Friday, March 22, 2013

Blockbuster Summer: Go Big, Go Small.

With the release of Oz the Great and Powerful two weekends ago, 2013 entered into Blockbuster Summer season with a hit. Grossing more than $150 million in domestic ticket sales, Oz enters its third weekend with nearly $300 million in global box-office. Not a bad start for a season of ticket sales that used to wait until May to get its presence felt.

More big movie releases bring the potential for more big money hits. And that means more months are needed in the release schedule. But while it's the big budget "tentpole" releases that grab the headlines and splashy ad campaigns, this can be a great time to get smaller, more personal stories told. The very nature of being up against the studio behemoths means getting noticed by audiences gets you noticed by the major studios as well. So this is also a great time to make reputations and open doors to future projects.

And that's another reason why this is such a great time of year for movie fans.

In a series of posts that will continue through August, Moviedozer will take Fridays to showcase the big movies that have the potential to deliver on the blockbuster potential of their marketing as well as the small movies that will be battling for screen space at your local multiplex. So long as there are releases in the wings that show promise, Moviedozer will highlight a trailer or two to be sure they don't slip past your notice.

Welcome to our first Friday of Go Big, Go Small. As it turns out, this is a great weekend to start.

Note: In addition to the movies showcased here, there's also The Croods, this weekend's animated release from DreamWorks Animation that got our attention in a post this past Wednesday (Summer Animation, Pt. 1: Dreamworks).

If you're thinking Go Big this weekend, you might consider a movie taking its best shot to deliver the year's first big budget action adventure mega-hit, though I'd say its prospects are not quite as grandiose as its plot line.

It's actually the first of three movies being released this year with the idea that the White House makes a more interesting movie prop when it's completely under siege. This one's called Olympus Has Fallen and stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Melissa Leo, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Rick Yune and Dylan McDermott.

Like each of the films showcased here, Olympus Has Fallen opened today.

GO (not quite so) BIG!
If you're inclined to go comedy rather than action, you can go big with comedy stars by seeing Admission starring Paul Rudd and Tina Fey in their first film together. This Paul Weitz directed film looks to deliver a lightweight storyline that luckily seems secondary to the chemistry Fey and Rudd connect with on screen. Throw in the support work (and some spot on comic delivery) by veteran Lily Tomlin and Admission could be a pleasant, easy going way to laugh yourself into the weekend.

This is also Moviedozer's pick for the safest date night flick of the weekend.

GO small.
This weekend's pick.
Looking for a less crowded theater without any explosions?

Look for a screening of The Weinstein Company's The Sapphires in your local listings. Based on a true story and starring a nicely rounded performance by Chris O'Dowd, The Sapphires is exactly the kind of movie that picks up word of mouth and subsequently surfaces in the wake of the blockbusters, taking theater owners and major studios by surprise.

Happily, for the people who discover films like this, that surprise is one of the true joys of loving movies. And as an added bonus, you get to say you saw it first.

Moviedozer's recommendation this weekend: The Sapphires. The trailer charms with sparkling acting and standout period musical performances. With a script based on real life events, this looks to be a great weekend to go small. Be assured, there are lots of BIG weekends ahead.

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