Martin Grove’s Hollywood Report 04-01-13

“Jurassic Park 3D” is a re-release of the 1993 box office hit with the added 3D experience

“Jurassic Park 3D” is a re-release of the 1993 box office hit with the added 3D experience

Still from the upcoming comedy “Scary Movie 5”

Still from the upcoming comedy “Scary Movie 5”

“Pain & Gain,” opening Apr. 26

“Pain & Gain,” opening Apr. 26

April action: April is Hollywood’s swing month between winter’s serious awards contenders and summer’s popcorn blockbusters.

The challenge for April’s movies is to persuade audiences to give up a few hours of beautiful spring weather. That’s exactly what happened last April when the boxoffice was sizzling with Lionsgate’s March holdover “The Hunger Games.” It opened Mar. 23 to $152.5 million and by month’s end had done $233.3 million.

By Apr. 30 “Games” had $372.7 million under its boxoffice belt and was well on its way to its early September total domestic cume of $408 million. The $139.4 million “Games” grossed in April definitely put smiles on theatre owners’ faces.

Paramount, MGM and Hasbro’s “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” isn’t “Games,” but it got off on the right foot last weekend with $51.7 million for its first four days in theatres. Having the PG-13 rated “Retaliation” in the multiplex trenches throughout April will help boost the month’s boxoffice action.

April will see the arrival of seven new wide releases to bridge the winter-summer gap that ends May 3 with Disney’s launch of Marvel Studios and Paramount’s 3D sci-fi action adventure “Iron Man 3.” The latest episode in the blockbuster franchise starring Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Tony Stark should certainly to help this summer blast off in style.

Meanwhile, this weekend could see some April multiplex momentum underway thanks to two new wide releases competing for moviegoers’ time and money.

Universal and Amblin Entertainment’s 3D release of Steven Spielberg’s PG-13 rated action adventure “Jurassic Park” will let today’s audiences as well as the film’s original fans experience what Spielberg envisioned in a way that wasn’t possible when his movie opened in 1993.

“Jurassic” exploded in theatres June 11, 1993 with $47 million and went on to gross $357.1 million domestically. It spawned two sequels that were released in 1997 and 2001. The blockbuster franchise’s three episodes grossed $767.3 million domestically.

The 3D version of “Jurassic” is tracking best with men under 25 and next best with 25-plus men. Starring are Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum.

The Story: Same as it originally was in 2D — an island theme park’s cloned dinosaurs run wild after a power failure.

Competing with “Jurassic’s” 3D re-release will be TriStar, Film District and Ghost House Pictures’ R rated horror thriller “Evil Dead.” Directed by Fede Alvarez (his feature directing debut), it stars Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez and Jessica Lucas.

The Story: Five friends in a remote cabin find a Book of the Dead and unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, who possess them until only one is left to fight for survival.

“Evil” is a reimagining of the “Evil Dead” horror franchise whose episodes arrived in 1983 and 1987. The original “Evil Dead” was directed by the young Sam Raimi, who went on to direct the three episode blockbuster “Spider-Man” franchise. Raimi’s one of the new “Evil’s” producers.

“Evil’s” tracking best and equally well with men under and over 25.

Apr. 12 will also see two new wide releases come up to bat at the boxoffice. First there’s Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ PG-13 rated biographical sports drama “42,” directed by Brian Helgeland (“A Knight’s Tale”).

The Story: Chadwick Boseman stars as the legendary Jackie Robinson, whose signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946 broke major league baseball’s color barrier. Harrison Ford plays Dodgers GM Branch Rickey, whose brave stand against prejudice changed the world by changing the game of baseball.

“42’s” tracking best and equally well with men under and over 25.

Dimension Films and Brad Grey Pictures’ PG-13 rated comedy “Scary Movie 5” also opens Apr. 12. Directed by Malcolm D. Lee (“Soul Men”), it stars Simon Rex, Ashley Tisdale and Charlie Sheen – plus Lindsay Lohan as herself!

The Story: A happily married couple observes bizarre activity after bringing home their newborn baby. When they realize their family’s being stalked by a nefarious demon, they must figure out how to rid themselves of the evil spirit before it’s too late.

The first four “Scary” episodes grossed over $429 million domestically. The last one, “Scary 4,” opened Apr. 14, 2006 to $40.2 million and ended up doing $71.3 million in domestic theatres.

The month’s highest profile new arrival, Universal Pictures and Chernin Entertainment’s PG-13 rated sci-fi action adventure “Oblivion,” lands in theatres Apr. 19. It’s that weekend’s only wide opening, which says something about how well other studios believe it will open. Directed by Joseph Kosinski (“TRON: Legacy”), it stars Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman and Andrea Riseborough.

The Story: Jack Harper (Cruise) is one of the last remaining drone repairmen on Earth extracting vital resources after decades of war with terrifying aliens, the Scavs. Jack’s work is almost done when he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft, whose arrival puts humanity’s fate in Jack’s hands.

“Oblivion’s” tracking best with 25-plus males and next best with under-25 males.

Paramount and Platinum Dunes’ action comedy drama “Pain & Gain,” opening Apr. 26, is directed by Michael Bay (“Transformers” franchise) and stars Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Rebel Wilson.

The Story: Three Florida bodybuilders become involved in an extortion/kidnapping plot that goes badly wrong.

Also arriving Apr. 26 is Lionsgate and Millennium Films’ R rated comedy “The Big Wedding,” directed by Justin Zackham (“Going Greek”) and starring Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton and Katherine Heigl.

The Story: A couple who’s been divorced for years pretends their still married because their family’s coming together now for a wedding.

Bottom line:The big franchise summer movies everyone’s waiting for don’t arrive for about a month, but some interesting new films could generate the right kind of April boxoffice action.