April 18, 2008

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: 88 Minutes, Expelled, The Forbidden Kingdom, Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Last week brought a rather weak new crop of films, the best being Street Kings (which was merely mediocre) and the worst being the abysmal Prom Night. Looking at what this weekend has to offer and there is no doubt there is considerably more of interest here. Whether you are looking for laughs, thrills, or fantasy, this week offers up something to quench your thirst. I know I have high hopes for a couple of these offerings. So, if you are looking for something to see, hopefully I can help.

88 Minutes. (2008, 108 minutes, R, thriller, trailer) What if you received a phone call and were informed that you had but eighty-eight minutes to live? That is the question asked of Al Pacino in this film. Pacino plays a psychologist who has helped but many accused killers behind bars. It appears that one of those he helped put away is setting him up, put him on the other side of the tough questions. I cannot say this looks good, but it does look like it could be fun. Neil McDonough plays a man imprisoned due to what could be faulty testimony, and his performances are generally quite good. Jon Avnet directs the film, this is his first big screen outing since 1997's Red Corner, and he is working from a screenplay by Gary Scott Thompson, whose most recent work has been as the creator of the recently canceled Las Vegas.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. (2008, 90 minutes, PG, documentary, trailer) This release came out of nowhere. I had not heard of it prior to seeing it pop up on the theater schedule the other day. Anyway, it does appear to be an intriguing release. Ben Stein stars as he goes out and looks into the stonewalling of educators and scientists who believe Intelligent Design. I am hoping to get a chance to check this one out.

The Forbidden Kingdom. (2008, 113 minutes, PG-13, action, trailer) Here is a movie I have been looking forward to for a long time. The pairing of Jet Li and Jackie Chan is a martial arts lovers dream, or at least it should be. They are the two premiere martial artists of the generation, and they aren't getting any younger. I only hope that they get a lengthy match up in the film. The second trailer that came out looked absolutely amazing, while the first did not grab me as much. The difference? The first focused on Michael Angarano's character, and it did not look all that good. I only hope the present day content is limited. The story has Jason (Michael Angarano) finding a mystical fighting stick that transports him back in time where he teams with a band of rebels to free the Monkey King. Rob Minkoff (The Haunted Mansion) directs, which scares me a little, from a screenplay from John Fusco (Hidalgo), who is a practitioner of Shaolin Kung Fu and has written a draft for the Seven Samurai remake.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall. (2008, 112 minutes, R, comedy, trailer) The latest comedy from the Apatow producing machine received strong positive word following its showing at SXSW. I can only hope it lives up to the hype, as I am looking forward to it. Jason Segel stars as Peter, who is dumped by Kristen Bell and heads off to Hawaii to get over her, only to find she is there with her new beau (Russell Brand). Joining this trio are Mila Kunis, Jonah Hill, and Bill Hader. Frankly, I think this looks like it is going to be a lot of fun, and it is a close second to The Forbidden Kingdom in my interest. Star Jason Segel also wrote the screenplay, which is being directed by Nicholas Stoller, a screenwriter (Fun with Dick and Jane) making his directorial debut.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Anamorph
  • The Life Before Her Eyes
  • Pathology
  • Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?

Box Office Predictions
Last week the teen horror flick Prom Night easily won the weekend. I suspect that as bad word spreads about the film, it will have a pretty big drop, allowing three of this week's new releases to jump ahead. I would love to say more will beat it out, but I think there are still plenty of young film goers looking for the vicarious thrill that the movie purports to provide. Anyway, climbing to the top will be the R-rated comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It may bear an R rating, but it will still draw strongly. That will be followed by the highly anticipated by me martial arts action of The Forbidden Kingdom.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1Forgetting Sarah Marshall$21 million
2The Forbidden Kingdom$18 million
388 Minutes$11 million
4Prom Night$9 million
5Street Kings$7.5 million
621$6.5 million
7Nim's Island$5.5 million
8Horton Hears a Who!$3.5 million
9Leatherheads$3 million
10Smart People$2 million


Anonymous said...

haven't decided between putting sarah marshall or forbidden kingdom as the top grosser of this weekend...

cool blog. adding it to my faves. :)

Post a Comment