August Movie Release Preview 2010

It is almost time for the final month of the summer, only a few weeks of July remain and I think its high time we set August into preview and remember that the closing month of Summer is usually a slower month than the months of June and July.   July is already closing out with a slow week so lets see how August looks!

Weekend of August 6-8

The Other Guys-Opening August 6th nationwide

The Other Guys centers around two cops named Allen (Will Ferrell) and Terry (Mark Wahlberg) who are basically the kind of cops that you don’t usually see in movies.  They are two regular cops who mainly sit behind the desk and are over shadowed by the two biggest and most impressive cops in the precinct, Highsmith (Samuel Jackson) and Danson (Dwayne ‘the rock’ Johnson) who are everything that you are used to a cop being when watching a cop movie.   What happens is a shake up and the two regular cops both suddenly are caught up in something and have to take care of business like a badass cop instead of the kind of cops that they both usually are.

Starring: Will Farrell, Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Michael Keaton, and Lindsay Sloane

Directed by: Adam McKay

Opening Weekend Box Office Draw: The week before this movie comes out we get the release of another comedy for adults: Dinner for Schmucks so its hard to say how well this movie will draw.  The good thing going for this movie is that there hasn’t been a cop comedy this summer and there isn’t one coming out anywhere near where this one is coming out at.   Another good thing going for this movie is it looks like both Will Farrell and Adam McKay are back to their form from Talladega Nights instead of the horrendous and forgettable Step-Brothers (which they should not have promoted at all in the trailers).  Another good thing going for The Other Guys is that it is coming out against the joke that is Step Up 3-D.

Opening Weekend Gross: 40 to 50 million more than likely this will be the biggest movie of the weekend, drawing in a nice crowd of those that want to go see a laugh…unless people want to see the other release for a different kind of laugh.

Step Up 3-D Opening July 6th Nationwide in 3-D

The first time I heard of the movie Step Up I thought it might be interesting and fun, and the movie was a decent film about dancing and the art of street dancing.   Of course it did a lot of money and thus it got a sequel and now another Step-Up movie is about to come out and all because well 3-D is the hot thing and why not make a 3-D dance movie about a tough gang of street dancers who happen to live in New York.  If the rehashed plot from the first and second Step Up movies about a group of people who have to Dance to save their lives or resolve their personal problems is to your liking then I am sure you will enjoy this movie and all that it has to offer.  Of course there is also the possibility that you just can’t resist 3-D films and thus you want to see a dance movie 3-D film.   Personally this movie looks like someone is playing a joke…just like the Cats and Dogs movie from July.

Starring: Alyson Stoner, Sharni Vinson, Harry Shum Jr., and Rick Malambri

Directed by: Jon Chu (he directed the second one too fyi)

Opening Box Office Draw: Personally this movie is a dud, but I am trying to look at this towards the audience that it is trying to attract.   This movie has a good shot of attracting mainly teen and preteen girls that like fast-moving dance films and even some boys perhaps as well.  Its got the appearance of gritty and thus some of them will be drawn to it thinking it is the next hot thing out there, plus its in 3-D which means its got to be at least partly interesting.  This movie will attract teeny-boppers to it and even some people who just like dancing in their films.

Opening Weekend Gross: 30 to 40 million, and this will be mainly because the movie is in 3-D and there will be enough draw of people who liked the first two as well.

Weekend of August 13-15

Eat Pray Love-Opening August 13th nationwide

This is the first Julia Roberts movie that I have wanted to see in a while.   The movie basically deals with a woman who one day realizes that her life is anything but full of meaning other than who she is with and why she is with them.   She decides to set out on a quest, spend a year traveling and just learning about the world and also herself at the same time.    The story looks interesting and the best thing is it looks like Julia Roberts is back to doing the kind of character that she does really well once more.   Its not the kind of movie that I see in theaters, but I am interested in seeing it once it comes out on dvd just because it looks like a movie with real heart and soul.    The film is going to attract people just because it has Julia Roberts, but like The Other Guys in the week before this movie knows where its audience is and is pushing itself towards them.

Starring: Julia Roberts, James Franco, Billy Crudup, and Richard Jenkins

Directed by: Ryan Murphy

Opening Weekend Box Office Draw: This movie will pull in a lot of women, there is no way to be PC about it, the movie is designed to pull women in to see it and there is nothing wrong with that.   The draw of the film though is simple enough there hasn’t been any romance movies of the type that this one is released all summer and thus this one has a really good potential of drawing in a lot of women to see it and with them will come their boyfriends and husbands.

Opening Weekend Gross: 20 to 35 million.

The Expendables-Opening August 13th nationwide

If there is one thing that Sly Stallone knows its action and this one looks to be a movie full of action and really good action at that.  The Expendables is about a group of mercenaries who get hired to take down a dictator of a third world country, only things don’t go as the thought it would and everything gets more complex once they are over there.  They have to abandon one of their own and things go crazy from there when they learn the truth of what really happened and who set them up.   The trailers show the movie as being one full of action and the best thing of all a bunch of older action stars all once again showing that they can live up their roots of being action stars.  Stallone has shown that he’s not done with action yet and this movie truly does show that he might be able to keep doing it for years to come if he chooses to do so.

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Eric Roberts, and Dolph Lundgren

Directed by: Sylvester Stallone

Opening Weekend Box Office Draw: This is one of the slickest looking action movies of the entire summer, it’s going to draw a lot of people in to see it because by the time this one comes out it will have been nearly a month since another action movie has been in theaters and more than that this is one of those big tent pole action films that will draw both younger and older men to see including even boys just because of how much action and crazy things look to be happening in this movie.

Opening Weekend Gross: 30 to 40 million.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World-Opening August 13th nationwide

Scott Pilgrim is a young man who finds a really wonderful woman that he’s in love with, the only thing is well….she’s got these ex-boyfriends who won’t let him date her until he proves it to them.   The movie has style and substance, and also all of these strange special effects and video game like atmosphere.   The movie is based after a comic series of course (most original properties in hollywood are now).   The movie looks like it was made for Michael Cera to play and he looks really good in the movie as well.  This summer has shown us a lot of different and strange film but this one is perhaps the strangest of them all.

Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, and Brandon Routh

Directed by: Edgard Wright

Opening Weekend Box Office Draw- I would have to say not much, honestly the movie trailer has some really cool substance to it and its very comic like in apperance, but the film is not goign to draw a lot of people.   The trailer is pointed towards one sort of person, and the movie is pointed to that same person.   Scott Pilgrim is not going to be the huge hit that Universal seems to think that it will be and I don’t see it pulling in more than The Expendables and Eat Pray Love so I could be wrong but I don’t think that I am.

Opening Weekend Gross- 20 to 30 million.

Weekend of August 20-22

Lottery Ticket-Opening August 20th nationwide

Lottery Ticket is one of those easily forgettable comedies that come out around this time of the year.   This is where comedies that might do decent get a release date and this one does look like it has some moments that are going to make you laugh and enjoy yourself.  I can’t say there is one type of audience that this movie is directed towards, as it is a comedy that could have a lot of really good moments that will make you laugh out.   The premise behind the movie is that a young man and his mom win the lottery but when he goes to collect the money hilarity ensues because the lottery office is of course closed due to it being July 4th weekend.   Then somehow it gets out that he one the lottery and everyone is out seeking his money.

Starring: Terry Crews, Keith David, Ice Cube, Mike Epps, and Bow Wow

Directed by: Eric White

Opening Weekend Box Office Draw: Movies of this nature (dealing with someone winning the lottery) do okay when they are released but they never really push the envelope and surely never draw but a few people here and there into the theater to watch them.   There is an audience that this movie is speaking towards and that is the audience that will go see the movie.   I don’t think its going to be a huge draw at the box office but it will be big enough to pull into the top five for the weekend.

Opening Weekend Gross: 20 to 30 million.

Nanny McPhee Returns-Opening August 20th nationwide

Never saw the first one, but I got the premise behind the movie and this one the second one has much the same.  Nanny McPhee returns once again to teach some kids that are spoiled and have never had any real fun the true meaning of what it means to be kids and also to be a part of a family.   Strange things happen and you cannot but help compare Nanny McPhee to another famous caretaker of young kids Marry Poppins its hard to say if either of them is based off of the other or not for me but I can see the likes right away when I watch the trailers for this movie.    Nanny McPhee is going to be a really good family movie of that I have no doubt, families will enjoy seeing it but that is about all.

Starring: Emma Thompson, Maggie Smith, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ewan McGregor, and Ralph Fiennes

Directed by: Susanna White

Opening Weekend Box Office Draw: The movie will draw in families, especially those with young kids.  This is the kind of movie that you can safely take a kid under the age of nine to and not have to worry about missing something if they have to get up to go to the bathroom or if the kids are talking throughout most of the movie or not sitting still.   It will draw in famlies and those that want to take a kid to a film just so that they can be entertained and I am sure that it will be entertaining for them as well.

Opening Weekend Box Office Gross: 20 to 30 million.

Piranha 3-D-Releasing August 20th nationwide

Piranha 3-D is basically a 3-D remake of a classic horror movie released in 1978.  The movie was well-known for its cheese but has become a classic standing cult favorite and thus Hollywood felt it was time for a remake, an updated one with 3-D of course as well.  The premise behind the movie is anything but original but hey its in 3-D so of course scores of people will go out and see it.  What happens is an earthquake releases Piranha’s that are supposed to be extinct but of course they are hungry for….yeah you guessed it….human flesh in 3-D! GASP!  The movie doesn’t look exactly horrible and it has a decent cast so it might end up being  a fun watch but my bet is on it not being a big money-maker though it is coming out at the right time, end of August through October is usually when you have a good shot of making money on horror.

Starring: Elizabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Christopher Lloyd, Richard Dreyfuss, and Eli Roth

Directed by: Alexandre Aja

Opening Weekend Box Office Draw: Depends on how thrilled people are at the chance of seeing another 3-D horror movie.  It is coming out at a good time, there isn’t much else that will get teens and young adults in the theater this weekend and this one could really do it.   It all depends on how people feel about it and if they aren’t tired of seeing movies in 3-D as this one is only coming out on 3-D (I think that’s the plan anyway).

Opening Weekend Gross: 30 to 40 million perhaps less if no one wants a 3-d horror movie or find a sudden interest in something else like Nanny McPhee.

The Switch-Releasing August 20th nationwide

There are some who say that Jennifer Aniston is not a box office draw yet she keeps getting to make movies even though most of her films have done nothing much at all.  This summer she’s getting a second shot this year with the romantic comedy The Swtich which is about a woman who wants to get pregnant and she uses a sperm donor the thing is, the donor’s sperm was replaced with a friends sperm by the friend so that it’s actually his baby that she has.   Yeah it sounds horrible and it looks horrible, but it might draw some in with its quirky plot line and the fact that Jennifer Aniston is starring in it.  Otherwise you might best stay away, like the baby movie earlier this summer with Jennifer Lopez this is another movie that most will just forget even comes out until its been out in theaters for two or three weeks.  They of course say it from the people who brought us Juno, by that they mean the producers that brought us Juno because neither the writer nor the director of the movie are actually involved, it’s just a trick to get people to go see the movie.

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Jeff Goldblum, and Juliette Lewis

Directed by: Josh Gordan and Will Speck

Weekend Box Office Draw: There are three bad signs for this movie and it making any money at all.  The first is that it stars Jennifer Aniston who has not proven at all that she can draw people into the box office lately or ever.   The second is that it is being billed as a movie from the people who brought us Juno as an attempt to get people into seats even though the movie is not written or directed by the people who did Juno.  The third and finale one is always a bad sign: it was directed by two people who also directed the Cave Man show.   I don’t think this movie is going to draw a lot of people in.

Weekend Box Office Gross: 10 to 15 million.

Vampires Suck-Opening August 18th nationwide

The battle for who will suck all of the life out of the vampire craze comes to a final conclusion with the movie Vampires Suck a straight up mash-up of vampire cliché’s and making fun of the Twilight Movies.   The film looks like it’s trying to be funny but doesn’t quite get how to be funny and thus it fails on many fronts.   They are trying to capitalize on the Twilight Saga craze, but on the other side instead of the side that loved the movies.  They are going for the people who hated the twilight films and are trying to be hip with those people by agreeing with them on the fact that the movies are horrible by making their own horrible comedy spoof of the movies.    It’s not really a good idea, but it could finally be the movie that ends the current vampire craze, its only downhill from here.   Trust me.

Starring: Matt Lanter, Ken Jeong, Anneliese van der Pol, and Jenn Proske

Directed by: Jason Friedberg, and Aaron Seltzer

Weekend Box Office Draw: Are you kidding me?  This movie has no draw at all.  Its directed by the same guys who wrote all of the Scary Movie movies, Date Movie, Meet the Spartans, Disaster Movie, and even Spy Hard. It amazes me that these guys still get funding to direct and write these horrible movies.  They stopped being anything other than jokes after the second Scary Movie and they are horrible movies to watch in theaters and do not draw anyone in to see them.  Then again they are cheap to make so they usually make all of their money back.

Weekend Box Office Gross: 5 to 10 million if they are lucky.

Weekend of August 27-29

Going the Distance-Releasing August 27 nationwide

This one is a true romantic Comedy that I haven’t seen in a long while, its more focused on the romance and the comedy than most romantic comedy trailers lately.  Its the story of two people who meet one another but she lives half way across the country and was only visiting her sister when she met him.  They fall in love during the two weeks or so that she is there and decide to try long distance dating, thus the name of the movie.   Things happen, the two of them realize they miss one another and thus begins a quest to meet again.   It looks charming and funny plus it has a really good cast.   This one has a good chance of being a good romantic comedy.

Starring: Drew Berrymore, Justin Long, Christina Applegate, and Ron Livingston.

Directed by: Nanette Burstein

Weekend Box Office Draw: the movie looks like it hits all of the right parts quickly and truly does look funny and sweet as well, because of this a lot of people especially couples who want to have a romantic night out will be seeing this one.   It looks like a really good and fun film with a lot of funny moments along with romantic ones.   It will pull people into the box office though I don’t think it will a huge draw.

Weekend Box Office Gross: 25 to 30 million (really good for a romantic comedy)

The Last Exorcism-Opening August 27 nationwide

The Last Exorcism is about a exorcist who goes out to a farm to help a father with his daughter whom the man believes is possessed  by the devil.   The Exorcist is in fact a fake, he’s always faked these things before, but out on this farm with a documentary crew things go terribly wrong, something dark gets called forth and things take a quick turn for the worst for all of them on that farm.  The trailer looks sick (in a good way) and the documentary style of the movie seems to add something more realistic to the movie this time around.  They are really doing a good job of showing the dangers of what can happen during an exorcist and it harkens back to the classic movie The Exorcist in a very good and disturbing way.

Starring: Patrick Fabian, Ashely Bell, and Louis Herthum

Directed by: Daniel Stamm

Opening Weekend Box Office Draw: The time is right, late August, people are tired of the summer block buster season and want to see other kinds of movies, and this is why Horror usually does better in the fall than in the spring when people are starting to get pumped up for more action movies or comedies.   This would have been a good time for Splice to come out, but this weekend we get this one instead.  The movie looks good and I think it will draw in even more people than Piranha from the week before did.

Opening Weekend Gross: 20 to 30 million.

TakersOpening August 27 nationwide

Its the story of a group of men who are all “takers” as one of them points out.  They are bank robbers and work hard at their jobs, but something happens during their latest “take” and they are suddenly in trouble and have to deal with it.    The story is hardly original and while the cast is decent the movie looks like a re-tread of much better bank heist movies that were released years before it.  There is a decent plot though and some of the action looks really tight and interesting, its hard to see how the movie will move along through a short trailer, but doesn’t really hold the attention for very long.

Starring: Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Idris Elba, and Matt Dillion

Directed by: John Luessenhop

Weekend Box Office Draw: not very high, it will all depend on how many people want to see another heist movie as opposed to those who just want to see something different.   These types of movies can either do really good or do really poorly.  The last heist movie Armored did not do very good at all, and it looked like a superior movie to this one, though that doesn’t mean this one won’t make a lot of money.   My guess though is that this movie is only going to appeal to some not to all and it’s going to do significantly less than the studio that made it thinks it will do.

Weekend Box office Gross: 10 to 20 million.

That is the month of August, like most months of August its the end of the summer and the blockbuster season is over as kids start to focus on school again and parents start to focus on helping them get ready for school again.  The fun of summer ends and the movie season kicks into one of the two doldrums (the other is late winter/early spring) of the year before another ramp up during the holiday season.   I will be back in August for September…till then keep reading and I’ll keep writing.

It’s a Hunting Perserve

Predators

Starring: Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, and Laurence Fishburne

Directed by: Nimrod Antal

Back in 1987 the original Predator movie came out with Arnold Schwarzenegger starring as a big man out on a mission seeking to stop a strange alien creature that has hunted him and his whole platoon to death until only he is left alive.  The movie was a really good action film filled to the brim with action and adventure along with some good special effects.  It also launched a series of films and video games along with some decent vs’ movies that were only okay but still interesting in some parts.   Now in 2010 its time for the predators to be reborn and this time its being done correctly not like the aliens vs. predators movies that were released in the 2000’s.   Predators is a direct sequel to the first movie, Predator with Arnold Schwarzenegger and doesn’t mention Predator II the Danny Glover film that was decent but nowhere near as good as the original movie.   Predators even refers to the original movie and uses some ideas from it to make this movie a really stand out film in the series that really does help redeem the series and start it off on the right path once again.  From the really good cinematography to the tight story that always keeps things going and the surprises coming the movie really does a great job of putting you not only into the atmosphere of this world but into the action of it as well.

Predators starts out with a man that we do not know the name of landing in a jungle played by Adrien Brody.   What surprises me the most about this movie is that Adrien Brody pulls off his action military mercenary character really well which was my main fear that he wasn’t going to be able to pull off the tough guy role but he did a really good job with it.   The film really gets going quickly here as well, we don’t just sit there and get to know these people who all land in parachutes pretty close to one another, they are constantly moving from one place to another all of them together.    We are quickly introduced to our band of players, there is the doctor Edwin (played by Topher Grace) Isabelle the woman military sniper, Stans a prisoner who is one of the worlds most deadliest killers, Nikolai a military man as well, Hanzo who is a member of the Yokuza, and Cuchillo a mercenary of some kind and Mombasa from somewhere in africa.

We really don’t get to know the characters, just their archetypes for most of them, which is okay by me we don’t need to know a lot about Cuchillo or Hanzo or even Stans we get right off the bat who they are and what they represent.  All of them are killers of some kind though the movie does a really good job of keeping us wondering exactly how Edwin fits in with the others as he is a doctor and that is usually not a profession that we think of as killers.   We learn about his back story at just the right time and I’ll get into that a little later.   The thing about this movie is it’s always moving so even though most of the characters have little back story it’s not important because it’s about what is happening to them now rather than what happened to them before.

We learn quickly that they are on another planet, and that they are being hunted like game.  We get to see former game that has been hunted in fact even other humans that have been hunted.   The humans all band together as they see little or no other choice but to do so.  It is obvious that once they realize they are on another world their only choice is to somehow survive and get off of the world.   It is about here that we get our first glimpses of the Predators themselves though it is only slightly short and then we move on to some strange dogs that attack and help the predators figure out what the weak links are in the group.   This is where Cuchillo gets killed off and we don’t even get to see how he gets killed, this is the first of some mistakes that the film makes.

As always the movie moves on very quickly and this is a good thing but it is also where things start to get a little thrown out the window.  We are introduced quickly to another player the insane Noland who has been on the planet for so long by himself that he has gone crazy.  Noland basically sets everyone up to die so that he can take their stuff and that is when things back fire for him but we also learn a little history from him as well.  Basically there are two types of predators, the weaker smaller ones who are fighting a war with the larger stronger ones who have set up a game preserve on a planet and are hunting people and other creatures from other planets for fun and sport.   This is what is basically been set up about these Predators in the years before through comics and movies and the new movie doesn’t break from the mold.

After Noland is killed things go crazy, Royce (whom we don’t learn the name of until the end of the film and is played by Adrien Brody) decides that the only thing to do is to get off of the planet, and the only way to do that is to steal the ship that the Predators landed on the planet with.   He concocts a plan to free the captured smaller Predator and have him help them escape.  We loose everyone but three people by the time they get close to the camp.  Only Royce, Isabella, and Edwin are left alive, Edwin gets caught in a trap and Isabella stays with him splitting from Royce who goes on his own and frees the captured predator.

The captured predator is actually of the smaller group who are fighting with the bigger ones and also looks just like the one that was in the original Predator movie.   They did a great job when he puts his outfit on showing us this fact, thus we know that neither the first nor the second groups are that much different than one another.   They are both bent on hunting and it is what they do with their lives hunting other species for sport and fighting with one another.    The coolest fights in the entire movie are all three right here together.  The first one involves the Yakuza man Hanzo using a samurai sword to fight with one of the predators to the death.  They both end up killing one another with sword strikes, right behind it two predators fight one another.   The fight is really interesting they fight one another and for a minute there it looks like our hero predator might win but he doesn’t.

We also think that Royce has abandoned the others as the ship that he was supposed to escape on explodes and we learn the truth about Edwin right then and there as well.   He is a serial killer who has killed dozens of people but has never been caught, how the Predator’s knew about him who can say but it is still interesting that he is there and that he is trying to kill Isabella even though they are in a pit trapped and about to be killed by the Predators.   What happens instead is he is used by Royce as bait to try to kill the last of the three predator’s  the final battle between Royce and the predator leader is really good and comes to a final conclusion with the predator being killed in spectacular beheading action.

The film leaves itself open at the end with Royce and Isabella walking into the jungle as more people are crashing to the forest in parachutes trying to find another way off of the planet.  IT is possible that there could be a sequel to Predators and the movie is a really good film.

What they did Right: The action, the characters all of it felt like a Predator movie down to he last moment.  The final fight sequences are all edge of your seat exciting.   There is a lot of Rodriguez in the film even though he did not direct it, you can tell that he had a hand in helping Nimrod or that Nimrod learned a lot from working with Rodriguez in the past.

What they did Wrong: I have to say that the entire Predator thing was not used enough.   We barely see the Predators in the film and never really get a good feel that they are hunting the humans at all besides a few shots here and there.   The surprise is that we learn about two different races of predators but it’s never used too much except to drive the story.    The movie went too long with us thinking it was just a bunch of people trekking through a forest without anything really happening with the predators themselves…perhaps the sequel?

Overall: B

The movie hits the right spots and is a fun ride from beginning to end….but with a name like Predators I was expecting more predator action instead of more human trekking through woods and being hunted by dog like creatures.

One Ugly Mother

Box Office Report for 7/9-7/11

What a weekend with a surprise on top of that.  I usually like being right but this week I will be happy to be wrong because I was also right.  Although I wasn’t fully wrong I came close to what I thought Despicable Me would make, the movie ended up pulling in just a little more than the 60 million that it managed to pull in.   But that’s not what I’m talking what I am talking about is Predators.   The movie pulled in less than I thought it would, but it still managed to finish in the top three even though I thought it would come in fourth.   Now onto the report:

In first place this week was Despicable Me the movie managed to bring in 60.1 million dollars over the weekend which is great news for an animated feature with a small budget.  The movie managed to show that people were ready for another family comedy that the kids could enjoy after having Toy Story 3 out for three weeks.   Despicable Me stars Steve Carell who has yet to not be box office gold in the movies he does.   Recently he was in Date Night which also managed to pull in a lot of money over its run at the theaters.   So Despicable Me will continue that trend.    In second place was Twilight: Eclipse not a real surprise at all considering that this is the big teen movie of the summer, it did drop a huge 48 percent from the week before, but this is understandable when the week before was a four day weekend and it was also released on a Wednesday as well.   The movie is well on its way to a 300 million plus release at the box office and will definitely put the saga in a good place for the last part which is being filmed as two movies.

In at third this week was newcomer Predators with Adrian Brody among others.  The movie has gotten really good word of mouth as being the best movie in the series since the first one with Arnold.   Predators was made relatively cheap as well with a budget of 40 million and I really think it would have made all of that back if it had been released somewhere other than the middle of July.   It managed to pull in 25 million for a third place berth and looks to perhaps retain some of that next weekend though there is tough competition for people’s money then.   In forth came Toy Story 3 which was only down by 27 percent from the week before which means it maintained its audience even though Despicable Me came out.   That brought its weekend total up to 22 million and its box office run is now up to 340 million making it Pixar’s biggest movie released yet.

In fifth falling a full 57 percent from last weekend is the movie with the biggest fall in audience The Last Airbender managed only another 17 million over the three day weekend.  It will make back its entire budget of 150 but that budget probably doesn’t count other costs for the film either, its had to say sometimes with hollywood.   Airbender should have made more money over the weekend but it probably didn’t due to word of mouth from fans of the cartoon series.  Most people who went to see Airbender in the first place were probably fans of the series on Nickelodeon and were disappointed to such a point that they didn’t recommend it and thus it has no one really going to see it.   I doubt a sequel will be greenlit by Paramount and who can really blame them.

Rounding out the top ten we come up with at number six Grown Ups which has pulled in an impressive 111 million over its three weekend run so far, another Adam Sandler movie with a low budget that managed to pull far up beyond that because people like his brand of humor.  In at seven Knight and Day the Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz movie has done okay at the box office considering it came out during a tough time of the summer.  If I was a Fox executive I would have put Knight and Day out sometime in March or April the returns probably would have been better.  As it stands it has barely managed to pull in 60 million.   In at eight was The Karate Kid which has an astounding total of a 165 million now proving that most everyone was wrong about this one, as it turned out to be a really decent re-imagining of the classic.   Ninth place was The A-Team which has managed to pull in 73 million but has no hope of making back its budget by now.   The thing about A-Team wasn’t that it was a bad movie, it was that it wasn’t good enough to draw people into the theater to see it during the same weekend that The Karate Kid came out.   Rounding out the top ten once again was Cyrus a low budget movie that has made most of its budget back.

It was all in all another impressive week at the box office.  All we needed was something to kick start the box office going and we got that with The Karate Kid since then the box office has not been quiet but loud and thunderous with movie after movie making people go into the theaters.

Next Week looks to continue this trend, two movies coming out look to put people in the theaters, one with magic and the other dealing with dreams and the human mind.   Inception the latter not the former, deals with a man who can enter into people’s minds and alter things and stars Leonardo DiCaprio which usually helps put people in the seats.   Inception is also from Christopher Nolan the man behind The Dark Knight and The Prestige both incredible films that did really well at the box office (Dark Knight especially).  Inception might continue this trend, right now its hard to say for sure.   Also coming out is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice with Nicholas Cage, this one is harder to judge really, the movie looks fantastical and has a lot of really cool special effects in it.  The first early reviews for it have been favorable although not all of them have been great, the movie though could track good just because of who stars in it and who is releasing it.   This is how I think the weekend is going to stack up:

  1. Inception With 60 million (I hope I am right about this but I still get teh feeling i could be wrong.
  2. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice- with 50 million
  3. Despicable Me- with 30 to 40 million
  4. Twilight: Eclipse- with 20 to 30 million
  5. Predators – with 15 to 20 million.

Let me know who you think will finish at number 1 in this handy pole!

Coming later this week: The August Movie Previews!

Box Office Report for 7/2-7/5

First off this is so late because I am on vacation and forgot that I needed to write this up as I haven’t had any time that I could use to write this up in….so I apologize.

The past weekend has come and gone, and its clear that the winner was the one movie that we all knew it would be coming into this thing, Twilight: Eclipse pulled in nearly 84 million for its opening weekend, which included of course the fifth which added an extra day to the weekend, this doesn’t also include the money that the movie managed to pull in on Wed. or Thurs. either.   All together the movie had by monday pulled in nearly a 180 million which shows that a longer stretch of days did not hurt the movie instead it helped.   In fact having Monday counted in with the total from Friday-Sunday helped as well since many people were off on monday and went to see the movie then.

In second place not faring quite as well but still managing to bring in a lot of money over the four-day weekend was The Last Airbender despite the horrible reviews the movie has actually managed to pull in semi-decent numbers and over the four-day weekend it managed nearly 52 million, though it is quickly slipping now as in the past few days it has only managed to pull in another 5 million per day even falling behind Toy Story 3 for the week so far.   Perhaps a lot of bad word of mouth is getting around, my guess is that Airbender does not finish in the top three this coming up weekend.

Meanwhile Toy Story 3 having stiffer competition this week managed to still pull in nearly 45 million at the box office bringing its total close to the 300 million mark, when its all said and done this movie will be one of the highest grossing animated films ever released in theaters.   I am thinking that this weekend will be a retaining of form for Toy Story 3 as well.    Slipping in at fourth place Grown Ups managed to bring in another 26 million making it the most successful family comedy (that is not animated) of the summer so far.   People still like going to see Adam Sandler and his friends do their things which is always a good thing for them, as long as Sandler stays popular his comedies will continue to make money.  Personally I like most of his movies and do eventually plan on seeing this one…just not in theaters.

In at Fifth, Knight and Day managed to keep up bringing in another 14 million over the weekend.  The Tom Cruise starring movie has not performed anywhere near what Fox thought it would and rumors are circulating that this movie’s performance could spell the end of the days for the Mission Impossible series.   Tom Cruise is a really funny guy and he has been really successful all of his career, the problem is well he went a little crazy a few years ago after marrying Katie Holmes and he just hasn’t ever recovered from the crazy persona.  Perhaps a Les Grossman film would do it?   In at sixth place was The Karate Kid with another 11 million this movie is getting a sequel, which is not really surprising considering how well it did at the theater, the question is will all of the original cast return or not.

Rounding out the top ten was The A-Team in seventh, and while it didn’t perform as well as the studio had hopped it has still managed to get in some good laughs and pulled in 70 million in total gross so far.    At number eight was Get him to the Greek another low brow comedy from the guy that brought us Forgetting Sarah Marshall but it has proven that this kind of comedy is always welcome, the movie has managed  a total run of nearly 58 million for its run.   At number nine Shrek pulled in slipping quickly now out of the top ten but the movie has managed 230 million for its run so far.   Ten was taken by a movie I have never heard of called Cyrus, if you want to tell me about it go for it!

Next Weekend is going to be fun to watch, another kids animated movie Despicable Me comes out starring Steve Carrell as a super villain who ends up raising a group of orphaned girls.   THe movie looks like a lot of fun and I think it has a good shot at making some decent money.   Also coming out is Predators which I really really want to see but I don’t think is going to make a whole lot of money, I could be wrong but I am tracking it for less than 40 million.    This is how I think the weekend will shape up:

  1. Despicable Me with around 70 million (it is coming out in 3-d)
  2. Twilight: Eclipse with around 60  million (perhaps more if some that already saw it want to see it again)
  3. Toy Story 3 with around 40 million
  4. Predators with around 40 million (these two slots are interchangeable really.)
  5. The Last Airbender with around 30 million.

I could be way off here, for all I know there might be an 80 million dollar movie in there somewhere, but I don’t see it really.  Movies like Predators don’t usually pull in big numbers over a weekend, and 3-d animated films seem to be all the rage this summer.   We shall just have to wait and see if Predators can pull it out and call me out for being wrong!

What do you think:

Roads, where we’re going we don’t need Roads….

Its been 25 years since the release of the first Back to the Future and I finally have some free time in my week to put down my memories and thoughts on one of the best trilogies of films ever put on film.

I didn’t see the first Back to the Future in theaters, I was really too young to see it and remember it anyway when it was released in 1985, and that is the reason why I probably didn’t see it in theaters, but I did see it when it came to homes.  Back then that was a longer undertaking though and by the time that I did see it they had already added the: To be Continued to the end of it so I have no memories of seeing the movie before that was put on the film and thus I didn’t know until I got older and learned through interviews with Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis that they had not planned on making a trilogy when they shot the first movie.

I do remember though four years later in 1989 standing in line at our Lowes theater waiting  to walk in and see Back to the Future Part II the line was so long that it actually went out the door and down the street a little way.   To say the least the second Back to the Future came out it was a big deal and everyone wanted to see it in our area of the city at least and I am sure it was the same elsewhere as well.  I remember watching the first one on tape so much that I actually wore the tape out, I loved Doc Brown and Marty McFly because they were cool characters and the story was so strong that you couldn’t help but want to watch it.

There is something timeless about the story of Back to the Future, the way that Marty gets stuck back in 1955 and how he screws up everything for his parents to the point that his own mother actually has “feelings” for him was all fascinating and made for great laughs.  I remember the scene where he’s on her bed and only in his underwear and she keeps calling him Calvin Klein and he’s trying to figure out why she keeps calling him that.   That’s when you remember back in 1955 there was no Calvin Klein and as far as they knew there never would be!   On top of that Marty doesn’t fit into this past world but he tries his best to do so in order to get his parents back together so that he can save his own life and that of his siblings as well.

The best thing about the first Back to the Future isn’t just the fact that Marty almost messes up his entire life to the point that he never gets born but it’s also his relationship with Doc Brown.   It’s strange that the Doc is almost like a second father to him, perhaps in the original time line Marty just needed someone like Doc to be a friend and perhaps a secondary father figure and then back in the past of course he knows there is only one person who can help him get back to 1985 and that’s Doc Brown.    Every single character in the movie is played with great comic and dramatic timing throughout the entire film by some of the best actors in the business.   Because of this it all feels deeply real and is a fun ride throughout.

Back in 1985 Michael J. Fox wasn’t showing any signs of Parkinson’s, he was one of the best young comedy actors in the business with his role in the hit show Family Ties and then he came along and did this movie which pushed him into super stardom at the time.   There still isn’t anyone who was alive in the 80’s and 90’s who doesn’t get why Michael J. Fox is so popular.   He has perfect comedic timing and he uses it to full effect in the Back to the Future movies along with Christopher Lloyd who plays Doc Brown.   The two on-screen together made us laugh, and more than that they had the chops to make us stop and feel something besides just laughter.    The first movie ended with Marty managing to not only keep his family together, but to give his father something that he never had in the first time line, a backbone which changes his father’s life dramatically and also changes Marty’s families life as well….that is until the sequel came along.

I won’t get into the problems with Back to the Future II and III both movies have flaws that were inherit because of things that happened in the first movie or things that happened in the second movie.    They didn’t plan on a trilogy but when they got around to doing one they made it unforgettable.  Some say that the third movie is the weakest of the series, and perhaps it is but it is still one of the best comedies made.    The second movie picks up where the first left off with them going to the future to fix a problem with Marty and Jennifer’s kids.   The problem ends up being one that is a direct result of something that happens to Marty back in the past of his life, which makes sense as there is always something that can and does go wrong in life.

The second movie also has one of the best twists in the series dealing with a sports almanac from the future that Biff takes the past and makes himself rich beyond his wildest dreams to the point that he creates a dystopian future where he rules a city that has become rundown.   Where George McFly is dead (a way around Crispin Glover and the studio not able to come to an agreement) and Marty’s mom has remarried to Biff.   This dark and crazy present is explained really well while we by now have totally forgotten that the present they really belong in was re-written by Marty already in the first movie anyway back in the past.    So they go back in the past to fix the problem and this leads to just more problems cropping up until in the end Doc Brown gets send back to 1885 which leads to the third movie in the series.     The second film is arguably the strongest of the three movies, it has the most range and the most character development for Marty and Doc Brown (the two characters the movies are really all about).   Though in the end I still feel that the first movie is the best in the series.

The third and final film in the series takes place in a semi-old west style world (it’s not actually totally believable but close enough) where the ancestors of nearly everyone in the town exist and are all causing problems just like those in the first two movies did for Marty and Doc Brown.   The third movie gives Doc Brown a love interest which interestingly enough helps create a cartoon series starring their two sons Jules and Vern along with Marty of course!   I loved the cartoon series as well, it was simple but had everything you could want from a cartoon series based after a comedy trilogy series.   The final movie though helps close out all of the loose ends in the series including Marty’s need to prove that he is not a chicken and Doc Brown finally finding true love.   It closed out the trilogy completely and made you happy to have watched all three movies and sit back and enjoy them over and over again.

There are some weak points in each movie, but never is it something that makes you not want to watch.  As I said before everyone does their job so well in all three films that you never once doubt that they are the characters they are playing.   Lea Thompson is great as Marty’s mom, as his mom at a younger age, and even as his ancestor’s wife, to the point that you don’t really realize that it’s the same girl because while its her playing all these characters she does each one differently.     Crispin Glover was great in the first Back to the Future and it’s really a shame that he didn’t agree to do the following films.   This series is still Christopher Lloyd at his best and I doubt we’ll ever see him do better, he will always be remembered as Doc Brown.    Though she doesn’t have a huge role in the second or third movies Elizabeth Shue (she did not play Jennifer in the first movie) does really good with what she is given including a classic scene when she meets her older self.

In the end there wouldn’t be a Back to the Future without Marty McFly, and this is where we really see Michael J. Fox at his best.   The role was not originally intended for Michael J. Fox but every time I see the movies I am thankful that the movie was not working with Eric Stolz.  Don’t get me wrong I love Eric Stolz I think that he is a very underrated actor who has done a lot of good roles but the movie just wouldn’t have been Back to the Future without Michael J. Fox.   The fact is that even the people responsible for Back to the Future felt the same way that they always wanted Michael J. Fox but he wasn’t available at first.    Michael J. Fox is Marty McFly there is no real way to explain it other than that is who he is, it’s the role he was supposed to play.    The movies would never have worked with someone else in that lead role.

In the end Back to the Future is and always will be a classic movie that represents what Hollywood can do with the art of Movie making when they really have talented people behind a really talented script and a talented director who gets to work with his vision and what he wants it to be and the studio doesn’t shoehorn him into their ideas.   The trilogy is coming out on Blu-ray soon and on top of that I think its our duty as the older generation to make sure that the kids of today see these films…they may not have been born when they were made or released, but they will love them because like Superman or Indiana Jones or Star Wars they are timeless movies that anyone of any age no matter when they were born can enjoy and should.

Holiday Box Office Early Report

The numbers are in for Twilight: Eclipse‘s first day of release, Wednesday , and also for its second day at the box office Thursday along with the official release numbers for The Last Airbender as well.  Since I last posted about this weekend it was looking like Last Airbender had a real shot at being a real contender for first place, now I am pretty sure that my original judgments on the movie might end up coming true instead.    My predictions from my Box Office preview had Last Airbender coming in at around 40-50 million for its opening weekend, while I put Eclipse in at more than 100 million but then again Eclipse gets an extra day this holiday weekend over Airbender not that it really matters when it comes down to what the final totals will be.

M. Night’s first movie in the Airbender trilogy (planned probably will not get made) is tracking over at Rotten Tomatoes with an 8% from reviewers, that means that the movie has been critically slammed by most everyone and M. Night needed a good movie this time around.  Most of the reviewers all agree that the movie is stylistically beautiful, but in the end horrible acting and scripting ruin what could have been a really epic first opening.   This doesn’t mean that the movie wouldn’t make money, but there are people leaving theaters posting on their twitter and Facebook pages about how laughable the movie is and how horrible it is as well.   I have read a few reviews but this one from /film struck with me more than the others.  Though some do like it don’t get me wrong and I still intend on seeing it after my vacation or on it perhaps who knows.   The point is Last Airbender will probably not pull in over 60 million over the weekend even with it being a long one.   While Eclipse will pull in at least a 100 million if not more during its first weekend run.

Airbender did manage to pull in 16 million in its opening day including midnight showings but that’s not really a very encouraging number when you consider that Twilight did 68 million on its opening day including midnight showings.  This is not a good sign of the staying power of a movie that has a rumored budget of over 200 million (we will know for sure later this week).   The studio execs are no doubt shaking their heads now wondering what they did wrong (beside putting it out at the same time as Twilight).   Personally I don’t think the movie is going to be as horrible as some of the reviewers say that it is, but being a fan of the cartoon that it was based after I have a feeling that I will feel cheated like so many others did after seeing it.

If the trends continue Airbender will finish the week in second place with 50 to 60 million, but if word of mouth is really as bad as it seems to be so far then it will dip below 50 million and fall behind Toy Story 3 to finish in third place instead of in second.   Either way its going to be difficult for anyone to say that this movie is a successful undertaking for Paramount and it’s just another misstep this summer season like so many others before it, Robin Hood and Prince of Persia which were both movies considered to be big news that would bring in big money for the studios and did nothing near what was predicted.   Its been a bad summer for movies except for a few tent pole sequels which were guaranteed to make money already anyway.  Nothing really original has been successful this summer, its been the summer of sequels so far and that’s a shame, but when studios put out only mediocre products it’s not surprising.

I will be back on Monday with the final results when we know how this all plays out.

Weekend Box Office Report for 6/25-6/28

The weekend is once again dominated by the animated feature Toy Story 3 just as we all knew that it would be.    Toy Story 3 was the second fastest to a 100 million for its opening weekend this summer season right behind Iron Man 2 and it looks to stay strong at the top this weekend as well pulling in another estimated 59 million for the weekend which I believe will end up being closer to 60 million once the final reports come out tomorrow.   While Toy Story 3 retained the top spot for another weekend the new release for the weekend Grown Ups also proved that Adam Sandler comedies are still big deals when they are released at the right times of the years even if they aren’t all that great.

It’s not too surprising really that Toy Story 3 and Grown Ups did really well and I was pleasantly surprised that Knight and Day managed to pull in 20 million for the weekend in estimated totals.  The movie surprised me because I really didn’t expect it to crack the top five, the main reason why is that Tom Cruise while a funny guy just doesn’t bring in the box office any longer. There is nothing in this movie that makes people go: I have to see it.   So most people are probably waiting till the reviews are out or till it comes out on DVD like I am.  The top three movies in the box office all managed together to bring the box office up to a good total and best of all two of the three were new releases so people are finally going out to the theaters to see movies, all we needed were some good releases.   Now I’m not saying Grown Ups is a great movie but it is a fun film that people enjoy which is what Adam Sandler does the best.  Toy Story 3 which finished in first meanwhile has pulled in over 200 million for its first full week in theaters.

Coming in at fourth place was The Karate Kid it continues to show strong legs at the box office now coming in with another 15.4 million (estimated) to bring its box office total up to 135 million, its fading now though and will probably start having less and less returns each week until the end of its run at the end of summer.   In fifth another movie with surprisingly long legs despite not making much money The A-Team pulled in another 6 million and has pulled in 62 million total.   The movie is a fun little ride but in the end it wasn’t what people were looking for this summer and it shows in the fact that the movie hasn’t pulled back in the money it cost to make it.

In sixth Get him to the Greek came in with another 3 million bringing its four-week total up to 54.4 million which has proven that comedy of this sort is not dead at the box office even if it didn’t have a super strong showing its first week at the box office.    Greek is perhaps going to be the most popular non-family comedy of the summer if this keeps up.   Shrek Forever After has faded at the box office this week significantly (probably because of all of the loss of 3-D screens) and only managed 2.8 million (again estimated) and its total for the entire 6 weeks out at the box office was reached by the better done and deeper story of Toy Story 3 proving again that 3D by itself is not enough you must have a good movie behind it as well to sell tickets.

Rounding out the top ten at number eight was Prince of Persia which has managed 82 million during its run at the box office and has done much better overseas.   It also has the distinction of being the highest grossing video game movie ever made perhaps proving to everyone that movies based after video games can perhaps be box office gold eventually if they are marketed and made correctly.   At number nine this week Killers with another 2 million, this one just will not fade away, though this is the last week it will be in the top ten.   Lastly coming in at ten just barely Jonah Hex managed another 1.6 million which was almost as much as Iron Man 2 made for the same week and has been out four 8 weekends!  Jonah Hex is a box office bust and has no hope of making back its 47 million budget at least domestically.  Proof that once again just because you have  a hot girl and a hot property doesn’t mean that you’ll have a good movie.

Next Week is a big week for releases, two big budget blockbuster potential films come out both of them based on properties that are not comic books.   The first is the biggest of the two: Twilight Saga: Eclipse which is the third movie based on the third book in the Twilight Saga.   If the first two movies are any indication we can look at Eclipse pulling in somewhere between 100 and a 140 million for its opening weekend which is actually a long weekend because Eclipse opens up on Wednesday.   This is what New Moon did as well a year ago during the fall.   Although the numbers this summer could be a little skewed because this weekend is also the launch of the new M. Night Shyamalan movie The Last Airbender which is based upon the cartoon property from Nickelodeon.

It’s hard to say what The Last Airbender will do, movies similar to it have not pulled in much money in their opening weekend but there is hope that it might pull in over 40 million.   I do know that this weekend is going to be tough and there is no hope really that Last Airbender pulls in over 80 million this opening weekend and the movie cost an estimated 150 million to make and it is doubtful that it will pull all of that back in within its first two weekends of the box office.   The thing here is it’s a hard sell, a fantasy movie, at this time of the year with all of this other stuff crowding in around it.   It will all depend on how people feel about the movie and rather or not they want to go out and see it.  Only time will tell but here is my break down.   If you want to see my comprehensive preview of this month’s movies just click here.

The top five this week:

  1. Twilight Saga: Eclipse– This one will come in top place with 100 million at least.
  2. The Last Airbender– Will perhaps pull in 60 to 70 million if we are lucky they will get 80 million.
  3. Toy Story 3– part of the fall will be because of the loss of 3-D screens, another 40 to 60 million for the weekend.
  4. Grown Ups- Family comedies will be put to the wayside this weekend with two big releases for other crowds. Will make about 20 million.
  5. The Karate Kid– another family film and another week in the top five pulling in perhaps 15 million to close out the top five.

That’s how I feel the box office will round out this week, what do you think here’s your poll: