September 5, 2008

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Bangkok Dangerous, Everybody Wants to be Italian

Last weekend was crowded, as five new releases charged into theaters around the nation. All of them hoping for a slice of the small Labor Day pie, simultaneously looking to grab a few of those last remaining bucks before all the kids go back to school. This weekend is essentially a barren landscape as only one movie is going to be able to be seen at all the major movie houses across the nation. Of course, this is traditionally one of the smallest weekends of the year, kids are settling into school and their purchasing power becomes much less of a factor. Still, that one release could be fun. Time will tell.

Bangkok Dangerous. (2008, 108 minutes, R, action, trailer) If the title sounds familiar, it should, and if not, believe me when I tell you that another movie was made with the same title. In 1999 writer/directors Danny and Oxide Pang made a film in Thailand about a deaf mute hitman and his partner. He befriends a local innocent before becoming a target of his employer. This film, from the same creative team, removes the deaf/mute part as Nicolas Cage steps into the lead, playing a hitman who starts a romance when he knows he shouldn't before becoming a target himself. I cannot say it strikes me as terribly original, but the 1999 film was an interesting visual piece, perhaps this will follow suit?

Everybody Wants to be Italian. (2008, 92 minutes, R, romantic comedy, trailer) I must admit to being a little surprised to find this one opening near me. The film is opening in very limited release (96 theaters) and we rarely get anything like this, although I know the theater has been wanting to dip their toes in these smaller films. Hopefully it is a success. The film is about a fishmonger who is still hung up on his ex-girlfriend of 8 years, despite her being married with children. Friends set him up with a beautiful Italian woman, which drives his crash course in pretending to be Italian. Sounds simple enough. Cerina Vincent is among the stars, and if her names doesn't ring a bell, she is famous for shaving her legs off in Eli Roth's Cabin Fever.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Ping Pong Playa

Box Office Predictions
This could be an interesting weekend. The weekend following Labor Day tends to be even worse than the weekend that precedes it. Anyone remember when The Covenant led the weekend with less than $10 million? Could this be another along those lines? One would think not, but you never know, and my recent track record at predicting this has been less than stellar of late. With the one major weekend release being headlined by Nicolas Cage, one would suspect a decent weekend. I guess we will see.

Here is how I think the top ten field will play out:

RankTitleBox Office
1Bangkok Dangerous$12 million
2Tropic Thunder$7 million
3The Dark Knight$5.5 million
4Babylon A.D.$4.5 million
5The House Bunny$4.25 million


$4 million
7Death Race$3 million
8Mamma Mia!$3 million
9Disaster Movie$2.5 million
10Pineapple Express$2 million


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