August 24, 2007

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: War, The Nanny Diaries, Mr. Bean's Holiday, Resurrecting the Champ, Illegal Tender

A bean, a nanny, an asian assassin, a boxer, and a mom with hidden guns. Those are your choices for this week. Anything jump out at you? Given a chance, I would see all of them. Anyway, the big titles are gone and we are moving towards the summer dregs. Not to say they will be bad, just saying they have much lower studio expectations. Will any of them be able to compete with the might of Superbad? I don't think so, but it will be interesting to see how close any of them can get. Now, all of you go out and do your part! Report back on your findings.

Mr. Bean's Holiday. (2007, 90 minutes, G, comedy, trailer) Rowan Atkinson is back as the accident prone Bean. This time he heads out of England with the goal of vacationing on the French Riviera. Of course, getting there is going to be half the fun. The commercials look pretty funny, and safe for family viewing. I have never been exposed to all that much Bean, but what I have seen always tends to be to the fun side, so hopefully this movie will prove to be that on a longer scale.

The Nanny Diaries. (2007, 95 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) Scarlett Johansson is always a pleasure to see on the big screen, though I am not sure this will be for me or not. It tells the story of Annie, a college freshman with a working class background who takes a nanny position with an affluent and highly dysfunctional family. Now she has to balance school, work, a boyfriend, and the challenges of life. The trailer looks kind of cute, but nothing spectacular. Robert Pulcini directs, he was also behind the excellent American Splendor. That could make it worth checking out. Hmmm.

War. (2007, 99 minutes, R, action, trailer) The pairing of Jason Statham and Jet Li? Brilliant. This will be the second time the two have been onscreen together, but the first time since Jason Statham has gained some notoriety. They had appeared in One together. This time Li is an assassin responsible for the death of FBI agent Statham's partner. Statham has gone rogue and is dead set on getting Li. Their battle comes in the middle of a mob war. I am not expecting this to be good, but I do expect a lot of fun. The trailer promises fist fights, sword fights, gun fights, and car fights, er, chases. Philip Atwell directs in his big screen debut, he has previously directed one episode of The Shield and some music videos.

Resurrecting the Champ. (2007, 105 minutes, PG-13, drama, trailer) This looks really good. It stars Josh Hartnett as a writer looking for his big story, the one that will make his career. He finds it when he bumps into a homeless man, played by Samuel L. Jackson, who claims to be a former boxing champion. The story becomes much more than that as Hartnett has to reexamine his relationships. It just looks really good. Rob Lurie directs, he has previously directed The Contender and The Lat Castle.

Illegal Tender. (2007, 110 minutes, R, drama, trailer) Rick Gonzalez stars as the son of a murdered man. Years later, the men who killed him come back looking for the son. It is up to Rick, as Wilson DeLeon Jr., to defend himself and his family at all costs. This looks pretty good. I have seen Gonzalez in a few thing, but always remembered liking his work on Boston Public. Hopefully the film will pay off. Franc Reyes directs, he also directed the John Leguizamo film Empire.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • September Dawn
  • Closing Escrow
  • Dedication
  • Deep Water
  • Hannah Takes the Stairs
  • The Hottest State
  • Right at Your Door

Box Office Predictions
I have a good feeling that Superbad has a good shot at retaining the top spot this week. It is a hilarious movie that will benefit from good word of mouth. That will be followed by decent showings from a trio of new releases, led by a little piece playing counter to Superbad's vulgarity in The Nanny Diaries. Of course, I could end up being way off. This could prove to be a tough weekend to call. Kids are starting to get ready for school, college freshman will be moving away leaving the theaters a bit more empty than usual. Still, it should be interesting to see as the releases wind down with no clear leader among the bunch.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1Superbad$19 million
2The Nanny Diaries$16 million
3War$15 million
4Mr. Bean's Holiday$11 million
5The Bourne Ultimatum$10 million
6Rush Hour 3$7.5 million
7Resurrecting the Champ$6 million
8The Simpsons Movie$4 million
9The Invasion$3.5 million
10Hairspray$2.25 million

What are you seeing this weekend?


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