November 26, 2008

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Australia, Four Christmases, Transporter 3, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! As is the tradition of Hollywood, rather than wait for Friday, they get a head start by opening their new offerings on the day before the holiday, gaining them two extra days. Last year the Thanksgiving box office was topped by Disney's Enchanted, what a delightful movie that was. What will it be this year? The holdover phenomenon that opened last weekend or something new? Perhaps a period epic or an action filled sequel? The biggest question is where will you spend your post-Thanksgiving binge? Movie theaters seem like as good a place as any.

Australia. (2008, 165 minutes, PG-13, drama, trailer) Director Baz Luhrman recently spoke about not being sorry for spending more than $100 million on this production, saying that it is a feel good film that will help those feeling the economic crunch be a little bit happier. What's wrong with that? Also, I am sure that money helped employ a good number of people for the duration of the production. Anyway, Nicole Kidman plays an English aristocrat that inherits a vast ranch in Australia. When she is threatened by cattle barons she teams with Hugh Jackman to drive herd of cattle across the ranch, with the threat of the Japanese (this is WWII era) not far away. I think the film looks excellent and I am looking forward to checking it out.

Four Christmases. (2008, 82 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) This is the first official Christmas themed film for the season, will it be a winner? I think it looks like it could be fun, although the jury is still out on whether it will be good. Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon star as a couple that gleefully avoids their families during the holidays. Unfortunately, grounded planes force them face to face with four family gatherings, all set to provide comedic fodder that is sure to bring emotion into play. Will it work? One can only hope.

Transporter 3. (2008, 100 minutes, PG-13, action, trailer) This series is an absolute blast, both o the prior films have delivered high-octane action that is reminiscent of 80's era actioners. Jason Statham brings his considerable charisma to bear as Frank Martin one more time. This time he is coerced into transporting a kidnapped woman from Marseilles to Odessa. The trailer looks like fun and how can you go wrong with an action flick directed by someone with the name Megaton?

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. (2008, 94 minutes, PG-13, drama, trailer) The trailer for this film looks fantastic. Set during WWII a young German boy is exploring the woods behind his family's new home when he discovers another boy in striped clothing on the other side of barbed wire. The two become friends, separated by that barrier. As their friendship grows, his innocence is challenged as he learns more about his father's work.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Milk
  • Lucky Oye, Oye Lucky
  • The Secrets

Box Office Predictions
Where will this Friday find you? At the shops trying to reinvigorate the economy? Or will you head to the theaters to catch the latest Hollywood offerings? I am likely to try a little bit of both. This weekend will likely not be as strong as it would have been had Harry Potter not been moved, but the strong opening of Twilight should carry the box through a profitable weekend.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1Twilight$32 million
2Four Christmases$24 million
3Australia$18 million
4Bolt$17.5 million
5Quantum of Solace$16.5 million

Transporter 3

$15 million
7Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa$9 million
8Role Models$4.5 million
9The Boy in the Striped Pajamas$3 million
10Changeling$2 million


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