June’s Breakout Hit: ‘The Karate Kid’

05.31.10 9 years ago 13 Comments

Watch out B.A., Hannibal, Murock and Faceman, you’ve got some competition on the horizon and he’s a pint-sized kid with two powerful parents.

After what is expected to be another dismal box office weekend beginning Friday, June 4, industry polling is showing that the two major releases the following weekend could make some serious noise.  The long-awaited big screen adaptation of “The A-Team” has caught the attention of young men and could open anywhere from $30-35 million at this juncture.  Making a bigger jump as the days go by, however, is Sony Pictures’ reboot of “The Karate Kid.”

The original “Karate Kid” was a surprise hit in 1984 and made its star, Ralph Macchio, a household name and spawned two sequels.  26 years later, Jaden Smith steps into the familiar shoes of an outsider who is guided by a retired Kung Fu master (originally, Oscar nominee Pat Morita, this time Kung Fu movie legend Jackie Chan) to overcome all odds and prove his worth as an underdog in a karate competition.  Smith is the son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, both of whom were producers on the remake who have smartly made sure the remake has both a fresh look (thanks to noted DP Roger Pratt) and setting (Bejing, China vs. the original’s LA locale).

The picture has been helped by a slick, but contemporary trailer, lack of real family competition between “Shrek Forever After” and “Toy Story 3” on the release schedule, but most importantly, parents affection for the first flick and the fact most kids and tweens have zero knowledge of the original film.  To this audience, it’s not a remake but something completely new and Smith, his Hollywood upbringing aside, is much more relatable on screen than most kid actors these days.  So, as of today, “Karate Kid” looks as though it will top “The A-Team” the weekend of June 11 with anywhere from $35-40 million and become one of the summer’s first true breakout hits. 

To get a sneak peak of what appears to be a picture that could end up appealing to all audiences check out two clips from the film featuring Smith and Chan below.

“The Karate Kid” opens nationwide on June 11.  Will it tempt you to go back to the movies?

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