June 6, 2008

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Kung Fu Panda, You Don't Mess with the Zohan

This weekend is the exact opposite of last weekend. Last week we got two films opening wide, both R rated, and both clearly targeting an older audience (well, an argument could be made for The Strangers being for teens, but with the R rating...). This weekend we get two films targeting a wider audience. One is going after the entire family, and will likely get it, while the other is honing in on the teen market. Both of them are likely going to be very successful and it will be interesting to see how much overlap there is between audiences. I have to wonder if it would have been better to mix and match the past two weeks releases? Whatever the case, I am looking forward to both films.

Kung Fu Panda. (2008, 91 minutes, PG, animated comedy, trailer) This movie looks like it is going to be a blast. The trailers have been fun, the voice cast is strong, and the concept just seems good. In it, Po the Panda dreams of being a kung fu master, he lucks into his dream when he is chosen as the one to fulfill an ancient prophecy. The film chronicles his training in an effort to be the one he is thought to be. The voice cast includes Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, Ian McShane, and David Cross.

You Don't Mess with the Zohan. (2008, 113 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) Could they have come up with a worse title? As stupid funny as the trailer is and the movie appears, the title is unwieldy and just not all that good. Despite my dislike of the title, I am interested in the movie. The trailer makes me laugh, and I have a feeling the movie will too. In it, Adam Sandler players an Israeli special forces agent who wants to leave and become a hair stylist. However, leave as he may try, his past is never that far behind, causing trouble with his new life. Denis Dugan directs and one would hope he does a better job than he did on last year's I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Miss Conception
  • Mongol
  • Mother of Tears
  • The Promotion
  • When Did You Last See Your Father

Box Office Predictions
Last weekend, Sex and the City surprised just about everyone when it took the top spot by more than $10 million, beating out a potent second week from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Will it be able to hold on for a second frame at the top? That is a highly doubtful proposition. The two films opening this weekend both have a wider range of appeal than the television series turned movie. The bigger question is which one has the bigger potential audience? I am going to go with Kung Fu Panda as this week's big winner. I think the big race will be for third by last week's top two films.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1Kung Fu Panda$48 million
2You Don't Mess with the Zohan$34 million
3Sex and the City$23 million
4Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull$22 million
5The Strangers$11 million
6Iron ManThe Strangers$8 million
7The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian$6 million
8What Happens in Vegas$4 million
9Baby Mama$1.5 million
10Speed Racer$1 million


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