April 3, 2009

New Movies & Box Office Predictions: Adventureland, Fast & Furious

March is over, April is upon us. It is now time to begin the build towards blockbuster season in earnest. Before you know it, May will be here, stacked with blockbuster titles like Star Trek, Wolverine, and Terminator. To help prime the pump, so to speak, you will be served a selection of films that aim to to ignite the spark, summer's kindling, if you will. This weekend is also the one that was originally slated to feature the new Wolfman film, until it was pushed to November, leaving a slot available for Fast & Furious to slip into (it was originally slated to open in June). So, anything look good to you?

Adventureland. (2009, 106 minutes, R, comedy) This looks pretty darn funny. It strikes me as a cross between Superbad and Waiting... It is a coming of age story centering on an uptight recent college grad whose life can no longer be subsidized by his parents. In order to fund his desired post-college activities he takes a job at a local amusement park, thus embarking on a journey of discovery and fun. The cast includes Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Martin Starr, Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, and Kristen Wiig. Superbad's director is also at the helm here, he goes by the name of Greg Mottola, and looks to get a similar vibe to his previous outing. I certainly hope that it delivers.

Fast & Furious. (2009, 99 minutes, PG-13, action) As the tag line says, "New Model, Original Parts." This fourth entry in the car-based series features the return of all four primaries from the original film, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, and Michelle Rodriguez. They come together for director Justin Lin, making his second entry following Tokyo Drift. I truly cannot see this movie being any good, but it certainly looks like fun. I have no idea what the plot is, but the teaser trailer gave us a high energy action sequence that saw our heroes pulling off a daring heist of a gasoline land train. Will the rest of the movie match that energy? One can only hope.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Alien Trespass
  • C Me Dance
  • The Escapist
  • Gigantic
  • Paris 36
  • The Song of Sparrows
  • Sugar

Box Office Predictions
Will last week's top earner be able to hold on to the top spot for a second week? I think it is distinctly possibly, but I suspect the teen market will make a push for the top spot with the release of Fast & Furious. So, Monsters vs. Aliens will be ousted in favor of the new model. As for Adventureland, I suspect it will have a respectable open, but I doubt it will be anything spectacular. There is also the expansion of Sunshine Cleaning's expansion to consider, while not a wide release, it has been gaining solid notice and momentum that could carry it into the top ten.

Here is how I think it could play out.

RankTitleBox Office
1Fast & Furious$41 million
2Monsters vs. Aliens$32 million
3The Haunting in Connecticut$12 million
4Adventureland$10.5 million
5I Love You, Man$10 million
6Knowing$8 million
7Duplicity$4.5 million
8Race to Witch Mountain$3.5 million
9Sunshine Cleaning$3 million
1012 Rounds$2.5 million


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