August 1, 2008

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The Mummy - Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Swing Vote

Last week did not offer much competition for the reigning box office king, The Dark Knight. This week is a different story, as another popular franchise opens a new entry. Originally, this film was set to open the week before The Dark Knight, but the studio was scared (rightfully) that it would get eaten alive in its sophomore frame. So, seeking to protect its box office, its opening was swapped with that of Hellboy II, and you can see what happened there, one can only imagine what it could have done had it had a better opening slot. Anyway, this weekend will see a bit more competition and hopefully a good time for all.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. (2008, 115 minutes, PG-13, adventure, trailer) Back in 1999 Universal brought their classic Mummy character back to the screen in updated wrappings, it proved to be a hit and spawned a sequel in 2001. Now, we get another outing, did they wait to long to make it? Is the audience still there? Will the movie be any good? All good questions. I cannot say it will be good, but I am looking forward to it. Rachel Weisz chose not to return and was replaced by Maria Bello. I like Bello, but Rachel Weisz is a loss. However, this outing does add Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh, who I always like to see, so that's a plus. Here's hoping its fun, even with Rob Cohen directing...

Swing Vote.
(2008, 95 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) Kevin Costner and Madeline Carroll team up in this timely political comedy. By a strange twist of fate, the presidential election is hinged on the vote of a single man (but when did the popular vote actually mean anything?). Due to a computer glitch, his vote was not recorded. The problem is that he does not want to vote, yet finds himself surrounded by those urging him to make a choice, including both candidates who are courting his favor. The cast does look pretty good with Kelsey Grammar, Dennis Hopper, Stanley Tucci, and Nathan Lane playing roles. Again, not expecting it to be good, but hope for some fun.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Frozen River
  • In Search of Midnight Kiss
  • Midnight Meat Train

Box Office Predictions
While The Dark Knight is sure to continue breaking records, it will not take the top spot this time out. The top spot will be owned by the third (or fourth depending on how/what you count) entry in the Mummy franchise. It is expected to be a strong draw among film goers. I do not believe it will be anywhere near as good as the Batman Begins sequel, but I think it will be fun. The Dark Knight will still have a strong showing as it steams towards $400 million. Swing Vote is a bit iffier, I have not heard any tracking for it, but it does not seem like anyone is talking about it.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor$52 million
2The Dark Knight$40 million
3Step Brothers$17 million
4Swing Vote$12 million
5Mamma Mia!$9 million
6Journey to the Center of the Earth$5 million
7Hancock$4.5 million
8The X-Files: I Want to Believe$4 million
9Wall*E$3.5 million
10Hellboy II: The Golden Army$2.5 million


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