February 23, 2007

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The Astronaut Farmer, The Number 23, Reno 911!: Miami

This week sees the arrival of a couple of high profile releases, featuring stars from Billy Bob Thornton to Jim Carrey. There is a drama, a thriller, a comedy, a little something for everyone. Last week, Ghost Rider opened and cruised right on by the predicitions, will one of these new releases do the same thing? I tend to doubt it, but I am terrible at predicting these things.

The Astronaut Farmer. (2007, 104 minutes, PG, drama, trailer) I have to say as corny as it sounds, this looks like a good movie. It is an inspirational drama about a would be astronaut who was dismissed by NASA who refuses to give up his dreams of space. Defying the odds, he sets about building a space ready rocket on his barn. This action draws the attention of the FBI, CIA, and the military, all intent on shutting him down, not to mention the townspeople. It looks good, a story instilling the desire to dream and reach for the stars, literally. Billy Bob Thornton stars as the man with a dream, joining him are Virginia Madsen and Bruce Dern. Michael Polish (Northfork) directs.

The Number 23. (2007, 95 minutes, R, thriller, trailer) The quality of this one could go either way, but I have to see it. First off, the trailer looks pretty cool. Second, Jim Carrey in a thriller is an intriguing proposition. Third, my birthday is a 23. So, good or bad, I am there. Carrey stars as a man who pecomes obsessed with a book about the ominous number, convinced it is about him. Co-starring is Virginia Madsen, in her second film of the weekend. Joel Schumacher directed, his last film was Phantom of the Opera, his career is a little spotty, but when he's on, he's on. I have my hopes.

Reno 911!: Miami. (2007, 84 minutes, R, comedy, trailer) How can this not be good? Wait, don't answer that. I have only watched the show every once in awhile, but it is a very funny show, it is weird and wacky, and I am looking forward to how successfully they are able to translate that to the big screen. The film transplants them to sunny Miami for a convention, but are soon called to action when the Miami PD are all incapacitated.

The Abandoned. (2007, 106 minutes, R, horror, trailer) I only found out about this when I saw it in the listings for a couple of local theaters. Either this is has a very subtle ad campaign, or I have skipped through all of the commercials. The film centers on a woman who was adopted in America, who returns to her home in Russia and strange things start to happen. The trailer looks pretty creepy, I wonder if the story has anything of interest to offer?

Venus. (2006, 95 minutes, R, drama, trailer) This is beginning a run at a local indie theater. Peter O'Toole stars (and is nominated for an Oscar) as Maurice, and aging actor who strikes up something of a relationship with his friend's niece's much younger daughter. Sounds kind of creepy, but I'm willing to bite. Hopefully I will get a chance to see it.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Amazing Grace
  • Glastonbury
  • Gray Matters
  • Starter for 10

Box Office Predictions
Ghost Rider's take surprised me, I figured it would open on top, but not so high up. That weekend makes me think that it will be able to hang on to the top spot this week. The biggest competition, as I see it, is going to be Jim Carrey trying his hand at a thriller. I also hope to see a strong weekend from Bridge to Terabithia, it is an amazing film, and one that surprised the heck out of me.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1Ghost Rider$26 million
2The Number 23$21 million
3Bridge to Terabithia$15 million
4Reno 911!: Miami$14 million

The Astranaut Farmer

$13 million

$8 million

7Music and Lyrics$7 million
8Daddy's Little Girls$6 million
9Breach$5 million
10Hannibal Rising$2 million

What are you seeing this weekend?


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