New in Theaters: 'Elysium,' 'We're The Millers,' 'Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,' 'Planes'

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Several new releases are blazing their way into theaters this week, promising quite the menagerie of genres and flavors for audiences this weekend: there’s a futuristic action flick, a decidedly adult comedy, a sequel to the movies adaptation of a fantasy novel series, and a new Disney film. The one unifying quality of these films seems to be a general lukewarm critical reception.

The best-rated film coming out this week is Elysium, brought to us by District 9’s Neill Blomkamp. This film is a futuristic tale of a stratified class society where the rich live on a decadent space station—Elysium—and everyone else is stuck on an impoverished Earth ravaged by time and industry. Matt Damon plays the film’s lead, a man who takes it upon himself to infiltrate Elysium and save Earth (with a little technological help); however, he finds violent resistance in the form of an austere Elysium official (Jodie Foster).

The folks at Rotten Tomatoes rate the film at 66%. While a bit disappointing in the shadow of District 9, the film is still entertaining enough to warrant watching. According to the Box Office Guru, the film can expect around $25 million over the weekend.

In an entirely different vein, Wednesday introduced us to We’re The Millers, a comedy involving drugs, strippers, and crime—the finer things in life. When David Burke’s (Jason Sudeikis) small-time pot dealing enterprise takes a dive, his dealer (Ed Helms) gets him to run hard drugs across the Mexican border—to sell it, Burke cobbles together a fake family (Jennifer Aniston, Will Poulter, and Emma Roberts) and takes a “vacation” down to Mexico.

Unfortunately, the critics of Rotten Tomatoes were not convinced, giving the film only 41%. While the film has a few genuinely funny moments and a cast that could promise more, the script just couldn’t sell the premise. Still, the film can expect approxiamtely $24 million for its weekend gross.

Wednesday also saw the release of a film that was a long time in the making—a sequel to the first film adaptation of Rick Riordan’s popular series of kid’s books, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, and Brandon Jackson reprise their roles as Percy, Annabeth, and Grover in this continuation of the demigods’ epic quest to save their camp and home.

The Tomatometer was less kind to this film, as well, giving it only 34%. The film has plenty of action, but lacks in just about every other department: characters, plot, script, etc. Accordingly, the film can only expect around $16 million over the weekend.

Finally, opening today is the latest from Disney’s animation department—a quasi-sequel to the Cars films, Planes. Perhaps seeking redemption for the disappointment of Cars 2, Disney spins a yarn about an anthropomorphic plane that wants to fly, but is afraid of heights (Dane Cook), and must overcome adversity to attain his dreams.

If this sounds trite to you, you’re not alone—Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 26% for exactly that reason. It’s a play-it-safe kind of film that will entertain the kids, but will ultimately be forgotten. Despite its cliché nature, it’s expected to gross $26 million over the weekend.

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