'Tooth Fairy' stars Dwayne (The Actor Formerly Known as 'The Rock') Johnson as a hockey thug forced to learn the value of teeth by playing the actual Tooth Fairy. I have only seen the trailer for this family comedy and agree with USA Today critic Claudia Puig's warning that the movie "will make your teeth ache and your skin crawl." With a Golden Globe wind at its back and facing a trio of new releases whose greatest threat is 'Tooth Fairy,' 'Avatar' will sail through its sixth straight weekend atop the box office chart and significantly narrow the gap between its current domestic gross of about $515 million and the $601 million record held by 'Titanic.'
I know, 'Avatar's' success is getting boring, but if 'Tooth Fairy' doesn't beat it, Mel Gibson might. Gibson, whose career lately has been overshadowed by a drunk-driving arrest, an extra-marital affair and anti-Semitic remarks, makes his first appearance since 2002 in next weekend's 'Edge of Darkness.' The new film sounds autobiographical but is really the kind of tough-cop drama that was once Gibson's lethal weapon. The questions that movie will answer are whether Gibson has been forgiven his trespasses and whether his signature wit is still intact.
More about that next week. In the meantime, we have 'Tooth Fairy,' which stars Dwayne (The Actor Formerly Known as 'The Rock') Johnson as a hockey thug forced to learn the value of teeth by playing the actual Tooth Fairy. I have only seen the trailer for this family comedy and agree with USA Today critic Claudia Puig's warning that the movie "will make your teeth ache and your skin crawl."
Still, with 'Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel' and 'The Princess and the Frog' near the end of their runs, 'Tooth Fairy' is the only hope for parents looking to pass some time with their youngest kids at a movie. It should do between $15 million and $17 million over the weekend.
Also opening in wide release today is 'Legion,' a horror movie so horrible the studio chose not to screen it for critics in advance. Its subject matter is a real turn-on: Fed up with the failings of mankind -- an apparent reference to Tuesday's election in Massachusetts -- God sends a squad of angels to Earth to launch the Apocalypse. The R-rated movie is the only option for teenage boys and young men, who may spend as much as $15 million on tickets to the thing this weekend.
Finally, there is 'Extraordinary Measures,' a medical drama starring Harrison Ford as an eccentric scientist who is beset by a corporate climber who has shoved his career aside to search for a cure for his two young children. It sounds a lot like 'Lorenzo's Oil,' which grossed about $7 million in 1992. 'Extraordinary Measures' may do about that well this weekend, but it faces a short life at the multiplex.
Meanwhile, look for 'Avatar' to surpass 'The Dark Knight's' domestic gross of $533.3 over the weekend to become the second biggest money-maker on the all-time domestic box office chart. It should gross around $35 million. 'The Book of Eli,' last weekend's No. 2, may do well enough on its second weekend to hold that spot, but it will have to beat 'Tooth Fairy' to do it.