From the directors of the BadMoms pics, Jexi dials into theaters next weekend and is hoping for a decent reception. The comedy stars Adam DeVine as a loner obsessed with his phone. When he gets an upgrade that includes Rose Byrne voicing the title character/feature, life begins to improve until the artificially intelligent being develops an obsession with him. Costars include Alexandra Shipp, Michael Pena, Justin Hartley, and Wanda Sykes.
I have a hunch Jexi will have a tough time connecting with filmgoers. As far as its effectiveness via trailer and TV spots, I’m getting a bit of a Stuber vibe. That comedy with Kumail Nanjiani stalled over the summer with just an $8.2 million opening weekend. And one could argue Nanjiani has more drawing ability than DeVine.
Considering that, I’ll say this will be lucky to reach that number and won’t do so.
2016’s BadMoms took its concept of three frazzled matriarchs letting loose and rode that wave to high box office bucks. As far as its quality, I felt it was a rather mediocre exercise that often unsuccessfully blended raunchy with pathos. Yet moviegoers turned out so now we have ABadMomsChristmas, in which it turns out the bad moms from part 1 all have questionable ones themselves.
Our original trio is feeling the natural stress that comes from holiday planning. Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell), and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) decide to throw caution to the wind and not go crazy with the season’s headaches… other than the ones that their drunken mall trip hangovers might induce. Circumstances are altered when their mamas turn up. Christine Baranski is Amy’s control freak mom, Cheryl Hines is Kiki’s super clingy mom, and Susan Sarandon is Carla’s wild and distant mom.
The week leading to Christmas gives all three subplots time for arguments and making up, as well as Santa stripping shows and bonding over butthole waxing. That’s about as deep as we get from writer/directors Scott Moore and Jon Lucas, who are once again tasked with creating a shallow and surface level comedic dive into the female psyche.
ABadMomsChristmas doesn’t go full throttle with its cartoonish aspects and doesn’t earn the attempted sentimentality it tries toward the end. What’s left is a sequel with less laughs than the first and the bar wasn’t exactly high. Among the cast, Hines comes off the best because she’s at least convincing as she apes daughter Bell’s look and mannerisms.
It’s tough for comedy sequels to succeed because most of them aren’t planned and feel rushed to capitalize on the success of what came before. This is yet another example.
Last summer, Bad Moms was a breakout comedy that earned $23 million in its first weekend and went on to gross $113 million domestically. STXfilms has wasted no time in capitalizing with holiday themed sequel A Bad Moms Christmas, which opens next Wednesday. Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn are back and this time around it’s their moms joining the mix in the form of Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore are back handling directorial duties.
The quick turn-around on this follow-up likely means sequelitis will not creep in. Christmas could well serve as smart counter programming for females to the weekend’s giant release that is Thor: Ragnarok. The Wednesday debut will also give it a bit of a head start.
Due to the five-day roll out, the sequel may not quite match the $23 million achieved in its predecessor’s opening weekend. Yet it may get over that number in the Wednesday to Sunday earnings. I’ll estimate a high teens to low 20s premiere for the traditional weekend with mid to high 20s for the entire frame.
A Bad Moms Christmas opening weekend prediction: $18.7 million (Friday to Monday), $26.2 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
Comedic holiday hijinks ensue next weekend as Office Christmas Party RSVP’s into theaters. The R rated pic features a cast of familiar faces including Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Jillian Bell, Courtney B. Vance, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Matt Walsh and Kate McKinnon. Josh Gordon and Will Speck handle directorial duties and their previous effort was 2010’s The Switch, which featured Bateman and Aniston.
The Paramount release could benefit from both its cast and the fact that drunken and wild work XMas bashes are something many can relate to. Party comes from a story originated by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who wrote The Hangover. It also has no competition in the second weekend of December in its genre.
I’ll predict a decent number of moviegoers attend this Party to the tune of a mid to high teens debut.
Office Christmas Party opening weekend prediction: $18.4 million
The Wolf Pack of TheHangover came from the minds of writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore and it kicked off a male-centric trilogy of frequent hilarity (at least the first one) where bros could be wild bros. This same duo now tries to do the same with frazzled and overworked matriarchs in BadMoms and the result is considerably more hit and miss. We don’t know the answer to this question, but perhaps if this pic had been penned by an actual mom, this may have been more insightful. As it stands, this is an often generic and frequently blander than it should be experience punctuated by occasional real laughs.
Amy (Mila Kunis) is a do everything and overworked mother of two with a husband not pulling his weight. When she catches him internet cheating and sends him packing, her already jam-packed agenda just expands. She finds a kindred spirit in Kiki (Kristen Bell) whose own hubby is lackadaisical in his duties and a free spirit in single mom Carla (Kathryn Hahn), who has a hands off approach with her teenager. Together, they form their own pack, rebelling against their kids school’s militant PTA leader Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate). It culminates with Amy challenging her for the next PTA election.
BadMoms makes it point early – that youngsters today are too micro managed and coddled and that too much is often expected of them in class. The items of prohibited ingredients for the bake sale reads like a list of pretty much every one there is. The central trio here stick it to the (wo)man with their changed parenting style and learn that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Kind of like this movie.
Since this is from the dudes responsible for TheHangover, there is a bit of raunch to go with a surprising amount of blandness. The cast is all just peachy, but no one particularly stands out (Bell’s character is pretty under written, truth be told). Hahn is a talent and she’s essentially given the Melissa McCarthy Bridesmaids part, even getting to give a big ole pep talk at one point. There is a romantic subplot between Amy and a single dad (Jay Hernandez) that doesn’t really warrant much attention.
Will Moms look at BadMoms as a satisfactory excursion away from their crazy lives? I’m sure some will, but this never rose above a level of mediocrity for this non-parent. And if you say maybe you have to be a Mom to get it, remind yourself that it wasn’t written by one.
Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn headline the raunchy R rated comedy Bad Moms, hitting theaters next weekend. The pic will attempt to bring in a sizable female audience whose significant others may be busy with Jason Bourne. It could be a formula for success.
Moms is directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who are responsible for writing 2009’s The Hangover and the marketing campaign isn’t shy about highlighting that. Costars include Christina Applegate, Annie Mumolo, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jay Hernandez.
The simple concept – Moms Gone Wild! – should be an easy sell for a summer comedy. It may not reach the heights of last summer’s critically lauded Trainwreck (another female driven R rated comedy), but I don’t see much reason why it wouldn’t match or top another one – 2014’s The Other Woman, which managed $24.7 million out of the gate.