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New in Theaters March 01: Jack the Giant Slayer, 21 and Over, Last Exorcism II, Phantom

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By Chris Kavan - 02/28/13 at 05:33 PM CT

Oscar season is over - a lackluster February comes to a close - so now we are left with the question of whether March is going to start with a lion's roar or, like February, be as quiet as a lamb. Given the diverse nature of releases this week, we might have a winner, but I'm thinking that the real fireworks won't begin until next weekend.

JACK THE GIANT SLAYER Usually a big-budget CGI film would be a hit - but I have to say that despite being hit with a deluge of advertising in recent weeks, nothing I've seen about Jack the Giant Slayer makes me want to rush out an see it. Much like Hansel and Gretel or Wrath of the Titans or John Carter - I don't think this is going to make much of a splash. Remember, this was originally scheduled for release last year . Also, though Nicholas Hoult had a semi-hit with Warm Bodies - this is a whole other monster and even with Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Eddie Marsan, Ian McShane and Ewen Bremner trying to prop up things - I have a feeling it's not going to come anywhere close to breaking even in the states and it better hope that international sales are enough to set things right.

21 AND OVER When you have a movie aimed squarely at the teen/young adult crowd it can be a good thing (Project X) or fail utterly (Sex Drive). Where will 21 and Older fall? I'm guessing it's not going to knock it out of the park, but it also doesn't look like it will be a total disaster. Hey - the previews make it look like a lot of fun and if you're out with a group of friends who like this type of party/comedy hybrid - it will probably be a fine choice. However, these kind of movies don't tend to attract families or older crowds - so even though it is targeting the coveted demographic - it might not be enough to make it returns look that good.

THE LAST EXORCISM II We've had a horror hit this year in Mama and a horror miss in Dark Skies - now the market is starting to get crowded by adding a third entry. The original Last Exorcism followed in the footsteps of Paranormal Activity by having a very modest budget and turning a nice profit. While the budget of this sequel is larger - it still only amounts to $5 million, so it doesn't have to light things up to make money. However, the exorcism thing has been done to death and I can't see audiences lining up for yet another one of these. It might do a better than Dark Skies, but this is one I would relegate to rental status at best.

PHANTOM Finally we have Phantom . I don't care that the cast has Ed Harris, David Duchovny, William Fichtner and Lance Henriksen - this screams made-for-TV thriller to me. I just can't see this exciting that many people and if it manages to break the top 10, I will be surprised. This is the "blink-and-you'll-miss-it" movie that plays for a week or two, falls out fast and is suddenly available on DVD like a month later. I have respect for the actors involved, I just don't see them adding much to their resume with such a generic-looking film. I might consider renting this one day - but I'll have to be really bored.

A lot of offerings this weekend - but I have to say I'm honestly not looking forward to any of them. Until Oz hits next weekend, I don't think the box office is going to show us anything special. I could be wrong , but this weekend, I have a strong feeling things are going to remain pretty average.


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