September 12, 2008

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Burn After Reading, Righteous Kill, Tyler Perry's The Family that Preys, The Women

Last weekend was a slow one with only one film, Bangkok Dangerous, hitting nationwide theaters. This week will hopefully make the post-summer slump a short-lived one with four new films entering the fray. Most of them come with a certain level of built in audience although none appear to be surefire hits. In any case, you will have more options when you hit the cineplex this weekend.

Burn After Reading. (2008, 96 minutes, R, comedy, trailer) Last year the Coen Brothers stunned the world with the incredible No Country for Old Men, will lightening strike twice? They have returned with a film with a decidedly different tone, although it still looks to be in their wheel house. The film is a dark comedy that centers on a disk of CIA secrets found in a gym's locker room. The trainer who finds it, played by Brad Pitt, attempts to blackmail the original owner only to find plenty of trouble, including Russian involvement. The cast includes Pitt, George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, and Tilda Swinton. Looks like a winner to me.

Righteous Kill. (2008, 100 minutes, R, thriller, trailer) Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino, what else do you need to know? Neither one may be in their prime, but there is absolutely no denying the talent these two possess and how linked their careers have been over the decades. This film marks the second time the two will be on screen at the same time (the other being Heat). This Jon Avnet helmed film features the two as cops in pursuit of a killer whose acts resemble those of a man they captured years earlier. The cast also includes Carla Gugino, 50 Cent, John Leguizamo, and Donnie Wahlberg.

Tyler Perry's The Family that Preys (2008, 111 minutes, PG-13, drama, trailer) I've said it before, and will likely say it again, I really wish Mr. Perry would drop his name from his titles. I find it unnecessary and a little self-important. That aside, I don't have much interest in this film. I am sure it will be a good film, it just does not attract me. The film features lifelong friends played by Kathy Bates, as a wealthy socialite, and Alfre Woodard, a working class woman. Their lives are turned upside down by their adult children and the way they approach relationships and business. To get away from it, the two friends head off on a road trip. Something tells me this will be the weekend winner, what say you

The Women. (2008, 114 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) I could be wrong, but the description for this strikes me as a take on Sex and the City. It features wealthy, well to do women on the cutting edge of fashion, complete with relationship troubles. The troubles at the heart of the matter concern Meg Ryan, whose husband is having an affair with Eva Mendes and the drama spurred by her friends, Annette Bening, Debra Messing, and Jada Pinkett-Smith.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Proud American
  • Greetings from the Shore
  • Towelhead

Box Office Predictions
The studios are worried about a post-summer slump. Should they be? Probably, the Fall slate is pretty devoid of blockbusters. So, what we all hope for are the surprises that are sure to pop up. Will this weekend have any of them? Probably not, although the habitually underrated box office draw of Tyler Perry will be tested again. I suspect that he will come out on tip of this weekend, despite my lack of interest in his films.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1Tyler Perry's The Family that Preys$18 million
2Burn After Reading$14 million
3Righteous Kill$13 million
4The Women$9 million
5Tropic Thunder$6 million

The Dark Knight

$4 million
7Bangkok Dangerous$3.5 million
8The House Bunny$3.25 million
9Traitor$2.5 million
10Babylon A.D.$1.5 million


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