November 3, 2006

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Flushed Away, Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

This is a weekend for families. A week after the box office was led by the serial bloodfest Saw III, we are looking to a week led by a pair of films for the family. This weekend also kicks off the Christmas season, officially, with the arrival of the first holiday season film. There is also something else notable about this weeks releases. Sascha Baron Cohen's Borat had its wide release slashed from 2000 theaters to 800, and it looks like my town was among the cut list. I have read the reason as being that Middle America does not get the character. It is hoped that the smaller release will generate positive word of mouth and allow them to open it wider in a week or two. I can only hope, the trailers look hilarious.

Flushed Away. (2006, 86 minutes, PG, animated comedy, trailer) Welcome to the underworld. This is Aardman Studios follow up to the successful and delightful Wallace & Gromit in Curse of the Were-Rabbit. This time out the story concerns an upper class rat that is accidentally flushed from his well to do digs and finds himself in the sewer community under London. I have to say that this looks like fun. The animation looks good, and there are a greatlist of talent to supply voices, including Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Bill Nighy, and Andy Serkis. Looks like a good outing for the family.

Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. (2006, 98 minutes, G, comedy, trailer) I liked the first, didn't like the second, how will the third fare? I can only hope it is better than Tim Allen's last attempt at Christmas comedy, the absolutely abysmal Christmas with the Kranks. I think the trailers for this one actually look pretty good, despite the use of Nightmare Before Christmas music. What makes me actually look forward to this is the presence of Martin Short as the nefarious Jack Frost. Frost is looking to take the Claus mantle using a loophole in the Santa Clause mythos. I can only hope to be mildly entertained.

Wondrous Oblivion. (2005, 106 minutes, PG, drama, trailer) This film is beginning a run at the local arthouse this weekend. This is an interesting looking film. It is set in London in 1960, a short time after the race riots and concerns the son of Holocaust survivors who seeks acceptance, and finds it in the practice cricket enclosure of his new Jamaican neighbors. It looks like it could be a very good film dealing with volatile issues through the eyes of the innocent.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Borat
  • Romantico
  • Shottas
  • Snoop Doogg's Hood of Horror
  • Umrao Jaan
  • Unknown
  • Volver

Box Office Predictions

Will Saw III be able to repeat as the top movie? Somehow I doubt that it will. Horror films tend to be front loaded, meaning that they will do well opening weekend but drop off drastically from there. I think it will continue to do decently for another week or two before it starts the quick decline. I am at a loss at deciding between the two films aimed at the family audience. Although, I think I have to give the edge to Tim Allen and Santa Clause 3, it has the dubious star power of Allen and the franchise name recognition. Still, I think Flushed Away will be the better of the two.

RankTitleBox Office
1Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause$21 million
2Saw III$18 million
3Flushed Away$15 million
4The Departed$6.5 million

The Prestige

$5 million
6Flags of Our Fathers$4 million
7Borat$3.5 million
8Open Season$3.25 million
9Flicka$3 million
10Man of the Year$2.5 million

What are you seeing this weekend?


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