Welcome back to Defamer Attractions, your handy cheat sheet to the best and worst of this weekend at the movies. Not that a new Pixar film requires much tire-kicking ahead of time, or that we haven't already spilled our guts about its gloriously confectionery pop-trash competition, or that last weekend's biggest disappointment wasn't assured to hemorrhage more money in week two. But! You shouldn't attempt to get by without our underdog pick or a typically scintillating scan of the latest DVD releases. As always, our predictions are not only our own, but also the very soul of precision. You can thank us later!
WHAT'S NEW: As per tradition this June, it's another new release "duel" with an essentially foregone conclusion: The already-beloved (except among fat people and the GOP) Pixar entry Wall-E is ready to go at No. 1, with the bloody Angelina Jolie/James McAvoy destiny-caper Wanted lagging some miles behind with its R-rating. Crap-allergic audiences who stayed away from last week's openings may nudge Wall-E toward the high end of its projected $55 million opening. The same can be said of the male-skewing Wanted, which will surpass $40 million without much trouble. At least we hope so for Disney and Universal's sakes, as both films will vanish into Hancock's booze-smelling shadow in T-minus five days and counting.
Also opening: The Matthew Broderick gerund dramedy Finding Amanda; the Irish-drunks-at-a-wake comedy Red Roses and Petrol; and the 19th-century Catherine Breillat/Asia Argento clash The Last Mistress.
THE BIG LOSER: None of this weekend's new releases will underachieve that much, but The Love Guru may be the first film ever to drop 100% from its opening weekend. Get Smart won't age well, either.
THE UNDERDOG: A hybrid of stage readings, archival footage and interviews, Trumbo isn't going to blow any minds in illuminating the troubled life and times of its blacklisted novelist/screenwriter namesake Dalton Trumbo. That said, his story (adapted from son Christopher's off-Broadway play) is as concentrated an account of the blacklist's havoc as any we've seen, and the actors gathered to monologue his correspondence from the era — including Brian Dennehy, Joan Allen, Paul Giamatti and particularly David Strathairn — do well by their subject's moody talent. At the very least, Nathan Lane's stirring five-minute paean to masturbation is a YouTube hit in the making.
FOR SHUT-INS: This week's new DVD releases include Roland Emmerich's steaming pile of 10,000 BC; the dark, dark Colin Farrell hit-man comedy In Bruges; the Oscar-jilted, animated coming-of-age story Persepolis; the underrated rom-com Definitely Maybe; and the desperately awaited "Magical Musical Edition" of Xanadu — complete with soundtrack! (Razor blade sold separately.)
So what's your outlook for the weekend — lovesick robot or bullet-curving megastar? Or some other new, nifty treat altogether? Are you the one person in the country who'll dare to drop $11 on The Love Guru? Or is it an all-Xanadu weekend? Let us know — we can help!