When I was in the sixth grade my Dad took me to the now defunct Virginians Movie Theater in my hometown to see the R rated Total Recall. Sure, I was a bit young to be seeing that movie, but I’m glad he decided to sneak me in. The original Total Recall was a nonstop action ride full of violence, great one-liners and of course the three-breasted mutant on Mars. Needless to say the twelve-year-old version of me fell in love with this movie.
Total Recall had Governor Schwarzenegger is his action-star prime, plus a great story about a man trying to find out who he really is. This week the beloved Sci-Fi Classic remake hits theaters with a version of Total Recall that stays closer to the short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick, which means no one will be “getting their asses to Mars” like in the original.
The new Total Recall stars Colin Farrell as Douglas Quaid who gets his mind scrambled after visiting Rekall. Quaid suspects he was a spy and that his whole life was a lie. Kate Beckinsale jumps into the fake wife/assassin role made famous by Sharon Stone who hunts Quaid down. Jessica Biel takes on the Melina role as an ally of Quaid and the resistance, who wants to help Quaid unlock the mysteries in his mind. Sound familiar? Except that in the new version Mars is not present. All the great action that took place on the red planet in the original will be absent.
If things were bad enough, the new Total Recall carries a PG 13 rating. Are you serious?! I’m not trying to come across as a violence junkie but if you’re going to remake Total Recall then you better have an R rating attached. I have talked to many people who have expressed concern over a dulled down version of the original they loved so much. I know the older we get, the crankier we get about our beloved films from the past getting the remake treatment. There are some remakes that are great but in this case they should have left the original alone.
The 1990 version of Total Recall still holds up today, even with some cheesy effects. My insights tell me that this updated version of Total Recall will not even break $25 Million at the box office this weekend. That’s makes a long road to make up that hefty $200 million dollar budget. I suspect that huge price tag is what triggered the studio to obtain a PG-13 rating. I’m not sure if Total Recall will even be in second place because of another cult-kid franchise that generates respectable money at the box office.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days opens this weekend and will once again surprise the box office prognosticators. The Wimpy Kid series has done well at the box office with the first two Wimpy Kid films making over $100 million combined. The series performs well even with a lack of advertising from Fox. With all the negativity surrounding violence in films I think many parents may return to theaters this weekend with their preteens for some nice wholesome fun. I expect Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days to surprise the box office predictors again and break the $20 million dollar mark on opening weekend.
As much as I respect the Wimpy Kid’s box office muscles, Greg Heffley will be no match for The Dark Knight Rises. The conclusion of the Batman franchise may not be the gangbusters that The Avengers was at the box office but it’s still a force to be reckoned with as we get into the dead zone of summer releases. Expect The Dark Knight Rises to be at the top of the box office again collecting $30 million at the box office this weekend. The Caped Crusader will have his hands full next week when The Bourne Legacy and The Campaign open in theaters everywhere.
1. The Dark Knight Rises – $30 million
2. Total Recall – $24 Million
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days – $22 Million