Such is the state of Hollywood when not one, but two remakes of beloved '80s classics open on the same weekend. The surprise is that one of them is actually apparently awesome (and it's not 'The Thing'). Can 'Footloose' cut the competition down or will Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson fly away with the weekend crown? The answers lie ahead in your Weekend Movie Preview

NATIONWIDE RELEASES

'Footloose'
What's the story: A Boston teen named Ren (newcomer Kenny Wormald) moves to a small Midwestern town where dancing has been outlawed. There, he falls in love with the rebellious teen daughter (Julianne Hough) of the town preacher (Dennis Quaid), and teaches everyone how to... cut loose. (Groan!) (But seriously.)

Box-office projection: Your friendly Moviefone editors are totally in the tank for the new version of 'Footloose,' but will audiences be too? Perhaps. The marketing for 'Footloose' has been squarely aimed at the MTV generation (or is that now the Spotify generation?), making the film look like the perfect combination of sexy and dangerous. Even more important? The Craig Brewer-directed film has gotten fairly outstanding reviews from critics, something which might persuade fans of the original to show up alongside their sons, daughters, nieces and nephews. With little competition from new releases and 'Real Steel' showing itself as a family film, 'Footloose' could also be the destination of choice for couples. Projections are in the $18-to-$20 million range, but the guess here is that 'Footloose' dances away with a bit more. $23.4 million



[Showtimes & Tickets | Mr. Moviefone's Six-Second Review]



'The Thing']
What's the story: A prequel to the John Carpenter classic, 'The Thing' focuses on a the discovery of an alien ship (and a shape-shifting alien) at an Antarctica research site. Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Ramona Flowers 4eva!), Joel Edgerton and Eric Christian Olsen star.

Box-office projection: On the one hand, no one is really talking about 'The Thing' unless it's to slag the film for being a sacrilegious remake of Carpenter's classic. On the other hand: scares and aliens! There's an audience for this film, one that has seen few horror flicks since August that they can rally around. 'The Thing' isn't that film either -- check back next week for 'Paranormal Activity 3,' which should explode the somewhat stagnant box office -- but since it has the name value that something like 'Shark Night 3D' didn't, expect respectable and unspectacular numbers. $10.1 million



[Showtimes & Tickets | Mr. Moviefone's Six-Second Review]



'The Big Year'
What's the story: Three friends (Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson) compete in the Big Year, an annual bird-watching event that sends them on adventures to identify rare species of birds around the country. Directed by David Frankel ('Marley & Me'), 'The Big Year' also stars Rashida Jones, Angelica Huston, Rosamund Pike, Dianne Wiest and more.

Box-office projection: And you thought no one was talking about 'The Thing'! With three major comedy stars as leads, logic dictates that 'The Big Year' should currently dominate weekend movie talk. That it's not is a potential box-office problem. The film is opening in a little over 2,100 theaters -- the lowest number of any wide release this weekend -- and projections have it landing in the $6-to-$7 million range. That would rank as lowest wide-release opening since 'Mixed Nuts' in 1994. Let's give Martin, Black and Wilson the benefit of the doubt and assume the PG rating will bring in a few more families than tracking indicates. $9.2 million



[Showtimes & Tickets | Mr. Moviefone's Six-Second Review]

LIMITED RELEASES

How the mighty have fallen? Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman lead 'Trespass', which is only opening in 10 theaters. Elsewhere, Pedro Almodovar returns with the psychological thriller 'The Skin I Live In' with Antonio Banderas and Sam Worthington leads 'Texas Killing Fields'.

[Photo: Universal/Paramount/Fox]



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