You don’t have to be a movie genius to know who will rule the box office this weekend. With “The Avengers” wiping the floor with every other blockbuster ever, audiences will likely continue to assemble.
However, if you think there’s a little too much life in the Joss Whedon opus, its weekend competitor, “Dark Shadows,” might be more to your taste. This weekend, Tim Burton’s vampiric comedy is the only new release going head-to-head against the action juggernaut.
So! Let’s take a look at this David vs. Goliath tale, and the box-office predictions, in Moviefone’s Weekend Movie Preview.
What’s the story? Based on the 1960s gothic television soap, “Dark Shadows” follows imprisoned vampire, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), who awakens from a 200-year slumber to settle a score with a jealous witch.
Box-office prediction: While “Dark Shadows” may not have enough muscle to take out “The Avengers,” it will pull its weight. The Burton-Depp combo is a tried and true match (also, never underestimate a camp classic reboot). Opening in 3,755 theaters including IMAX venues, the film could bring in a respectable $ 38 million. (To see what the critics are saying about it, check out the review roundup in the gallery below.)
[Showtimes & Tickets]
If comic book heroes and vampires aren’t your thing, there are a ton of limited releases arriving this weekend. Chloe Moretz grows up a little too quickly in “Hick”; Eva Mendes learns how to parent in “Girl in Progress”; Jason Ritter and Jake Sandvig right their car-stealing ways in “A Bag of Hammers”; “Under African Skies” narrates the making of Paul Simon’s legendary album, “Graceland”; newly unearthed “Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview” offers a private view at the late visionary; a couple buys a house too good to be true until they realize heroine is lined with drugs in “Stash House”; a man seeking a new life in Mexico finds it more difficult than anticipated in “El Gringo”; in “Dragon Eyes,” Jean-Claude Van Damme endeavors to free a town from its pervasive gang violence; “Nesting” finds a once-hipster couple longing for their adventurous youth in “Nesting.”
Richard Corliss, Time
So why see Dark Shadows, on a weekend when The Avengers beckons you for a second look? Five reasons, and they’re all females. <a href=”http://entertainment.time.com/2012/05/10/johnny-depp-in-tim-burtons-dark-shadows-death-warmed-over/#ixzz1uU4LQC55″ target=”_hplink”>Each of the actresses in the cast looks great and star-acts up a perfect storm</a>.
Manohla Dargis, NY Times
Of all the morbid beauties in Tim Burton’s work, the spooky goth girls and deathly pale boys, none wear their ghoulishness as lightly or winningly as Johnny Depp. And what a bewitching corpse he makes in “Dark Shadows,” <a href=”http://movies.nytimes.com/2012/05/11/movies/johnny-depp-stars-in-tim-burtons-dark-shadows.html?adxnnl=1&seid=auto&smid=tw-nytimesmovies&adxnnlx=1336665813-SzIQtbwa/XZYLznZab9L4Q” target=”_hplink”>Mr. Burton’s most pleasurable film in years</a>.
Andrew O’Hehir, Salon
As the door to Collinwood creaks open… we glimpse a powerful, almost Proustian totem leaning against the front porch: A Schwinn kids’ bicycle, with a banana seat. I had already suspected I was going to love “Dark Shadows,” even before that moment. <a href=”http://www.salon.com/2012/05/10/johnny_depps_delirious_dark_shadows/” target=”_hplink”>But that’s when I knew it for sure</a>.
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
Some of director Tim Burton’s costume parties are livelier than others, and the new “Dark Shadows” — from the man who gave us “Edward Scissorhands,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Alice in Wonderland” and other chalkface-makeup spectaculars starring Johnny Depp — <a href=”http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/sc-mov-0508-dark-shadows-20120510,0,4747332.column” target=”_hplink”>feels like a place-holder, a meandering first draft of an adaptation of the supernatural soap opera that ran on ABC-TV from 1966 to 1971</a>.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” is all dressed up with nowhere to go, an elegant production without a central drive. It offers wonderful things, but they aren’t what’s important. <a href=”http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120509/REVIEWS/120509983″ target=”_hplink”>It’s as if Burton directed at arm’s length, unwilling to find juice in the story</a>.
Peter Bradshaw, The Gaurdian
The film delivers precisely the satisfaction a sympathetic audience could expect from its director, not one degree above or below. The audience is whelmed. <a href=”http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/may/10/dark-shadows-review” target=”_hplink”>It’s a whelmer</a>.
James Verniere, Boston Herald
Burton’s greatest strength remains his visual artistry. “Dark Shadows” obviously springs from the same brilliantly ma-cabre imagination that has given us such works as “Beetlejuice,” “Sleepy Hollow” and “Corpse Bride.” But when the script is as weak as this “Munsters”-level pastiche by John August (“Big Fish”) and Emerson graduate Seth Grahame-Smith, <a href=”http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/movies/reviews/view/20220510fumbling_in_the_dark_depps_vampire_flick_a_bit_lifeless/srvc=home&position=7″ target=”_hplink”>Burton is helpless</a>.
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