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Hollywood Movie Roundup: ‘Schmucks’ looks to kick ‘Inception’ auds awake

HollywoodNews.com: Three films are attempting to stir moviegoers to the fact that there are other films at the multiplex other than the blockbuster “Inception.”

Paramount bows Jay Roach’s “Dinner for Schmucks” starring Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and Zach Galifianakis – a much needed comedy in a summer that has only touted two to date: “Get Him to the Greek” and Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups.”

Those looking for laughs have allegedly shelled out $10 million to “Schmucks” on Friday night, putting the film ahead of “Inception” which made close to $8 million. However, when Sunday comes, it looks like both films could have a photo finish for No. 1.

Critics have been split on the comedy which is a remake of the 1998 French Film “The Dinner Game” directed by Francis Veber.

“Schmucks” follows a budding finance executive played by Rudd who in order to peg his way up the corporate ladder must attend a dinner hosted by his boss. The demands of the event require that each guest bring an idiotic person with him. Rudd’s character Tim befriends Barry (Carell), an earnest, but aloof guy who recreates famed paintings with dead mice.

Rotten Tomatoes critics are split on “Schmucks” with a 52% score. The Boston Globe’s Ty Burr serves up an even take: “A number of bits don’t work, some of the characters wear out their welcome, but the whole suckers you into an agreeable state of idiot bliss.”

Also vying to take a bite out of the box office is Universal’s Zac Efron weepy romancer “Charlie St. Cloud.” Efron plays Charlie, a guy so overridden with grief from the death of his younger brother, he takes a job at the cemetery where the body resides. As Charlie connects with the ghost of his brother, he also falls in love with a girl and must choose between the two. “Charlie St. Cloud” has a low 24% score on the Tomatometer with such critics like the Hollywood Reporter’s Kirk Honeycutt blasting “An unstable mix of youth romance, metaphysical idealism and tropes that seemingly belong in a horror film.”

In early estimates, “Charlie St. Cloud” made just over $5 million Friday. Kate Basinger co-stars.

Warner Bros.’ kid pic “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” enters a crowded family market with an estimated $4.3 million Friday and a low Tomatometer rating of 13%. To its advantage ultimately is the fact that the title is playing in 3D.

“Kitty Galore” is a sequel to the 2001 “Cats & Dogs.” The film follows a mad cat, Kitty Galore, who plans to take over the world. As such, dogs and felines unite to keep the globe in balance. Bette Midler voices the title cat, with Nick Nolte, Sean Hayes, Neil Patrick Harris and Christina Applegate also being overheard among many others.

The L.A. Times’ Glenn Whipp gripes “Better than the original Cats & Dogs. But so is a rabies shot.”

Photo Credits: Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros.

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