September 2, 2010

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The American, Going the Distance, Machete

Three new films enter the fray this weekend, which is generally considered one of the weaker ones of the year (with at least one exception being the weekend after). Labor Day marks the end of the summer season. Kids go back to school and the cinemas become a mere shell of their summer glories. Somewhat like January, this begins a period where films have lower expectations hanging over them as the wait for Oscar season begins. Fortunately, there are still movies coming out and movies I want to see!

The American. (2010, 103 minutes, R, drama) Seeking to get a head start on the weekend, this latest Clooney film seems to tell a familiar story, although the tone seems a little different. Clooney plays an assassin who holes up in a home in the Italian countryside. While here, enjoying being away from death, he takes a job, finds a friend, and sparks a new romance. The downside could this exposure bring trouble with it? See? seems familiar, doesn't it. What I like about the trailers are the old school feel they have, more like a film from the 1970's right down to the poster art. Hopefully the film will pay off in similar fashion.

Going the Distance. (2010, 109 minutes, R, romantic comedy) Wow. An R-rated romantic comedy? Don't remember seeing one of those in quite some time. Actually, the only other one that springs to mind is Love, Actually. In any case, this movie stars Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. They play a couple who begin a light romance that takes off and has to survive their being on opposite coasts. I like the trailer, I like the poster, and I like the stars. I hope this is a movie that works the formula and gets beyond it somehow. This has the potential to be an engaging romcom that steps above this year of bad romantic comedies.

Machete. (2010, 105 minutes, R, action) Now here is the movie I have been waiting for. Hot on the heels of  the 1980's era exploitation of Piranha 3D comes this slice of 1970's grindhouse exploitation. This began life as a fake trailer on the Quetin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez team-up Grindhouse, Machete finds life as its own full-length feature. Danny Trejo plays Machete a former Federale left for dead after a battle with a Mexican drug lord. He now works as a hit man and day laborer. One hit finds him double crossed and he does not like it, so he sets out for revenge leaving a bloody trail behind him. Rodriguez directs Trejo and a big ensemble cast that includes Stevn Seagal, Jessica Alba, Robert Deniro, Jeff Fahey, Michelle Rodriguez, Cheech Marin, Lindsay Lohan, and Don Johnson. Looks like a bloody good time.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Mesrine: Public Enemy #1
  • My Dog Tulip
  • We Are Family
  • The Winning Season
  • A Girl, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop
Box Office Predictions 
I look at this week's releases and I suspect it is going to be a slow week. No matter how much I am looking forward to one or two of them, none are surefire hits and the last weekend of summer is not historically a big drawing one.  I sincerely doubt that any of them will even get near the $20 million mark. Actually, I would not be surprised to see none of them cross $15 million. I guess we will know in a few days how close I was able to place them. Of course, going by my recent track record, you can assume this will be way off.  

Here is how I think it could play out:

RankTitleBox Office
1Machete$15 million
2The American$13.5 million
3Going the Distance$11 million
4Takers$10 million
5The Last Exorcism$8 million
6The Expendables$5.5 million
7Eat Pray Love$4 million
8The Other Guys$3.5 million
9Inception$3 million
10Vampires Suck$2 million

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Article first published as New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The American, Going the Distance, Machete on Blogcritics.


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