November 20, 2009

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: 11/20

This week's wide releases -
The Blind Side
Planet 51
The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Where to start, where to start. You know there is only going to be one title on the lips of the masses this weekend. No, it is not going to be The Blind Side, so stop being silly. New Moon opens this weekend and it is sure to do insane business. Frankly, I doubt it matters much if the movie is even halfway decent. In any case, I will be avoiding that one this weekend and look to the other offerings, which include inspirational dramas and animated science fiction.

The Blind Side. (2009, 126 minutes, PG-13, drama) Based on a true story, The Blind Side tells the story of a poor black teen and the rich white woman who saves him. I know, it sounds rather cliched, but the cast looks solid and if it doesn't come across as too preachy it could be worthwhile. Still, it strikes me as a typical inspirational story intended to manipulate the audiences emotions so they leave feeling like they have seen something important. Of course, I do hope that it turns out to be better than that. The cast includes Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates, and Quinton Aaron.

Planet 51. (2009, 91 minutes, PG, animation/science fiction/comedy) This actually looks like fun. I am hoping that it pays off more on the whole than Monsters Vs. Aliens, which had moments, but as a whole was not so good. The idea behind this one has an astronaut landing on an alien world only to discover a thriving community where he is the alien. Voice cast includes Dwayne Johnson, Justin Long, Jessica Biel, Gary Oldman, Seann William Scott, and John Cleese.

The Twilght Saga: New Moon. (2009, 121 minutes, PG-13, teen supernatural romance) The phenomenon rolls on. The first movie arrived this time last year to mediocre critical acclaim and massive popular response. The sequel is here with a bigger cast, bigger budget, a new director, and an insane amount of hype. This second feature sees Bella (Kristen Stewart) delve deeper into the supernatural world as vampire and werewolves fight around her. Frankly, I am not all that interested in the movie, and I think that may be more due to the fanatical fanbase than anything the movie may and not do. That said, the first movie is not all that good. I am also not sure how much I really want to write about it. It is going to be a monster, I can tell that just by looking locally, where my favorite theater has 13 sold out midnight shows! To the fans, I hope you love it.

Precious. (2009, 109 minutes, R, drama) Speaking of inspirational dramas, this one looks like it was executed near perfectly. Of course, it does not hurt to have Oscar buzz swirling around you wherever you turn. The film centers on Claireece Jones, a 16 year old, pregnant by her father, abused by her mother, and struggling in school. The story follows her on her journey from the abused girl to the empowered woman. It has a gritty, real feel to it that I am looking forward to seeing. Gabourey ''Gabby'' Sidibe plays the lead role along side Mo'nique, Paula Patton, and Mariah Carey.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
  • Broken Embraces
  • Fix
  • Kurbaan
  • Red Cliff

Box Office Predictions
2012 was expected to open big and it was. This week sees the opening of a film that will likely be even bigger. The Twilight Saga: New Moon is here and is selling out shows across the nation. There is no doubt that it will win the weekend. The big questions are how high will it go and will it be able to have any legs to carry it through the holidays. The rest of the list? Who cares. Second will be 2012. The rest will be fighting for space in the latter half of the list.

Here is how I think it could play out.

RankTitleBox Office
1The Twilight Saga: New Moon$86 million
22012$33 million
3The Blindside$15 million
4A Christmas Carol 3D$13 million
5Planet 51$12 million
6Precious$10 million
7The Men Who Stare at Goats$3 million
8Michael Jackson's This Is It$2.5 million
9Couples Retreat$2 million
10Paranormal Activity$2 million

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