February 6, 2009

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Coraline, He's Just Not That Into You, Pink Panther 2, Push, Fanboys

This weekend brings a nice selection of films covering a variety of genres, most of which interest me. You have a romantic comedy as Valentine's Day approaches, a stop motion animated fantasy, a sci-fi action flick, and a sequel to a popular comedy. That last one is the least on my list considering how poorly I think of the original. In any case, there are plenty of choices this weekend, even if you want to avoid the depressing best picture nominees and thirst for something a little closer to pure entertainment.

Coraline. (2009, 100 minutes, PG, animated fantasy, trailer) Based on a story by Neil Gaiman and directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach), this looks like a winner. It is a stop motion animated feature that tells the story of a bored girl who discovers a doorway to an alternate universe that is quite similar to the real world, only better. However, all is not as it seems and when things take a dangerous turn, Coraline will need to use all of her ingenuity to get back home. The voice cast includes Dakota Fanning in the title role and Teri Hatcher.



He's Just Not That Into You. (2009, 129 minutes, PG-13, romantic comedy, trailer) I am looking forward to this. It looks like the sort of romantic film that both men and women can get into. It has a big cast to tell its tales of dating, singlehood, and married life. The cast includes Drew Barrymore, Ben Affleck, Justin Long, Jennifer Connelly, Ginnifer Goodwinn, Scarlet Johannson, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Aniston. Ken Kwapis is at the helm, having spent a lot of time on television, most recently directing for The Office. Hopefully it will turn out to be fun.



Pink Panther 2. (2009, 92 minutes, PG, comedy, trailer) Sorry. No, thank you. I have no interest in this. I can still taste a little of the last one, which was absolutely horrid. This will need to have some killer word of mouth to get me through the doors, unless someone wants to buy my ticket?



Push. (2009, 111 minutes, PG-13, action, trailer) I really want this to be good. The trailer looks pretty snazzy, but I get a strong flashbacks to Jumper (and that is not good). The story centers on those with special abilities that are being hunted by a clandestine government agency that is intent on using them to their gain. Sounds familiar, right? The film has some positive buzz around it. I hope not to be let down. The cast includes Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, and Djimon Hounsou. Paul McGuigan is at the helm, following up serviceable turns in Lucky Number Slevin and Wicker Park.



Fanboys. (2009, 90 minutes, PG-13, comedy) I did not think this was ever going to make it to the big screen. Judging by the release, it is just barely getting there (it is only opening at 40 theaters). Of course, that is a better opportunity than Lionsgate afforded Repo! The Genetic Opera or Midnight Meat Train, but that is better suited for another conversation. This film, shot a few years ago, is about a group of friends attempting to steal a copy of the first Star Wars prequel from George Lucas ranch. Sounds like it could be fun! The cast includes Dan Fogel, Sam Huntington, Chris Maquette, and Kristen Bell. Fortunately, it is opening near me, so I will get the chance to see it.



Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Chocolate
  • The Objective


Box Office Predictions
Last week Taken surprised everyone by having the second biggest opening for Superbowl weekend. Now, who would have thought an actioner starring Liam Neeson would be such a big hit? Certainly not I, not that I am complaining as the film turned out to be really good. What will happen this weekend? Will the family market rise up and take to pole position or will we have another surprise? Whatever happens, I suspect my current trend of being unable to come anywhere close will continue! Perhaps we should take bets on that?

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

RankTitleBox Office
1Pink Panther 2$23 million
2He's Just Not That Into You$20 million
3Push$16 million
4Taken$14 million
5Coraline$11.5 million
6Paul Blart: Mall Cop$9 million
7Slumdog Millionaire$6.5 million
8Gran Torino$6 million
9Hotel for Dogs$5.5 million
10The Uninvited$5 million

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