November 2, 2007

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: American Gangster, Bee Movie, Martian Child

Last week delivered a pair of films targeting vastly different audiences. One was banking on the gorehounds desire to see some splatter for Halloween while the other figured there would be many who would not be interested in blood but would thirst for something light and funny. This weekend also delivers films targeting different markets, although there is a larger chance for crossover. Looking for the serious adult crowd is a dramatic film about the life of a larger than life gangster and the detective on his traile. The other side of the coin has a pair of family films, one being a light hearted animation and its competition being a slightly more serious tale about an orphan who may be from Mars. I have plans to try and catch them all.

American Gangster. (2007, 157 minutes, R, drama, trailer) This movie has been in an on again/off again production that has resulted in Denzel Washington getting paid twice. That's right. He originally signed on years ago in a pay or play deal (meaning he gets paid even if the movie is not made). Other actors that were considered include Don Cheadle and Benicio del Toro, all befor settling on Washington (again) and Russell Crowe. This film reunites the two for the first time since Virtuosity. This is the story of Frank Lucas (Washington) who goes from mob driver to the leader of his own very powerful crime family, while cop Richie Roberts (Crowe) pursues him. Ridley Scott directs what is sure to be a very good film, if a bit long.

Bee Movie. (2007, 90 minutes, PG, animated comedy, trailer) Jerry Seinfeld returns in his highest profile role since the demise of Seinfeld. The comedian who could probably write his own check for any role he wanted has chosen to champion the tale of a bee looking for more, life outside the hive. The advertising campaign has been a little untraditional with the early live action trailers and the Bee Movie Juniors running on NBC. I like the advertising, I like to see something a little bit different. However, I think it could also backfire since little about the actual film is told. I am hoping that it will turn out to be fun. Other voices include Renee Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Patrick Warburton, Chris Rock, Kathy Bated, and Ray Liotta.

Martian Child. (2007, 108 minutes, PG, drama/comedy, trailer) When I first saw the trailer for his, I thought it was going to be a good movie. Now that it is here, I still have my hopes, despite the Pursuit of Happyness look of the poster. It is the story of a widowed science fiction writer who adopts a boy who thinks he's from Mars. It looks to be a sweet and slightly offbeat family film. The film is directed by Menno Meyles.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Darfur Now
  • Diva
  • Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten

Box Office Predictions
Last weekend was dominated by the bloodletting of Saw IV, this weekend it will likely tumble to third place as a pair of new releases duke it out for the top spot. The winner? Undoubtedly, Seinfeld's movie about bees will handily win out. Although, the Ridley Scott helmed gangster film will likely have a strong showing despite its length and finish second. Slip a little further down and you will find the new Cusack starring family film. As for the rest? Well, you're guess is as good as, if not better than mine.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1Bee Movie$32 million
2American Gangster$25 million
3Saw IV$17 million
4Martian Child$15 million
5Dan in Real Life$6.5 million
6The Game Plan$4 million
730 Days of Night$3.5 million
8Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?$3 million
9Michael Clayton$3 million
10Gone Baby Gone$2.5 million

What are you seeing this weekend?


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