The Weekend Ahead: What's New at the Box Office?

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures
May 17th, 2012

The Weekend Ahead: What's New at the Box Office?

New Releases
"Battleship" joins the ranks of summer blockbusters, arriving in theaters this Friday the 18th. The sci-fi action movie is based on a classic Hasbro board game, but it offers far more excitement and plot twists than the original game. Lieutenant Alex Hopper joined the Navy at the suggestion of his brother, Commander Stone Hopper. During a routine war games exercise, the naval fleet makes a discovery that will change everything. The Hopper brothers and their fellow soldiers will have to battle a fleet of mysterious alien life forms. If they fail, the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Director Peter Berg helms the thriller. The film has a PG-13 rating for language and for intense violence and action sequences.

"What To Expect When You're Expecting" celebrates the humorous side of parenting and pregnancy. Kirk Jones directs the romantic comedy. Five different couples face the challenges and joys of becoming new parents. For instance, a celebrity couple has to adjust their fast-paced lives when they welcome their new baby, and a nervous new dad joins an unconventional group of fathers. The star-studded ensemble cast includes Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock and other big names. "What To Expect When You're Expecting" has a PG-13 rating for thematic elements, language and crude humor.

Controversial comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has a new comedy out in theaters this week. "The Dictator" features Cohen's signature brand of offbeat humor. A displaced dictator has to move to New York City and accept a job at an organic foods market. He has plenty of trouble fitting in with the clientele. However, to his surprise, the admiral finds himself falling in love. The irreverent comedy is rated R for strong crude humor, mature themes, language and violent images. Larry Charles directs.

Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in "Hysteria," a comedic period piece directed by Tanya Wexler. Dr. Mortimer Granville struggles to make a name for himself, but he is grateful to find work with an older doctor. It turns out that Dr. Dalrymple is exploring some very unconventional methods for curing female hysteria. To make things even more complicated, the two pretty Dalrymple daughters start wooing Dr. Granville. The comedy has an R rating for mature content.

Dustin Lance Black directs "Virginia," a compelling new drama. Virginia lives in a quiet town, but she is surrounded by secrets. Her mental illness means that nobody else really takes her seriously. Virginia relies on two people, her son and the local married sheriff. When her son starts dating the sheriffÕs daughter, VirginiaÕs world turns upside down. The film is rated R for mature themes and language.

Continuing Films
"Marvel's The Avengers" is the most popular movie in theaters right now, taking the appeal of superhero movies and multiplying it by six. Hawkeye, Ironman, the Incredible Hulk, Black Widow, Captain America and Thor gather forces to fight against the villainous Loki. Loki plans to take control of the human race, but the Avengers have other plans in store. Joss Whedon directs the action-packed and star-studded action movie. "Marvel's The Avengers" has a PG-13 rating for a mild drug reference and intense violence and action sequences.

Johnny Depp stars in "Dark Shadows," the newest gothic comedy from director Tim Burton. The imaginative movie is based on a 1960s supernatural soap opera. The Collins family may live in a huge mansion and come from a fine bloodline, but they are very dysfunctional. Collinswood Manor is falling apart and the family is having a hard time holding things together. To make matters even worse, a mysterious stranger shows up and claims to be the long-dead master of Collinswood Manor. Plenty of grisly secrets will come out in the open. "Dark Shadows" is rated PG-13 for drug use, mature content, smoking, language and comic violence.

Several couples learn important lessons about life and love in "Think Like a Man." Tim Story directs the clever romantic comedy, which is based on a relationship advice book by author Steve Harvey. When several men find out that their wives and girlfriends are secretly trying to improve their relationships, they decide to turn the tables. The results are often hilarious. "Think Like a Man" has a PG-13 rating for brief drug use, crude humor and suggestive themes.

Jennifer Lawrence stars in "The Hunger Games." Based on the popular YA novels by Suzanne Collins, the sci-fi action epic is set in a bleak future. Twenty-four teenagers have to battle to the death while the whole nation watches, curious to see who will be the last person left alive. Katniss Everdeen hopes that she will be the victor, but it will be a tough fight. Gary Ross directs the film. The PG-13 rating is due to violence and disturbing images.