July 11, 2008

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, Meet Dave

This week seems to be a bit of a lull between blockbusters. Last week had Will Smith in Hancock and next week delivers the highly anticipated The Dark Knight. This week brings a trio of films that will likely see some success, but are hardly guaranteed smashes like those other two movies. Of those three, I am only really excited by one of them, a sequel to a modest 2004 hit. In any case, this could be a good week to go catch up on anything you've missed, such as the amazing Wall*E, I cannot recommend that one highly enough.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army. (2008, 110 minutes, PG-13, science fiction, trailer) A couple of years ago Guillermo Del Toro officially arrived with Pan's Labyrinth. Yes, he made other films, good films, before but it was this one that got everyone's attention. He has returned to a more mainstream film with this sequel to his comic book adaptation, and it looks bigger and better than before. It actually looks like he has a considerably larger budget this time around, in turn the film looks bigger and more epic (if the trailer is anything to judge by). Ron Perlman returns in the title role, a role he was born to play, spitting one liners and kicking butt. I am looking forward to this one.

Journey to the Center of the Earth: 3D.
(2008, 92 minutes, PG, adventure, trailer) This new take on the adventure tale looks sort of fun. It is targeted squarely at the family audience and also takes advantage of the new emerging 3D formats. Brendan Fraser (who also has the third Mummy film coming), Josh Hutcherson (Bridge to Terabithia), and Anita Briem star as the trio who take the journey deep into the Earth, only to discover they need to get out fast. The movie is being distributed in both 3D and flat formats, considering how much they are pushing the 3D version, I have decided that is the only way I will see it.

Meet Dave. (2008, 90 minutes, PG, comedy, trailer) This was originally going to be called Starship Dave, not sure why they changed it. This is a story of an alien race making first contact with Earth. The kicker is that they come in a craft that looks like Eddie Murphy (aka Dave). The aliens are tiny people who are inside operating Dave. I cannot say it looks all that good, but his encounter with a cat in the trailer cracked me up. Elizabeth Banks, Gabrielle Union, and Scott Caan co-star.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • August
  • Death Defying Acts
  • Garden Party

Box Office Predictions
For some reason, I look at this week's releases and I am having a hard time getting a read on how this week will play out. Yes, that could be said about many weeks, but unlike last week where Hancock was guaranteed the top spot and next week has the monster that will be The Dark Knight, this week is top lined by Hellboy II, a sequel to a film that made less than $60 million at the US box. This new film has bigger expectations, stemming from director Guillermo Del Toro's critical success with Pan's Labyrinth. I hope it does well, and I think it looks pretty dang good. As for the Murphy film and the Fraser film? Tougher to get a read. What you see below is a flat out guess. We shall see.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1Hellboy II: The Golden Army$33 million
2Hancock$28 million
3Meet Dave$20 million
4Wall*E$19 million
5Journey to the Center of the Earth$16 million
6Wanted$10 million
7Get Smart$6 million
8Kung Fu Panda$5 million
9The Incredible Hulk$3.5 million
10Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull$3 million


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