November 6, 2009

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: 11/6

This week's wide releases -
The Box
A Christmas Carol 3D
The Fourth Kind
The Men Who Stare at Goats

As you probably already know, I took last week off. I apologize to those of you who came looking for my predictions and did not find them. I hope you found something else good to read. I also hope that you all had a great Halloween! It is now time to get back into a rhythm as we start steaming towards Thanksgiving. To that end, this weekend brings us our first holiday film of the season. It will be weird seeing a Christmas film this early, but it is not the first time and it will surely not be the last.

The Box. (2009, 115 minutes, PG-13, thriller) This should be interesting. Richard Kelly is a talented filmmaker who has the skill to be an A-list type guy, but his last film was a glorious mess (Southland Tales). This movie will be a big test for him as a new voice. It looks like it could be a winner. Based on a story by Richard Matheson (I Am Legend), it tells of an offer made by a mysterious man (Frank Langella). He arrives with a box that has one button on it. Press the button and someone will die, but you will also receive one million dollars. Would you do it? The cast also includes Cameron Diaz and James Marsden.

A Christmas Carol 3D. (2009, 96 minutes, PG, animated) One of the trailers I saw said this as one of the greatest ghost stories ever told. I never thought of it like that, but it may be true. It is a very familiar story that has had a number of tellings over the years. Will this add anything? I am not sure, but I am curious to see it. Director Robert Zemeckis has been doing interesting work with the motion capture technology. It is also curious to see how there are not nearly as many remake complaints about it. Plus it is in 3D!

The Fourth Kind. (2009, 98 minutes, PG-13, fantasy) When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it was going to be some sort of Syfy Channel movie. Come to find out it is going to be on the big screen and seems to want to replicate the success of Paranormal Activity. I do not think it will, but it still looks like an intriguing film. It recreates stories from Nome, Alaska, where there are reports of alien abductions. Not only that, everything in the film is supposedly backed by archive footage. I do not necessarily believe this, but if used creatively could aid in a compelling film. It does not hurt that I am a skeptic to begin with, although I am not so arrogant to believe we are alone in the universe. In any case, I am hoping for a decent movie.

The Men Who Stare at Goats. (2009, 90 minutes, PG-13, drama/comedy) Now this looks like fun! It centers on a reporter who is working on a story by a soldier who claims to be a psychic warrior. When he is reactivated, the reporter tags along on his mission across Iraq. That does not sound like much, but the idea of the US military training people to walk through walls and kill goats by staring at them is pretty funny. The cast includes Ewan McGregor, George Clooney, Kevin Spacey, and Jeff Bridges.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • La Danse: Le Ballet de L'Opera de Paris
  • Precious
  • Splinterheads
  • That Evening Sun

Box Office Predictions
Considering the fact I took Halloween off, I have to wonder if I will be off my game. Who am I kidding? My guesses are never that good to begin with! Remember, kids, my predictions are for entertainment purposes only. With that said, I am guessing that the bulk of this week's gross is going to come from one movie, the new animated A Christmas Carol. It is a classic tale that comes with the weight of Disney's might, plus Jim Carrey and Robert Zemeckis. The next nine slots will be a dog fight.

Here is how I think it could play out.

RankTitleBox Office
1A Christmas Carol 3D$43 million
2The Fourth Kind$13 million
3The Box$12.5 million
4Michael Jackson's This Is It$10.5 million
5The Men Who Stare at Goats$9.5 million
6Paranormal Activity$9 million
7Law Abiding Citizen$4 million
8Couples Retreat$3.5 million
9Where the Wild Things Are$3 million
10Saw VI$2.5 million


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