September 25, 2009

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Fame, Pandorum, Surrogates

This week's wide releases -

The end of August brought a head to head horror battle between The Final Destination and Halloween II. We all know how that turned out, it was not much of a battle at all (as far as I am concerned, the wrong film won). This week brings a pair of science fiction films into head to head competition in a battle I believe is over before it began. The deciding factor? One is rated R and he other PG-13, logic dictates the lower rating will bring bigger crowds, thus more tickets, thus higher box office.

Fame. (2009, minutes, PG, dance/drama) In 1980 the world became the victim of the Fame phenomenon. It was a box office hit and spawned a television series, now it is being reinvented for the big screen. Frankly, I am surprised how little advertising I have seen for it. I saw a trailer for it in the theater maybe once and an equal number of commercials. I guess I must be watching the wrong channels or shows. The film follows a group of students in a performing arts high school and the pressures that come with discovering your identity.

Pandorum. (2009, minutes, R, science fiction/horror) From the producers of Resident Evil comes another science fiction/horror hybrid. This one takes place in space and looks pretty good. Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster play a pair of astronauts who awaken from hyper sleep, alone, and without their memories. Together they begin to explore the ship and uncover its secrets. What they discover may kill them. It certainly looks like fun to me. I am not expecting anything terribly deep, but I am expecting to enjoy it. It was directed by up and comer Christian Alvart.

Surrogates. (2009, 88 minutes, PG-13, science fiction/thriller) Set in the not too distant future, everyone lives their lives through replaceable robots that look like people. Pick your bot, pick your look, and you are good to go with no fears of dying, no fear. Then someone dies while connected to their bot, or surrogate, and it is up to Bruce Willis to find out the truth. This looks pretty good and early buzz seems rather positive. My issue with the trailer and the idea as portrayed is, why wouldn't crime increase? How are you protected while plugged in? I would think crime would rise. I guess I will see.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Blind Date
  • The Blue Tooth Virgin
  • The Boys are Back
  • Capitalism: A Love Story
  • Coco Before Chanel
  • I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
  • Paranormal Activity

Box Office Predictions
Can this weekend have the same punch as last weekend? I think not. Although, I do suspect that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has the strength to leg out a second weekend at the top. It will have the added 3D dollar bump, and it seems to have good word of mouth, that all helps point towards another win. Next will be a battle between Bruce Willis and a dance school. I am going to go with Willis in this case, merely based on the fact I have not seen much advertising for Fame, although I just may be watching the wrong shows.

Here is how I think it could play out.

RankTitleBox Office
1Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs$18 million
2Surrogates$16.5 million
3Fame (2009)$15 million
4Pandorum$9 million
5The Informant$6 million
6Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself$4.5 million
7Love Happens$4 million
89$3 million
9Jennifer's Body$2.75 million
10Inglourious Basterds$2 million


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