August 12, 2010

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Eat Pray Love, The Expendables, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

This is a very exciting weekend. It has been quite some time when there were two movies opening that I was this excited to see. Granted, I do not believe that either one of them will prove to be a huge box office draw but I can dream. The summer as a hole is certainly on the back end with August rapidly passing us by and the dawn of a new school year marking the start of the next theatrical lull. Fortunately, we still have this weekend and its possession of a pair of very interesting, and very different looking, movies. Personally, I can't wait to see if they live up to my expectations.

Eat Pray Love. (2010, 133 minutes, PG-13, drama) I will admit I have no interest in seeing this movie. None whatsoever. I know there are probably many out there who are looking forward to it and I hope that you like it. Simply put, this just isn't for me. Julia Roberts stars in this adaptation of Elizabeth Mitchell's best-selling memoir (it spent 150 weeks on the New York Times best seller list). It tells the story of a woman whose dream was to marry and have a family. With the onset of a nasty divorce she finds her priorities drastically reconfigured and sets out to travel the world in search of her true path. Ryan Murphy directed.

The Expendables. (2010, 103 minutes, R, action) Here is one of the movies I am anxiously anticipating seeing. It does not matter what the toy is, all I needed to now were the players involved. In addition to writer/director Sylvester Stallone the cast includes Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Eric Roberts, Charisma Carpenter, and cameos by Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Wow. The story has Stallone leading a group of mercenaries on a seemingly impossible mission to overthrow a South American dictator. What else do you need to know?

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. (2010, 113 minutes, PG-13, action/comedy) Based on the comic of the same name, this movie tells the story of Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), the bassist for a garage rock band. He meets and becomes smitten with Ramona Flowers. The problem is that she brings along a lot of baggage in the form of 7 evil ex-boyfriends, all of whom want to eliminate him from contention. He is forced to do battle and defeat all of them to win Ramona's hand. Wow, that certainly doesn't sound all that exciting. What is going to set this apart from the crowd is the way in which the story is told, the way the characters are written and the visual flourishes which will be all over it. Edgar Wright is the man behind the camera and with two great films already to his credit (Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) there is no reason not to believe this will be any different. The trailers show colorful characters and a fantastic visual style that I eagerly anticipate seeing.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Animal Kingdom
  • The People I've Slept With
  • Tales from Earthsea
Box Office Predictions 
I would love to say that Scott Pilgrim will top the box office, but I don't truly feel it has a chance of actually happening. Based on anecdotal evidence it will have limited appeal, but I hope positive word of mouth will give it legs for a good run. Granted, this is assuming the movie is as good as I am hoping it will be. I feel that The Expendables will have the best shot of climbing to the top with Julia Roberts likely to lead a path to the secondary position as it should prove a strong bit of counter-programming to other current releases. As for the rest of the food chain? I expect The Other Guys to have a decent second weekend while the rest of the list will be a dog fight.  

Here is how I think it could play out:

RankTitleBox Office
1The Expendables$30 million
2Eat Pray Love$22 million
3The Other Guys$18 million
4 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World$15 million
5Inception$12 million
6Step Up 3D$8.5 million
7Salt$5 million
8Dinner for Schmucks$4.5 million
9Despicable Me$4 million
10Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore$3.5 million

Article first published as New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Eat Pray Love, The Expendables, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World on Blogcritics.


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