February 22, 2008

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Charlie Bartlett, Vantage Point, Witless Protection, Be Kind Rewind

Last weekend brought with it an interesting selection of films, all with the possibility of rising to the top. This week's selection is a little more spotty, with only one real contender to the top spot. As for the rest of the films, it will be interesting to see how they play out, as last week's films could suffer from poor word of mouth and fall of considerably. I don't think that will happen, at least not entirely. All I really want, this week or any week for that matter, are good, entertaining movies. What more can we truly ask for? Whether we get it or not....

Charlie Bartlett. (2008, 97 minutes, R, comedy, trailer) This is an odd looking film. I cannot help but feel there is a better title they could have gone with, Charlie Bartlett doesn't really roll off the tongue that well. It is notable, at this stage, for starring the young actor cast to be the new Chekhov in JJ Abrams' upcoming Star Trek film, Anton Yelchin. Another thing, as I watch the trailer, I get a strong Running With Scissors vibe, and that is a film I was not too keen on. Anyway, this film is about a disillusioned high school student who turns to doling out advice and medication to needy students. Joining Yelchin in the cast are Robert Downey Jr. and Hope Davis. Editor Jon Poll makes his directorial debut with a script by Gustin Nash.

Vantage Point. (2008, 90 minutes, PG-13, thriller, trailer) Here comes a thriller whose trailer has virtually taken over trailer reels all over the nation. It was nearly impossible to go to the movies in recent months and not be subjected this trailer and its infamous: "Stop!...Rewind that." line. Despite my weariness regarding the trailer, the film looks like it could be fun. It tells the story of an assassination attempt on the President and the witnesses who stories will reveal the truth. The stars include Dennis Quaid, Forrest Whitaker, Matthew Fox, Sigourney Weaver, and William Hurt.

Witless Protection. (2008, 97 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) Does anything really need be said about this? It is becoming a case of diminishing returns. I found Health Inspector to be mildly amusing, Delta Farce to be absolutely awful, and I have drawn the line here. I declare that I will not see this in first run, unless someone fronts me the cash (then I'll see anything). Larry takes on the role of a sheriff who gets involved in the kidnapping of a star witness.

Be Kind, Rewind. (2008, 101 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) I've been looking forward to this one. Michel Gondry is an interesting filmmaker with genuine vision, just witness the great Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I do not believe this will rise that high, but it just looks like a lot of fun. Jack Black is magnetized and inadvertently erases all of the tapes in the rental shop where he works with Mos Def. In order to replenish the shelves, the two go about filming their own versions of popular films and become local heroes. I am really hoping to like this one.

AMC Best Picture Showcase. (2007, 12 hours, PG-13/R, drama/comedy) A friend of mine is taking advantage if this interesting idea. AMC theaters will be doing a marathon of the five Best Picture Oscar nominees on Saturday 2/23. The films are No Country for Old Men, Juno, There Will Be Blood, Michael Clayton, and Atonement. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • The Counterfeiters
  • The Duchess of Langeaise
  • The Signal

Box Office Predictions
Last week, I did a halfway decent job of placing the top films. I have a feeling that success will not successfully translate to this week. I think the releases that join the fray are a little more up in the air, behind Vantage Point, of course. The Dennis Quaid film will undoubtedly take the top spot, while incumbents Jumper and Spiderwick will track right behind. I think Be Kind, Rewind has the possibility of doing well in it's more limited release, while Larry the Cable Guy's new one will hopefully whither.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1Vantage Point$22 million
2Jumper$16 million
3The Spiderwick Chronicles$12 million
4Step Up 2$11 million
5Definitely, Maybe$8.5 million
6Fool's Gold$7 million
7Be Kind, Rewind$5.5 million
8Charlie Bartlett$4.5 million
9Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins$4 million
10Witless Protection$4 million


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