24
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New Movies: ‘Admission,’ ‘The Croods,’ ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ and ‘Spring Breakers’

It's a busy weekend at the movies. Comedy, action, animated fare for the kids—a solid mix for a good range of audiences, those of you who aren't sitting in front of the TV watching March Madness, that is.

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Admission review
Focus Features
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‘Admission’ Review

Let's not kid ourselves about this. Part of consuming Hollywood entertainment is that, on some level, we like these people. It's strange, but I probably like Tina Fey and Paul Rudd more than actual live humans I've met and have to deal with on a regular basis. Yes, I recognize that I only know them through the characters they play (and that includes their "as themselves" appearances on Letterman's couch or the Golden Globes stage) but their finely sculpted personas of vibrant, clever, likable people automatically gives them lift in any project they choose. When they star together in 'Admission' - a romantic comedy that is just a little bit smarter than the other leading brands - and one where they find a degree of happiness together, well, this puts the movie far off the likability charts.

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new movies 03/15/2013
Warner Bros. / TriStar
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New Movies: ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,’ ‘The Call’

Opening this weekend are 1) a star-studded comedy about dueling magicians in Las Vegas, and 2) a thriller about a kidnapped girl and a killer on the loose.

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Disney
Disney
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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Saves the Box Office

After a series of increasingly dire weeks at the box office, 'Oz the Great and Powerful' arrived and shook things up in a major way, earning the first truly massive opening weekend of 2013 and setting the table for all kinds of Oz-related content in the near future. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is something that we'll let you judge.

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new movies 03/08/2013
Disney/FilmDistrict
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New Movies: ‘Oz the Great and Powerful,’ ‘Dead Man Down’

The recent 'Amazing Spider-Man' and the upcoming 'Man of Steel' seem to get all the attention regarding studios' attempt to "reboot" franchises, but that's pretty much the same thing as what's going on with 'Oz the Great and Powerful.' If it succeeds at the box office, we may end up with a new version of 'The Wizard of Oz' at some point very soon, even though the producers have said that's not their goal.

Also opening this week is a dark tale of blackmail and revenge.

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Jack the Giant Slayer
Warner Bros.
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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ Bombs

'Jack the Giant Slayer' may have taken the number one spot at the box office, but no one is celebrating -- it may sit at the top, but it sits at the top of one of the weakest box office weekends since, well, last weekend.

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Jack the Giant Slayer review
Warner Bros.
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‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ Review

The third row of an IMAX screen is a sufficiently disadvantageous perspective to give you a taste of the way the hero of 'Jack the Giant Slayer' sees the world. From that angle, even regular-sized humans loom ominously overhead; you can imagine how big the giants look. But that's about as impressive as the surprisingly crummy 'Jack' gets.

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new movies 03/01/2013
Warner Bros. / Relativity / CBS / RCR
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New Movies: ‘Jack the Giant Slayer,’ ’21 and Over,’ ‘The Last Exorcism Part II,’ ‘Phantom’

This week we have four new releases, covering four different genres and targeting four different audiences: fairy-tale action epic, a coming-of-age (21) comedy, supernatural horror, and a submarine thriller.

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21 and Over review
Relativity Media
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’21 and Over’ Review

'21 and Over,' despite being the directorial debut of the odious 'Hangover' writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, isn't quite the bro-fest you might think it is. Yes, it definitely treads a bit into date rape jokes and offers an easy layup to any and all homophobes in the audience (more on this in a bit) but, by some miracle, more scenes than you might expect will actually make you laugh. Despite a premise that has the blur of a Xerox of a Xerox, there are individual sequences that are, surprisingly, clever and endearing.

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new movies 02/22/2013
Summit, Weinstein Company / Dimension
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New Movies: ‘Dark Skies,’ ‘Snitch’

This week, two new flicks hit theaters. The first is a spooky thriller about a family terrorized by a mysterious force, while the other is an action tale about a father determined to save his son.

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A Good Day to Die Hard Box office
20th Century Fox
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Weekend Box Office Report: A Good Day to be ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’

In retrospect, it's easy to say "Of course the new 'Die hard' movie was going to open at number one at the box office!" but you can bet Bruce Willis and company were a little worried. After all, 'A Good Day to Die Hard' opened in the wake of the failure of 'The Last Stand,' 'Parker' and 'Bullet to the Head,' three other macho, R-rated movies starring modern action icons. However, the strength of the 'Die Hard' brand seems to have broken that trend: John McClane's fifth outing made $25 million over the weekend.

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Identity Thief Box Office
Universal
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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Identity Thief’ Steals $36 Million

Is Melissa McCarthy a movie star yet? The opening weekend of 'Identity Thief' suggests that yes, she is. After all, all of those people weren't flocking to this movie because of Jason Bateman (as delightful as he is). Anyway, all of this pretty much means that McCarthy's asking price just doubled.

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