May 15, 2009

New Movies & Box Office Predictions: Angels & Demons, Management

The blockbuster season has gotten off to a pretty good start, money-wise, behind the good opening weekend fortunes of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Star Trek. I only see the latter as having any long term success, but it I could be wrong. Anyway, week three sees us step away from the big effects, teen-targeted blockbuster to a potentially more thoughtful and older skewing audience thriller. I have to wonder if it has the strength to climb to the top, or if last weeks champ, Star Trek, will stay at the top on the strength of its positive word of mouth? Aside from that, we also get a limited release romantic comedy that hopes to do well enough to garner a wider release.

Angels & Demons. (2009, 140 minutes, PG-13, thriller) A few years ago, director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks teamed up for The DaVinci Code. That film arrived amid immense hype and a boatload of controversy regarding its religious themes. Well, the movie came, proved to be a box office hit, but failed to deliver on the hype, at least for me. Now, the duo are back with a sequel, also based on a Dan Brown novel, although this one was originally set before the events of DaVinci, it has been modified to work as a sequel. This time out the Church is looking to Robert Langdon (Hanks) to help them. It appears the Illuminati are planning an attack on the Church. I cannot say that I am overly excited for this, partially exacerbated by recent Howard and Hanks promotional appearances, which strike me as a little too superior in attitude (I cannot quite put my finger on it, but I find them strangely off putting). Anyway, I still have a little curiosity and I like fellow cast member Ewan McGregor who plays a priest.

Management. (2009, 94 minutes, R, comedy) I am not sure about this one, although I am very curious. It is a romantic comedy that begins when Jennifer Aniston checks into a hotel run by Steve Zahn's parents. He is a hopeless dreamer who falls for her, she is a buttoned down, ordered woman with no room for him. He risks it all on a cross country trip after she returns home to try and begin a relationship with her. She has gone back to her ex, played by Woody Harrelson. This gives Zahn something to fight for. It looks quite funny and rather low-key. Not sure where they will take it, but I want to find out.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Big Man Japan
  • The Brothers Bloom
  • O'Horten
  • Summer Hours

Box Office Predictions
Last week we all knew that Star Trek would take the top spot. Does anyone think it has the strength to take a second weekend? Maybe? Yes, it is unlikely, but I would not be disappointed if it were to happen. This weeks hotly tipped opener, Angels & Demons, arrives this weekend with its eyes set on the top. I suspect it will win, just not by any type of enormous blockbuster take. Based on purely anecdotal evidence, not many people I speak to are all that interested in it. It will likely win, just don't expect it to pull Star Trek or Wolverine numbers. The majority of the rest will just shift down in the wake of the fattening blockbuster season.

Here is how I think it could play out.

RankTitleBox Office
1Angels & Demons$53 million
2Star Trek$38 million
3X-Men Origins: Wolverine$15 million
4Ghosts of Girlfriends Past$7 million
5Obsessed$4 million
617 Again$3.25 million
7Monsters vs Aliens$3 million
8The Soloist$2.5 million
9Next Day Air$2 million
10Earth$1.5 million


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