For, July 5, 2013

Last week I predicted that "White House Down" would be the weekend's big hit and overshadow "Olympus Has Fallen," a similar film that played a few months ago.

Shows how much I know.

"White House Down" came in fourth … yes, fourth … behind "Monsters University" (in its second week), the debut of the R-rated Sandra Bullock-Melissa McCarthy raunchy buddy-cop thriller "The Heat," and "World War Z" (in its second week). What's more, "White House Down" earned less money than "Olympus Has Fallen" collected in its opening weekend.

So much for armchair prognostication.

This week, two major summer movies arrive from Hollywood studios — the reboot of "The Lone Ranger" (PG-13) and the animated sequel "Despicable Me 2" (PG). Both opened on Fourth of July Eve.

Personally, I was very disappointed in "The Lone Ranger," which treats the title character like a clueless doofus, is loaded with anachronistic comedy and weird, hallucinogenic moments (killer rabbits, a horse standing on a tree branch), and is also extremely violent with many innocents being killed in cold blood by a band of filthy, slimy villains led by a character that rips a man's heart out of his chest (off camera), after which it is implied he has eaten it. But with a PG-13 rating, the film still carries the Disney studio label. Walt must be spinning in his grave.

"Despicable Me 2" looks to be better; the trailers are pretty funny.

But I'm making no box-office predictions this week. Except to observe that it won't hurt either film that they are getting a jump on the weekend box office numbers by opening on Wednesday (and by having early-evening showings on Tuesday).

As a bit of counterprogramming, Salt Lake's downtown art house, the Broadway Centre Cinemas, has two new films opening Friday: the documentary "Twenty Feet From Stardom" (PG-13), a salute to the unsung backup singers who supported some of the biggest musical acts in show business over the years, and "The Attack" (rated R for violence, language, sex), a Lebanese drama about Arabic-Jewish relations in the Middle East.