May 28, 2009

New Movies & Box Office Predictions: Up, Drag Me to Hell

Week five of the blockbuster season is upon us. So far it has been a rather middling season that has seen a couple of good movies, and a couple very mediocre movies. The strength is just not there. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but the movies have just not hit as hoped. This week features a pair that have the potential of making me a very happy cinema patron. So, what are you planning on watching this final weekend of May?

Drag Me to Hell. (2009, 99 minutes, PG-13, horror) Here is a movie I have been waiting a long time for. Well, not this specifically, but a Sam Raimi helmed horror movie. It is the genre that gave Raimi his start and the one that he will forever be associated with no matter how many Spider-Man movies he makes, the title I will forever associate with Sam Raimi is The Evil Dead. Period. I am looking forward to seeing if the seventeen year gap between horror related titles has dulled his sensibilities. The trailers look good and the early word of mouth is very positive. Alison Lohman (who signed on after Ellen Page dropped off) stars as a loan agent who is cursed by an old woman. Will the demons succeed in dragging her to hell? Raimi co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Ivan and has Justin Long, David Paymer, Adriana Baraza, and hopefully a Bruce Campbell cameo joining Lohman.

Up. (2009, 96 minutes, PG, animated comedy) Pixar's track record has been unbelievable. Have they made a bad film yet? I don't think so. While their trailers never seem to be all that inspiring, the films never cease to amaze. I am hoping this will be no different. This is Pixar's first 3D release, and the buzz has been building. It is the story of an old man who outfits his house with an enormous amount of helium balloons and takes his house right off the foundation and into the sky. Joining him on his adventure is a young, eager boy scout. I cannot wait to see this.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Departures
  • The Lonely Maiden
  • Pontypool
  • What Goes Up

Box Office Predictions
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian easily won the Memorial Day weekend. What will happen this weekend? I suspect that Pixar will continue its strong showing at the box office and will take this weekend. It will not likely be its strongest opening, but it will certainly not be a slouch. As for Drag Me to Hell? I am hoping for a good showing but it will not be a challenger for the top spot, my biggest hope is that it opens well and shows some legs.

Here is how I think it could play out.

RankTitleBox Office
1Up$82 million
2Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian$68 million
3Terminator: Salvation$24 million
4Drag Me to Hell$22 million
5Star Trek$15 million
6Angels & Demons$7.5 million
7X-Men Origins: Wolverine$3.5 million
8Dance Flick$2.75 million
9Ghosts of Girlfriends Past$2 million
10Obsessed$1.5 million


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