October 24, 2008

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Saw V, High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Pride and Glory

Last weekend say the appearance of the latest video game adaptation and a politically charged biopic. They both struck a chord with audiences to different degrees. This week sees two films ready to make a bigger impact, one is a horror sequel, the other is a musical sequel to a television film franchise. Which one will be bigger? I have an idea, how about you? Playing third fiddle to the two high profile titles is another one that hopes to pick off the stragglers. However you want to slice it, this weekend offers tantalizing treats to a couple of prime demographics.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year. (2008, 100 minutes, G, musical, trailer) No offense, but I have zero interest in seeing this, of course I am not in the target audience so I guess that should be expected. One thing of note, and I am likely wrong, but has a television movie franchise ever made the jump to the big screen with a sequel? I cannot recall any. Anyway, this franchise has a legion of fans that should help push it to the top of the charts and potentially making Saw V the first of those sequels to not open at the top of the box office.

Pride and Glory. (2008, 129 minutes, R, drama, trailer) When I see the trailer for this I am reminded of last year's We Own the Night. I am sure they will not be the same, save for some surface details, and I hope this turns out better. It is the story of a multi-generational police family that teeters on the brink of imploding when two brothers find themselves heading for a showdown as one (Ed Norton) is charged with investigating the other (Colin Farrell). The film was directed by Gavin O'Connor (Miracle) who also co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smokin' Aces).

Saw V. (2008, 88 minutes, R, horror, trailer) I wonder how they will tie this one into all the rest. I enjoy this series, although I don't enjoy the heavy over plotting that has gone on. If you haven't paid attention to all the minor details you will lose something in the next film. Sure, I like continuity, but this series gets to the point where I don't care and just want to see some blood. The description for this fifth film has Hoffman as the seeming last survivor to carry on the legacy having to clean up some loose ends. Tobin Bell returns as Jigsaw with a cast that includes Julie Benz, Costas Mandylor, Meagan Goode, and Scott Patterson. David Hackl takes over the helm, making his directorial debut, picking up where Darren Lynn Bousman left off. Patrick Melton and Shawn Dunstan return for their second go around as Saw screenwriters (they are also penning the Hellraiser remake).

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: 3D
  • Changeling
  • Fear(s) of the Dark
  • I've Loved You So Long
  • Let the Right One In
  • Passengers
  • Roadside Romeo
  • Synecdoche, New York
  • The Universe of Keith Haring

Box Office Predictions
It is going to be a race to the top with High School Musical and Saw fighting for the top spot. Over the course of the prior three sequels the Saw franchise has been pretty consistent in opening in the low $30 millions, I think this will hold steady, leaving an opening for the younger targeting High School Musical. With pre-sales reportedly doing very well, this has a good shot at crossing the $40 million mark, with help from a lower rating that will allow all those franchise fans to get in and see it. I am also guessing that The Nightmare Before Christmas will be a strong draw, the re-issue did well last year and I would like to see it happen again.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1High School Musical 3: Senior Year$43 million
2Saw V$32 million
3Pride and Glory$16 million
4Max Payne$9 million
5Beverly Hills Chihuahua$7 million
6

The Secret Life of Bees

$6 million
7The Nightmare Before Christmas$5.5 million
8W.$5 million
9Body of Lies$4 million
10Eagle Eye$3.5 million


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