October 5, 2007

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The Heartbreak Kid, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising

Last week saw the cineplex dominated by a family film and an action/thriller set in the Middle East. This week brings an R rated comedy and a young targeted fantasy adventure. Will the new pairing be able to take over the top spots? Likely, but nothing is certain as we all know. Like every week, all I hope for is some big screen entertainment. I can make do with medicore, I can even deal with lousy, so long as it has some redeeming value. Anything look interesting to you? Will any of these offerings be able to entice you to part with your cinematic dollar?

The Heartbreak Kid. (2007, 115 minutes, R, romantic comedy, trailer) Ben Stiller is reunited with the Farrelly Brothers for the first time since There's Something About Mary, the arguable peak of the Brothers output. The Farelly's filmography has been spotty at best since that 1998 film. However, this looks like it could be a return to form. Stiller plays a character that looks similar to past characters, but still looks funny. He is a commitment-phobe who finds the perfect woman, that is until they tie the knot. The cast includes Ben's father Jerry Stiller, Michelle Monaghan, and Malin Ackerman.

The Seeker: The Dark is Rising. (2007, 94 minutes, PG, fantasy, trailer) Sure to be the bane of series fans the world over. I know nothing of the novel, and therefore cannot make the comparison. I do hear that much has been changed in the adaptation that the fans do not like. It is the story of a young boy who discovers he is the last of a long line of immartal warriors that have fought evil throughout time. Alexander Ludwig stars as the young hero and is joined by Christopher Eccleston, Wendy Crewson, and Frances Conroy. David L. Cunningham directs from John Hodge's screenplay.

The Jane Austen Book Club. (2007, 106 minutes, PG-13, romantic drama, trailer) Hot on the heels of Becoming Jane comes another Austen themed film. This time it centers on fans of her books. A group of friends start the club to distract one of their own from an impending divorce. Over time, the group finds messages and corollaries to their lives in the real world. This may be good but, quite frankly, I have no interest in seeing it. The cast includes Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman, Maggie Grace, Jimmy Smits, Emily Blunt, and Hugh Dancy. Robin Swicord wrote the screenplay and directed the film, her first work since the screenplay for Memoirs of a Geisha.

Arctic Tale. (2007, 85 minutes, G, documentary, trailer) From the makers of March of the Penguins comes another tale from the cold north. It follows the story of a polar bear cub and a young walrus as they grow up and find their environment melting around them. If it is half as good as Penguins, I am sure it will be excellent.

Feel the Noise. (2007, 86 minutes, PG-13, drama, trailer) This film was produced by Jennifer Lopez, and stars Omarion Grandberry, Victor Rasuk, and Zulay Henao. It is the story of a young rapper from the South Bronx whose troubles get him sent to live with relatives in Puerto Rico where he is introduced to reggaeton. Outside of the description, I have seen little on this feature. Hopefully it will be good.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Finishing the Game
  • The Good Night
  • Like of Fire
  • Michael Clayton
  • My Kid Could Paint That

Box Office Predictions
OK, I was a little off last week. Hopefully this week will play out a little better for me. I think there is little doubt that the new Ben Stiller flick will top the box office despite its R rating. As for the other big opening, The Seeker, the jury is still out. Sure, fantasy sells ever since Lord of the Rings, but there is a lot of unrest among fans of the novel which could lead to a number of holdouts. I'll be sure to check it out and it will likely do well. The rest of the top ten will likely just shift down from their current locations.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1The Heartbreak Kid$26 million
2The Seeker: The Dark is Rising$18 million
3The Game Plan$13 million
4The Kingdom$9.5 million
5Resident Evil: Extinction$4.5 million
6Good Luck Chuck$3.5 million
73:10 to Yuma$2.5 million
8The Brave One$2 million
9Eastern Promises$1.5 million
10Mr. Woodcock$1.5 million

What are you seeing this weekend?


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