In the highly plausible category of film ideas, Dwayne “no longer The Rock” Johnson stars as a tough guy minor league hockey player in Tooth Fairy. That’s no so unrealistic considering he has acted as an athlete in many films. The part that is a stretch is when Johnson’s character Derek Thompson is sentenced to be the tooth fairy for a week as penance for a bad deed (presumably made on the ice). I’ll take a wild guess and say that he knocks somebody’s tooth (or teeth) out to receive said punishment. Ashley Judd and Billy Crystal co-star in the comedy based on the tiny winged one. It’s directed by long-time television Director Michael Lembeck, who is also responsible for helming the 2nd and 3rd portions of the big screen trilogy The Santa Clause, which starred Tim Allen.
Johnson, a former University of Miami football player, has had his share of successful films. Cutting his acting chops on the stage that is known as professional wrestling, he signed the biggest first time acting payday ever for starring in The Scorpion King back in 2002, hauling in $5.5mm for his work. As a spin-off of the successful Mummy franchise King earned $90mm domestically. He has since broken the century mark stateside on two occasions, leading 2007′s The Game Plan to $110mm and supporting Steve Carrell and Anne Hathaway in 2008′s Get Smart which has hit $130mm domestically.
With The Santa Clause 2 and 3 earning $139mm and $84mm respectively, Lembeck has seen films hit before. But Clause was an established entity after the success of the original pic earned $144mm in 1994, 8 years prior to his coming on board. Both of his sequels earned less money and were more reviled by fans, seeing the original sequel at 5.5 on IMDB and the 3rd entry with a dismal 3.8 IMDB rating. Santa Clause 3 failed to deliver the goods in that regard. Also, the writers of Fairy have some experience in the attempted comedy genre having penned the aptly titled Surviving Christmas, a movie you literally had to survive to make it through. It earned only $11mm in the U.S. despite having a known star in Ben Affleck.
In my early estimation, I expect Tooth Fairy to skew more closely towards what the Game Plan did at the box office. Johnson is becoming more acceptable in comedies, is a consistent name, and the Tooth Fairy is a recognized mythical legend. I wish when I was a kid I would have found the type of coin that this film should make laying under my pillow. The $1.25 I used to get for having one of my chompers missing pales in comparison to the receipts that this film will see. Question is, will you want to see it? You’ll get your chance around the holiday season.
Tooth Fairy aims for your mouth, in theaters on January 22nd.