October 31, 2008

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The Haunting of Molly Hartley, Zach and Miri Make a Porno, Changeling, RocknRolla

This week features the night when all the good ghouls head out with plastic bags to terrorize their neighbors while obtaining the sugary fuel needed to make it through the night while avoiding those who would seek to put a premature end to their mildly destructive fun. Halloween just isn't the same in my neighborhood, most of the kids have grown up and there is little to be found the next morning in terms of egg shells, shaving cream, and toilet paper. Not that I would want to be a target, but you know what I mean. Anyway, an alternative to the lack of mischief is a trip to the movies, they stop for nobody. Horror, comedy, drama, and action films enter the fray this week.

The Haunting of Molly Hartley. (2008, 87 minutes, PG-13, horror, trailer) This has about as much chance of being really bad as it does of being merely mediocre. I admit. I like the trailer but I do not think it will have that much impact on the horror world aside from luring in the teens who want to see horror on Halloween and cannot sneak into Saw V (or already did and still thirst for a little bit more). This tells the story of a teenage girl whose life is about to change on the eve of her 18th birthday as secrets of the past return to impact her future.

Zach and Miri Make a Porno. (2008, 101 minutes, R, comedy, trailer) Originally rated NC-17, writer/director Kevin Smith was able to obtain an R rating without cutting anything. This comedy centers on two lifelong friends and roommates who turn to amateur porn as a way to combat their rising debt problems, while also coming face to face with their feelings for each other. I am a big fan of Smith and am looking forward to what he is able to do here. Seth Rogen and Jennifer Banks are in the lead roles as the unlikely porn duo.

Changeling. (2008, 140 minutes, R, drama, trailer) This movie looks quite good and is not to be confused with the 1980 horror ghost tale, The Changeling. Clint Eastwood's latest directorial effort finds a story set in 1928. It concerns a woman whose son has gone missing, following an extensive search the police return with a boy they say is her son. The problem is that the child is not hers and she sets out to set things right and find her son. The cast includes Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, and Jeffrey Donovan.

RocknRolla. (2008, 113 minutes, R, action, trailer) In Guy Ritchie's latest trip into the world of a crime, a Russian mobster sets up a crooked land deal that finds millions of dollars up for grabs, bringing out all manner of crooks looking to get in on the action. The trailers make the movie look wild with an old school versus new school central conflict. The cast includes Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Jeremy Piven, and Ludacris.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about His Father
  • Eden Lake
  • The First Basket
  • The Matador
  • The Other End of the Line
  • Run for Your Life
  • Splinter

Box Office Predictions
Who will take the crown this week? Will anyone be able to wrestle it from the clammy hands of High School Musical 3? What kind of effect will Halloween being on a Friday affect the weekend's outcome? Can a movie with the word "porno" in the title be a mainstream success? All good questions that I cannot answer. Although, I do think that the musical will be able to retain the top spot.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1High School Musical 3: Senior Year$23 million
2Zach and Miri Make a Porno$16 million
3Saw V$15 million
4Changeling$9.5 million
5The Haunting of Molly Hartley$8 million

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

$4.7 million
7Max Payne$3.5 million
8The Secret Life of Bees$3.25 million
9Pride and Glory$3 million
10Eagle Eye$2.5 million


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