July 31, 2009

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The Collector, Funny People, Aliens in the Attic, (500) Days of Summer

August is nearly upon us and the end of Summer is drawing close at an increasingly speedy rate. With the big blockbusters pretty much safely in the rearview mirror, we can hope to see some smaller films hoping to become sleeper hits mixed in with studio pictures with big names but smaller budgets than the action extravaganzas that litter the blockbuster landscape. Case in point, we have a comedy this week with high expectations and big names that is decidedly not a studio tent-pole type film.

The Collector. (2009, 85 minutes, R, horror)I am really looking forward to this. No, I have no reason to expect it to be good. I only hope that it delivers the horror thrills I like and that it doesn't turn into another Saw rip off. I will admit to liking the premise. It follows a burglar looking for a score who breaks into a rich family's house only to find a sadistic killer is already there.... Sounds good to me. Whoops... I may have typed too soon, this is from the writing team of Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, the men behind Saw IV, V and the upcoming VI, not to mention the Feast Trilogy. Oh well. Still, being a hopeless optimistic move fan, I will hope for the best.

Funny People. (2009, 136 minutes, R, comedy)How can this movie not be good? I think they would have to actively sabotage this for it to be bad. All right, perhaps that is a bit melodramatic, but Judd Apatow has a track record, be it writing, directing, or producing. This is his third outing as a writer/director and early word is very positive. The story centers on a comedian who has a near death experience, has the opportunity to change his life, and what he does with it. It also looks a little like the passing of the torch from Adam Sandler to Seth Rogen. Joining those two in the cast are Leslie Man, Eic Bana, Jonah Hill, and Jason Schwartzman.

Aliens in the Attic. (2009, 90 minutes, PG, family/science fiction) I cannot say this holds much interest for me, although I think the kids are going to get a kick out of it. A family heads up to their Maine vacation home and the kids make a strange discovery, yup, they have aliens in the attic and they are the advance team before a full invasion force arrives. It is up to the kids to repel the alien attack. The trailer is highlighted by a remote control device that they use to control people. Eh. Maybe someday.

(500) Days of Summer. (2009, 95 minutes, PG-13, romance) Ever since I first saw the dialogue-less first trailer, I knew I had to see this movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel seems like a perfect pairing in a romance that is not a romance. This looks like a romance with a fresh approach and a pair of likable leads. It looks funny, sweet, alluring, and above all else, real. I truly hope that this pays off.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Adam
  • The Cove
  • Flame & Citron
  • Lorna's Silence
  • Not Quite Hollywood
  • Thirst

Box Office Predictions
I was actually half surprised to find that G-Force defeated Harry Potter last weekend. I also find it odd to think it is dropping so quickly. Granted, it is not the best of the series, but still, it's Harry freaking Potter. Hopefully the new IMAX screenings this week will help stem the bleeding. This week the top movie at he box office will surely be the new Adam Sandler/Seth Rogen/Judd Apatow collaboration, which looks pretty darn funny. At the other end of the scale is something like The Collector, which I am looking forward to, but do not expect it to make a dent at the box office, as it stands I suspect I am overestimating it.

Here is how I think it could play out.

RankTitleBox Office
1Funny People$31 million
2G-Force$18 million
3Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince$16.5 million
4The Ugly Truth$14 million
5Aliens in the Attic$12 million
6The Collector$6.5 million
7Orphan$6 million
8Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs$5.5 million
9Transformers Revenge of the Fallen $4.5 million
10The Hangover$4 million


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