March 28, 2008

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: 21, Run Fat Boy Run, Stop Loss, Superhero Movie

Last week's releases failed to ignite the box office as Horton Hear's a Who repeatesd for the Easter weekend. This week's offerings may offer some good entertainment, but none seem immediately obvious as the successor to the throne. However, one film seems to be the obvious choice if there is going to be a change at the top, can you tell which it is? Among this week's offerings are films concerning card playing, soldiers, comic book heroes, and a fat guy in a marathon. Which will be taking your dollar?

21. (2008, 118 minutes, PG-13, drama, trailer) This looks like it could be good, but at the same time a little dull. I hope it isn't, but I cannot say the trailers look terribly exciting. It is the story of Ben Campbell, a gifted student at MIT, recruited to join a team headed up by a math professor to run the tables in Vegas by employing card counting and elaborate signals. It is a high stakes game that goes to Ben's head as he is seduced by his new lifestyle. The cast includes Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, and Laurence Fishburne. The film is directed by Robert Luketic whose last film was Monster in Law.

Run Fat Boy Run. (2008, 97 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) Simon Pegg follows up Hot Fuzz with a film that does not feature director Edgar Wright nor frequent costar Nick Frost. This time out he stars as a loser who left his beloved (Thandie Newton) at the altar. Years later he realizes his mistake and looks to win her back from her current beau, played by Hank Azaria. I do not think the movie looks any good, but I cannot lie and say it doesn't look funny. It is directed by former Friends star David Schwimmer, who also co-wrote with comedian Michael Ian Black.

Stop Loss. (2008, 113 minutes, R, drama, trailer) Following on the heels of last year's war-themed films, will Stop Loss break the trend of flops? Something tells me no, even if the movie is good. This one centers on Ryan Phillippe portraying a soldier just returned from Iraq, looking to resume his life. It is a difficult task, helped by his friends and loved ones (some of whom served with him). The task is cut short when he is ordered to return to the Middle East. In addition to Phillippe, the stars include Abbie Cornish, Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Timothy Olyphant. Kimberly Pierce directs, her first film since 1999's Boy's Don't Cry.

Superhero Movie. (2008, 85 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) Well, at least it isn't from the same team as Epic Movie, Date Movie, and Meet the Spartans, but that isn't saying much. I will say that it does, believe it or not, look better than those other films, although that again does not say much. The target of this film? Do you really need to ask? Really? The cast includes such familiar faces as Leslie Nielsen, Tracy Morgan, Pamela Anderson, and Christopher Macdonald. It was written and directed by Craig Mazin who was also responsible (at least partly) for the last two Scary Movie outings.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • My Brother is an Only Child

Box Office Predictions
With Horton Hears a Who winning the past two weekends, does it have a shot at a third? Logic would seem to say no, and who am I to argue with logic? Last weekend it took in nearly $25 million, it is likely to have a drop in the 45-50% range, which will drop it to around $13.5-14 million, although it is a quality movie and it could pull out a smaller drop making a tally around 1$17-18 million to not be out of the question. Now, one of this week's four new films has got to make more than that, doesn't it? The question is which one of the four new entries will challenge for the top spot? I am going to have to go with Superhero Movie, these spoofs tend to do quite well and $20 million is not out of the question, especially with so many kids on spring break. The rest of the list will be harder to predict, although I expect Stop Loss to tank, regardless of whether or not it is any good.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1Superhero Movie$25million
2Horton Hears a Who$16 million
321$15 million
4Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns$10 million
5Run Fat Boy Run$8 million
6Drillbit Taylor$5.5 million
7Stop Loss$5 million
8Shutter$4 million
910,000 BC$3.5 million
10The Bank Job$3 million


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