December 11, 2009

New Movies and Box Office Predictions for 12/11/09

This week's wide releases -
The Princess and the Frog

Only two films enter the national stage this weekend and they target two very different demographics. One side of the cineplex will cater towards the Oscar-baiting side of town, while the other side will look to bring out families and the young. Not much of a middle ground. You know, if these films do not appeal to you, you could always catch up on films that you may have missed or that you have to travel a little further to see. For example. The Road and The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans are two films worth seeking out. You could also take the family to A Christmas Carol in its last week of 3D availability, it is really quite good and worlds better than the commercials would have you believe.

Invictus. (2009, 132 minutes, PG-13, drama) Clint Eastwood's latest film is a tale of a real man. Set in South Africa, it chronicles the rise of Nelson Mandela to President of South Africa and the role that the Rugby World Cup played in uniting the nation. Clint Eastwood is a solid director who knows how to draw good performances from his cast and that will be a trend that will hopefully continue here. His cast is led by Morgan Freeman whom Nelson Mandela hand picked to portray him. Of course, who else is there who could fill those shoes on screen so perfectly? I do not think there is anyone else who could have been chosen. The other big star is Matt Damon who plays a rugby star whom President Mandela confides in and hopes will work towards bringing about peace and unity.

The Princess and the Frog. (2009, 95 minutes, G, animated fantasy) This has been a long time coming and I fear it may not have been worth the wait. It has been years since Disney has produced a full length traditionally animated film. The hand drawn animation department was disbanded years ago. However, when the Disney/Pixar merger took place, John Lasseter was able to bring the department back and have new features and shorts were commissioned. The first short starred Goofy an was featured with National Treasure: Book of Secrets. This is the first feature and while it will be great to see the hand animation again, the story seems to be a carbon copy of many Disney Princess tales that have come before. Still, I look forward to seeing and hoping for the best.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • The Lovely Bones
  • Rocket Singh - Salesman of the Year
  • A Single Man
  • The Slammin' Salmon

Box Office Predictions
The last week before the arrival of the much anticipated Avatar does not look like it is going to be a strong one. The weekend features just two new wide releases to compete for your dollar and they target two very different demographics. It will be interesting to see how everything plays out. I have no doubt that the new Disney animated feature will easily win the weekend, what I am curious about is it's ability to play well down the road. I guess we will see when it takes on Avatar next week.

Here is how I think it could play out:

RankTitleBox Office
1The Princess and the Frog$32 million
2Invictus$16 million
3The Blindside$14 million
4The Twilight Saga: New Moon$8 million
5Brothers$5.25 million
6A Christmas Carol 3D$4 million
7Old Dogs$3.5 million
82012$3 million
9Armored$2.75 million
10Ninja Assassin$2.5 million

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