OPENING IN FILM: ‘Labor Day’ drama, ‘Awkward’ comedy
by Mark Bialczak - Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Josh Brolin, Kate Winslet may find unlikely love; Zac Efron and pals try to avoid commitment

Your kid meets a stranger and brings him home.

Because the guy made him.

You’re watching the news and the guy show up on the broadcast.

Because he’s done something bad.

Decisions must be made by all.

And so we have the setup for “Labor Day,” which opens this weekend, some four months removed from the title holiday if you’re looking backward or eight months away if you’re looking forward. I’d expect a September unveiling, really, if this were a perfect world.

The trailer for this drama, written and directed by Jason Reitman and adapted from the book by Joyce Maynard, unveils tight knots of anxiety and helplessness that develop into things much more.

Kate Winslet stars as mom to the boy played by Gattlin Griffith, and Josh Brolin portrays the man with the mysterious criminal past.

Also opening this weekend is the romantic comedy “That Awkward Moment.”

The trailer reveals a fast-moving look into the lives of three buddies, played by Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan.

Tom Gormican wrote and directed this slice-of-twentysomething-dating-life look into relationships made complicated when hearts and other organs begin to get involved.

There are little blue pills involved, as well as plenty of moments that indeed look extremely awkward.

Imogene Poots, Mackenzie Davis and Jessica Lucas play the three women who may or may not end up with commitment from the three men — who have sworn such relationships off in a group pact, by the way.

Box office report

The highest opening weekend showing was by “I, Frankenstein,” and the best the monster movie could muster on the weekend-gross list was No. 6, with a take of $8.61 million, according to boxofficemojo.com.

Hindi-language, pay-it-forward film “Jai Ho” opened at No. 21 — or, the land of the English sub-titled film, if you will — with a gross of $840,506.

Cop buddy comedy “Ride Along” remained No. 1, hauling in $21.29 million in its second week, bringing its total gross to $75.54 million.

War film “Lone Survivor,” at No. 2, and animated comedy “The Nut Job,” at No. 3, were the only other two films to break the $10 million mark on the cold-for-much-of-the-country weekend.

Lone Survivor” grossed $12.90 million to bring its overall take to $93.91 million in five weeks. “The Nut Job” grossed $12.10 million in its second week, for $40.05 million overall.

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