October 26, 2007

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Dan in Real Life, Saw IV

Last week saw seven new films enter my local movie scene. Most of them were probably new to your area as well. In a case of feast or famine, this upcoming week. We have gone from a large selection of films which to choose to a mere two. Despite the lack of numerous choices, both of this weeks films look good; although, they are clearly targeting vastly differing audiences. On one hand you have a family oriented romantic comedy and on the other a horror film built on the torture of other people. Well, if these new offerings don't tickle your fancy, you could choose to take in one of the returning films. You could choose the likes of Rendition, 30 Days of Night, We Own the Night, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Heartbreak Kid, Michael Clayton, or some other film. Just get out there and enjoy the big screen.

Dan in Real Life. (2007, 95 minutes, PG-13, drama/comedy, trailer) I have a feeling that this is going to be a good movie. I don't know that for sure, but there is something about the trailer that makes it seem as if it hits all the right marks. Besides, Steve Carell could use a good movie to make up for the mistake of Evan Almighty. Here, Carell plays Dan, a single father of three and a popular advice columnist. A family get together brings him in contact with the woman of his dreams (Juliette Binoche). The only problem is that she is dating Dan's brother (Dane Cook). Peter Hedges directs for the first time since 2003's Pieces of April, which was a very good film. Hedges also co-wrote the script with Pierce Gardner, whose only other writing credit is Lost Souls from 2000. The cast also includes John Mahoney and Dianne Wiest.

Saw IV. (2007, 108 minutes, R, horror, trailer) Many wondered how the series would continue following the demise of Jigsaw in last years Saw III. Well, the answer is thast Jigsaw had other games set in motion before he died. A SWAT officer who had contact with Jigsaw in the past is kidnapped and set in the middle of a new set of devilish traps. Plus, he only has 90 minutes to figure it out. Meanwhile, a pair of FBI agents arrive to help go through the remains of Jigsaw's last outing. Darren Lynn Bousman returns to the director's chair for his third go around for the franchise (James Wan directed the original). Tobin Bell reprises his role as Jigsaw, while Donnie Wahlberg, Shawnee Smith, and Dina Meyer also have appearances (some presumably in flashback). None of the sequels has matched the original, and III was better than II. I wonder how this one will fit?

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Before the Devil Knows Your Dead
  • Bella
  • How to Cook Your Life
  • Jimmy Carter Man from Plains
  • Mr. Untouchable
  • Music Within
  • Rails & Ties
  • Slipstream

Box Office Predictions
Have no doubt, Saw IV will be the top movie this week. It will be the top film, but it will not have as big an opening as the third film, which has a smaller opening than the second film, which had a much larger start than the original. It will come close. Diminishing returns are coming into play, each successive film (so long as they continue to make them) will open a bit smaller than the previous until it just falls off the table. Hopefully they will end the series before that happens. It will come close to $30 million but will not cross it. The horror film will likely do in the area of double what the number two film does, which will no doubt be the new Steve Carell film. Read on to see how I think the rest will place.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1Saw IV$29 million
2Dan in Real Life$14.5 million
3Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?$7.5 million
430 Days of Night$6.5 million
5The Game Plan$5 million
6Michael Clayton$3.5 million
7The Comebacks$3 million
8Gone Baby Gone$2.5 million
9We Own the Night$2 million
10Rendition$2 million

What are you seeing this weekend?


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