New in Theaters: ‘The Purge: Anarchy,’ ‘Sex Tape,’ ‘Planes: Fire and Rescue’

Planes: Fire and Rescue

Sorry for the lateness, folks! It’s been a busy week on this end—fortunately, it looks like we aren’t missing much: while last weekend was a brief break from the run of mediocre summer titles hitting theaters, it seems the break is over, as this weekend brings a horde of poorly-received releases to the box office. At least they’re diverse, if nothing else; there’s something for everyone, if you can get past the whole quality issue.

Our first new release is a horror movie sequel (always slippery ground when it comes to impressing critics): The Purge: Anarchy. The film features a new set of faces (Frank Grillo, Kiele Sanchez, Michael K. Williams, and Zach Gilford among them) in an old scenario—an annual orgy of crime, violence, and death to purge the pent-up criminal instinct in a dystopian, future America.

Unfortunately, this was the best-rated of this weekend’s new releases at 54% on the Tomatometer. While the consensus is that it’s better than the first film, the same issues cripple this film: favoring gore and violence over story development, but still expecting to convey a complex message. Box Office Guru predicts an opening-weekend gross of $24 million for the film.

In a very different vein, we also have a raunchy, R-rated comedy, Sex Tape. As the blunt name implies, the film is about a couple (Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel) who decide that making a sex tape is the best idea to rekindle their sex life. As one might expect, this goes horribly wrong when the tape goes missing the next morning, and they must figure out where it went, and how to get it back.

This film wasn’t exactly a hit with the critics either, rating at only 20% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film isn’t brave enough to go whole-hog with the risqué premise, but it isn’t polished enough to offer enough laughs taking a different angle. Ultimately, it’s a pretty forgettable film, but it’s expected to make around $22 million.

Finally, we have something distinctly not risqué—an animated family film sequel in the form of Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue. This film again follows Dusty (Dane Cook) as he embarks on an adventure even more dangerous than racing—joining a fire and rescue team.

The film fared a little better than its carnal counterpart, with a Tomatometer rating of 45%. The film doesn’t take any risks, but it also doesn’t have any large shortcomings—it’s a safe bet for a tolerable movie. It’s expected to earn around $16 million this weekend.

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