January 12, 2007

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Pan's Labyrinth, Dreamgirls, Alpha Dog, and more

After a week that featured no new releases and a week that featured weak new releases, we have come to a week that is loaded with films I am interested in, including at least one that could have an impact on my top ten list. We have fantasy films, Asian epics, teen crime drama, horror, and a touch of dance. Needless to say, it is going to be a little tough to squeeze in all that I want to see, I am sure to miss something. If there is one thing that I hate, it's trying to prioritize all that I want to see. A tough job, for sure, but one that I am able to do partially, as there is one that stands tall above all of the others that is in demand of my attention. I will have no less than eight movies to choose from. Decisions, decisions.

Alpha Dog. (2007, 122 minutes, R, drama, trailer) Based on the true story of Jesse James Hollywood, a California drug dealer who made it to the FBI Most Wanted list. Jesse James is called Johnny Truelove in the film, and it chronicles how he and his friends kidnap the younger brother of one of his debtors, and how the situation spirals out of control. This features the big screen debut of Justin Timberlake, surprisingly, he doesn't seem to bad in the trailers. Timberlake co-stars with Emile Hirsh, Ben Foster, Amanda Seyfried, Bruce Willis, and Sharon Stone. This also marks director Nick Cassavetes first film since 2004's The Notebook.

Arthur and the Invisibles. (2006, 103 minutes, PG, animated fantasy, trailer) Luc Besson makes his return, as a director, to the American big screen for the first time since 1999's The Messenger. The last seven years has seen him fill the roles of writer and producer on a series of fun action films, including Transporter (both), Wasabi, Danny the Dog, Unleashed, and District B-13. His return is a fantasy that blends live action and CGI adventure. The movie stars Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Finding Neverland) as Arthur, who goes seeking a hidden treasure to save his Grandfather's home, this leads him to the Invisibles, tiny beings living in harmony with nature. I have not seen much from the film, but what I have seen looks pretty good, plus Freddie Highmore is a wonderful young actress.

Curse of the Golden Flower. (2006, 114 minutes, R, fantasy, trailer) Zhang Yimou's films continue to grow in spectacle. From the wonderful Hero, to House of Flying Daggers, to this, Yimou's films are filled with color and infused with an epic feeling that I find very attractive. The story centers on the struggle to maintain a balance of power between the king, played by Chow Yun Fat, the queen, Gong Li, and their three sons. I have heard that the story is not all that great, but I have to be honest, I am looking forward more for the visual spectacle. This is near the top of my must see list for the weekend, but isn't quite at the top.

Dreamgirls. (2006, 125 minutes, PG-13, drama, trailer) First, let me say that this is not a musical. It drives me nuts to here it called a musical, and the same goes for movies like Walk the Line and Ray. Musicals use music and songs to tell the story, not as a result of the story. These movies are about musicians and the music they performed, the songs are not used to propel the plot. OK, enough of that. Dreamgirls continues its rollout to the country, making its final step this week. This is the story of three firends who form a singing trio and pursue their dreams of stardom. It looks like a very good film, and the more I hear about Jennifer Hudson's performance, the more I am interested. The film also stars Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles, and Eddie Murphy. This is director Bill Condon's follow up to 2004's Kinsey.

For Your Consideration. (2006, 86 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) The latest from Christopher Guest sets its sights on Hollywood, and I must say that the trailers make the film looks quite funny. This films concerns an independent film that gets a little bit of Oscar buzz, and before you know, everyone has bought into it despite the fact the movie they are making isn't all that good. I think. Sounds good to me.

Pan's Labyrinth. (2006, 119 minutes, R, fantasy, trailer) Guillermo del Toro, of Hellboy and The Devil's Backbone fame, brings his biggest production yet. I have seen a minimum of footage, and I am hoping to keep it that way until i sink into a seat at the theater to see it in its entirety. This is, by far, my most anticipated movie of the weekend. It is the story of Ofélia, a young girl who, with her mother, moves in with her stepfather, a commandant of a garrison near a pocket of rebel forces. The year is 1944, and Ofélia discovers a labyrinth where she is told she will rule if she can pass three tests. I cannot say this sounds terribly original, but man, I cannot wait to see this movie!

Primeval. (2007, 105 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) This is the story of the most prolific serial killer the world has ever known, and he is still active. The story follows a news crew as they travel to one of the most remote places on earth, in search of this killing machine. The problem is that the further they go, they deadlier it gets. Dominic Purcell (Prison Break) and Orlando Jones (House of D) star as the reporter and cameraman in hot pursuit of the deadly menace. The film was directed by Michael Katleman, making his big screen debut after having a lengthy run directing television shows such as Reunion, Tru Calling, Karen Cisco, Smallville, and many others.

Stomp the Yard. (2007, 115 minutes, PG-13, drama, trailer) This is a film about a young man whose brother dies tragically, in his attempts to move on with his life, hw enrolls at a university where he becomes embroiled in a battle between fraternities that wish to use his dancing skills in a big competition. The dancing sequences look pretty good, but I cannot say that the movie looks all that enticing to me.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • God Grew Tired of Us
  • Guru
  • Tears of the Black Tiger
Box Office Predictions

Last week, Night at the Museum and The Pursuit of Happyness remained atop the charts for the third consecutive week. Will they be able to pull it off again? I am going to have to say that the chances are slim, although I am not sure who will have the strength to pull off the upset.

Here is how I think the top ten field will play out:

RankTitleBox Office
1Night at the Museum$18 million
2Dreamgirls$16 million
3Stomp the Yard$13 million
4Pursuit of Happyness$10 million

Pan's Labyrinth

$9.5 million
6Children of Men$7 million

Alpha Dog

$6 million

Arthur and the Invisibles

$5.75 million
9Primeval$5.5 million
10Freedom Writers$4 million

What are you seeing this weekend?


Post a Comment