OPENING FILMS: A Frankenstein for today and a Hindi pay-it-forward
by Mark Bialczak - Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

‘I, Frankenstein,’ ‘Jai Ho’ study monsters and movements

Imagine a guy walking around these days with a zipper on his neck.

Ugly scar, first thought. Where’s the bolt, second thought.

With the opening this weekend of of “I, Frankenstein,” Aaron Eckart plays the title monster placed in the present. The trailer reveals a quicker-moving model than the original laboratory creation. And this Frankie — Adam is the name, actually, and the creator is Victor Frankenstein — is tasked with saving mankind by getting thrust into the middle of a centuries-old war between two clans that will never die.

Eckhart appears as Adam with scars on way more than his neck, by the way.

Bill Nighy, Miranda Otto and Yvonne Strahovski also star in the tale that has a deep connection to the makers of the very dark “Underworld.” You may remember Strahovski from the small screen, where she played the undercover girlfriend of lovable regular-guy-spy Chuck. (I miss “Chuck.”)

The story is taken from the graphic novel written by Kevin Grevioux. It was directed and written by Stewart Beattie.

Also opening this weekend is “Jai Ho,” the Hindi-language action drama that’s reported to be a remake of the Telugu picture “Stalin.”

The Indian feature was directed and produced by Sohail Khan. It stars Salman Khan and Daisy Shah.

At the center of the “Jai Ho” story is a nationwide movement to pay it forward. This chain is in the power of three. Everybody who gets a good deed must do another for three people. Before you know it …

Box office report

Last weekend was a very good one for four opening films.

New movies took spots one, three, four and seven in the top-gross list, according to boxofficemojo.com.

Topping the list was the Kevin Hart-Ice Cube cop comedy “Ride Along,” which took No. 1 with a weekend haul of $41.51 million.

That almost doubled the gross of No. 2, holdover war drama “Lone Survivor.” The true-life Mark Wahlberg-starring film grossed $22.05 million, putting its overall take, for four weeks, at $72.86 million.

Animated squirrel comedy “The Nut Job” opened at No. 3, with a gross of $19.42 million, and spy thriller “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” was fourth at $15.45 million.
Spooky “Devil’s Due” was at No. 7, opening with a gross of $8.30 million.

The combination of Golden Globe Award night and Oscar nomination morning signaled serious week-by-week increases for “American Hustle,” “August: Osage County,” “Gravity,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Captain Phillips,” by the way.

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