If there’s one phrase to delineate as clearly as possible the box office this weekend, it’s What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Because what you expected is exactly what you got this week, with the title film being ubiquitously considered fairly awful, The Avengers in first again, Battleship getting the Michael Bay treatment from critics and users alike.

We’re left wondering about the exceptions. For example, whatever happened to Cameron Diaz? We didn’t really expect this. The woman can be funny—there’s something about her (Mary). And then Liam Neeson in Battleship.

I don’t believe anything could sound less plausible from Rob Roy, Michael Collins, the star of Schindler’s List, Taken, The Grey! However, Battleship was just a film waiting to happen after the immediate success of Transformers, like the superhero films which followed X-Men’s success.

And considering it’s a film made out of a board game, I don’t think we could expect anything more than the slam-bang visual effects heavy it is. It was simply outmatched by The Avengers, just like Sacha Cohen’s latest, whose films’ prerequisite is having a very specific taste for humor.

However, there’s a true opponent in upcoming threequel Men in Black (cubed). The third installment in the Alien franchise did this for marketing, “cubing” its name, and that story is generally ignored as if it didn’t happen.

The studios seem to practically have their fingers crossed, spending so much money over-budget, hopefully not to compensate for a sub-standard plot.

The original film was a hit for a reason, and now that Will Smith is popular for actually good dramatic material as well, and the film has a strong budget and a writer who knows how to write a successful blockbuster (David Koepp of Panic Room, Spiderman, Jurassic Park, and Mission Impossible), this final outing has a rare opportunity.

Not just to make up for the disappointing previous sequel, but improve and finalize this series as the summer blockbuster it started out to be, and fans of the original are clamoring for. This is the film that could really knock The Avengers loose from its throne.

 

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:

1.  MARVELS THE AVENGERS                                             55,057,000

2.  BATTLESHIP                                                                    25,300,000

3.  THE DICTATOR                                                                17,415,000

4.  DARK SHADOWS                                                            12,770,000

5.  WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING            10,500,000

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