After last week's surprise box office bust, all bets are seemingly off when it comes to weekend predictions. Though, barring any unforeseen incidents, Pixar's "Brave" is poised to take the top spot.
"Madagascar" has been the surprise champion two weeks in row now, due to disappointing returns on "Rock of Ages" and "That's My Boy." Perhaps "Brave" will have something to say about that. The newest animated flick marks the arrival of Pixar's first leading lady, which will surely be popular with mothers and daughters. (And ginger-lovers!)
But, hey, it's anyone's guess. Let's take a look at the all predictions and reviews in Moviefone's Weekend Movie Preview.
What's the story? Pixar's first female protagonist follows Merida (Kelly Macdonald), a wild-haired princess, who, instead of being plucked by a bow-slinging suitor, tries to forge her own path in life.
Box-office prediction: Reviews have been mixed on this animated flick, so "Brave" is not slotted to be the Pixar juggernaut you may be used to. Hitting 4,164 theaters, the film could earn about $58 million this weekend.
Andrew O'Hehir (Salon)
Moms and girls everywhere deserve this movie, absolutely, and I hope they have a great time. <a href="http://www.salon.com/2012/06/19/brave_pixars_feminist_fantasy/" target="_hplink">But they also deserve much more, and much better</a>.
Melissa Anderson (Village Voice)
The animation studio's first film with a female protagonist, a defiant lass who acts as a much-welcome corrective to retrograde <a href="http://www.villagevoice.com/2012-06-20/film/brave-pixar-Kelly-Macdonald/" target="_hplink">Disney heroines of the past and the company's unstoppable pink-princess merchandising</a>.
Keith Uhlich (Time Out New York)
Merely a dull amalgam of <a href="http://www.timeout.com/us/film/brave" target="_hplink">modern Mouse House idiosyncrasies</a>.
Alonso Duralde (The Wrap)
It's a rousing adventure and a hilarious comedy, and if its athletic and <a href="http://www.thewrap.com/movies/column-post/brave-review-finally-disney-princess-who-isnt-defined-prince-44636" target="_hplink">intelligent leading lady creates a new paradigm for animated features, so much the better</a>.
David Edelstein (New York Magazine)
In addition to being fast, funny, and unpretentious, <a href="http://nymag.com/movies/reviews/brave-to-rome-with-love-edelstein/" target="_hplink">Brave is a happy antidote to all the recent films in which women triumph by besting men at their own macho games</a>...
Christy Lemire (Associated Press)
Pixar is long overdue for a feature with a strong female character at its center. Now that she's arrived, <a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/celebrities/ci_20885779/review-brave-is-beautiful-but-plays-it-too" target="_hplink">it's clear that she deserves better</a>.
Todd McCarthy (Hollywood Reporter)
A film that starts off big and promising but diminishes into a rather wee thing as it chugs along, <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/brave-review-disney-pixar-335633" target="_hplink">with climactic drama that is both too conveniently wrapped up and hinges on magical elements that are somewhat confusing to boot</a>.
Peter Debruge (Variety)
Adding a female director to its creative boys' club, the studio has fashioned a resonant tribute to mother-daughter relationships that packs a level of poignancy <a href="http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117947728?refcatid=31" target="_hplink">on par with such beloved male-bonding classics as Finding Nemo</a>.
Richard Larson (Slant Magazine)
Pixar's latest ultimately offers nothing more <a href="http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/brave/6347" target="_hplink">than a caricature of a well-worn conceit</a>.
Eric Kohn (indieWIRE)
Pixar, a once-complex house of stories, has been downgraded to the happy meal alternative:<a href="http://www.indiewire.com/article/critics-notebook-has-pixar-gone-the-way-of-the-simpsons" target="_hplink"> "Brave" is a movie for six-year-olds</a>.
"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"
What's the story? In this revisionist flick, honest Abe (played by Benjamin Walker) isn't abolishing slavery -- he's besting vampires! The 16th President of the United States discovers that the caped creatures are planning a take over, so he takes matters into his own hands.
Box-office prediction: Without any real star vehicle, "Lincoln" may suffer with broader audiences. But the film, which boasts the most popular of presidents and a ridiculous action-packed premise, may prove popular with young males. Opening in 3,106 theaters, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" might rake in $16 million.
"Seeking a Friend for the End of the World"
What's the story? With an asteroid on a course to destroy Earth, Steve Carrell plays a newly abandoned man who road trips to find his high-school sweetheart and ends up befriending his neighbor (Keira Knightly) along the way.
Box-office prediction: "Seeking a Friend" may pull in those looking for something besides animated gingers and presidential fan fiction, but buzz has been limited around this R-rated dramedy. With lukewarm reviews, Carell's appeal may be the only pull. Opening in about 1,400 locations, "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" could bring in $6 million this weekend.
This weekend's limited releases, are, well, limited! But it's quality that matters! Woody Allen returns to the big screen alongside an all-star cast -- Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Penélope Cruz, Roberto Benigni and Greta Gerwin -- in "To Rome With Love"; Jason Biggs stars as an out of work journalist who helps his friend earn a seat on the Seattle City Council in "Grassroots"; "The Invisible War" exposes the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military; the dramedy "Nate & Margaret" proves that in the face of love, age really is just a number; Martin Sheen stars as an Irish preist struggling with his country's newfound modernity. "Stella Days".