No escapism at the movies this weekend

Actor Tom Cruise arrives at the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Oblivion' at Dolby Theatre on April 10, 2013 in Hollywood, Calif.

The Boston area had been shut down for much of Friday as police searched for 19-year-old Dzhozkar Tsarnaev. The surreal-ness of a city shut down amidst the manhunt seems something taken out of a movie. And it's a plot that wouldn't be out of place at a theater this weekend. "People seem to like [disaster movies] when they're well done but I wonder whether people will want to see that this weekend," says Wesley Morris, film critic for Grantland.

The big release this weekend is sci-fi thriller "Oblivion," starring Tom Cruise. Morris reviewed the film for Grantland earlier this week. It's one of many science fiction films that are hitting the big screen this year, most of them featuring tales of dystopia. "We seem to be getting one at least every two weeks."

Will "Oblivion" take a hit this weekend? Or will Americans try to engage in a bit of escapism? "The top ten movies are all, with the exception of '42' and 'The Croods,' sort of violent, apocalyptic, horror movies or they involve terrorism of some kind." He points out "you've got two movies where the White House is under siege." Not exactly a relief from the nightly news.

"I'm going to assume that the box office is going to be down in general because everyone's going to be watching TV."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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