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Weekend Box Office Report July 23-25

The weekend has come and gone and little surprise on what happened.  Sorry the report is late going up, got caught up in other things.   This week was the release of two movies, a family movie: Romona and Beezus along with the action film Salt starring Angelina Jolie, neither of them managed to put a dent in the Christopher Nolan movie Inception.   This week was all Inception along with a little bit of news about what the next Batman movie could be about.   Inception is a monster film of the summer, already it has dominated the box office two weekends in a row and has proven that Nolan is a really good director and at the fore-front of directors right now.  After he’s done with the next batman movie I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of Hollywood studios don’t start knocking down his door wanting to produce his films.

Inception came in at number one with another 43.5 million for the weekend dropping only 30%  from the weekend before, proving that people are hungry for original good properties over remakes or movies based on other properties.  Inception has made a 143 million and will make over 200 million by the time that it runs out of the box office.   The movie is a strong film as my review shows and it will continue to do well at the theater through the rest of the summer season.   In second place with 36.5 million was the Angelina Jolie movie Salt which is an action film about an agent for the United States government who is accused of being a spy and has to go on the run.  The movie cost about a 110 million to make and it will make it back during its run but it won’t be quick.   For me Salt is one of those films that you see on DVD not in the theaters.

In at third retaining a strong presence is Despicable Me.   Steve Carell knows how to pick movies and this one proves it as well as the other movies that he has done.  Look at his last film: Date Night with Tina Fey, that one did far better than anyone thought it would do at the theaters.   Despicable Me is a really good family comedy along the lines of Toy Story 3.  It managed to pull in 24.1 million over the weekend bringing its three weekend total to 161 million almost making a 100 million more than its budget.   Coming in at number four is the Disney movie: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice starring Nicolas Cage.    This is the third movie from Bruckheiemer for Disney that has shown his magic has worn off and no one is really going to see his Disney produced big action films that appear to be nothing but knock offs of other movies.  The movie has little hope of making back its budget while in the theater.

IN at number five retaining its top five status is the Pixar movie: Toy Story 3 which has now pulled in 380 million and will probably pull in over 400 million or close to it.  Toy Story 3 is the biggest success in Pixar’s history and they will not be repeating it next year with the second Cars movie which I am still not sure about a sequel at all.  In at number six the new release Ramona and Beezus starring Selma Gomez and the new comer Joey King.   The film looks light-hearted and funny for families and is on my list to see once it comes out on DVD.  It managed to pull in 8 million and only cost 15 million to make so it’s not like Fox is loosing money on this one.

Rounding out the top ten was Grown Ups in at number seven with another 7.6 million bringing its five weekend total up to 142 million proving that Adam Sandler and his group of friends can still make comedies that people want to go and see and will go and see.   AT number eight Twilight Saga: Eclipse made 7 million and has quickly fallen off of the top five list and has not retained anywhere near the audience that other movies that have been out longer than it have managed.  Then again the movie has made nearly 300 million, but I can be hopeful that the whole series is waining on people can’t I?

In at number nine The Last Airbender has faded faster than even Twilight only pulling in 4.1 million and still has not managed to make back its budget at the domestic box office.   The movie is a flop but the studio and the director won’t admit it. In fact M. Night still claims that he is going to make two more movies in the series even though this one was not received well by fans or critics.   IN at number ten Predators came in with another 2.8 million and has pulled in over 45 million at the box office.  Predators is an action horror film and thus no one not even the studio expected it to be a 100 million dollar box office opening film.   It is hard to say if it will get a second film or not though judging by how quickly the film has faded at the box office compared to other releases that came out in the same month.

Next Week we will see the release of three movies and just by judging from their trailers and how little one of them has been promoted at the theaters and on the television I can tell you how I think the weekend will go.   Up first coming out is Cats and Dogs: The Revenged of Kitty Galore which is the sequel to a mildly medium first film and is also in 3-D. There are a lot of other family films in the theater this week and they will be making the money more than this one will in my opinion.   Also coming out is the movie Charlie St. Cloud which is a romantic drama film that has been promoted zero times on television (unless they are promoting it on Lifetime or a network that I don’t watch).   The movie will make even less money than Cats and Dogs I do believe.   Lastly coming out: Dinner for Schumucks the movie stars Paul Rudd and Steve Carell and looks very funny to the point that I think it will bring in the audience.   Here is how I think the weekend will stack up:

  1. Dinner for Schmucks- 30 to 40 million
  2. Inception- 25 to 30 million  (these two could flip around it is possible)
  3. Despicable Me– 15 to 20 million
  4. Toy Story 3– 9 to 15 million
  5. Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore– 5 to 8 million

Its going to be a slow weekend at the theaters and I do believe that two movies from Steve Carell will manage to be in the top five.  It is also possible that Inception retains its first place spot for a third week in a row.    Let me know what you think:

A Heist of Dreams

July 19, 2010 2 comments

Inception

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, and Pete Postlethwaite

Directed by: Christoper Nolan

Written by: Christopher Nolan

Every once in a while a movie comes along that helps redefine what we can expect at the cinema when we sit down and watch a film.  Last year that movie was Avatar, which helped change the way that we think of 3-D films and of course since then perhaps only one or two other movies have gotten what it was that made Avatar such a great 3-D movie.  This year the movie that will make you stop and realize just how great cinema is and how much it is an art-form is the unexpected hit from Christopher Nolan: Inception.   Inception is the classic heist film, but you wouldn’t know it is a heist movie going into it because well it’s not like anything you have ever imagined or seen before.  While watching it I couldn’t help but want to be in this world where entering others dreams was possible, where we could go in and change things and get things from within their reality for those that are seeking them.

Inception doesn’t just make you sit and think about what is going on while you’re watching it, but it also makes you forget that you’re even watching a movie in a theater surrounded by others because every second is captivating.   Even when nothing much is really happening Nolan manages to put interesting moments on the screen.   This is after all the man who made The Dark Knight and Momento.  Nolan knows how to make us think while watching his films but he also knows how to make it an enjoyable ride from beginning to end.   That is what he achieves the most with Inception is it a perfect ride from beginning to end? No, but it is so close that you won’t even notice the small subtle flaws while watching the movie.  The real thing about this movie is it makes you think after the credits start rolling, it makes you wonder….that is what the best movies always do.

Our dreams are powerful, in them we become who we want to be, and do things that are never possible.   There are moments in Inception that truly do feel like  a dream, there are sequences in the film that make you wonder why do we dream and what do our dreams mean.  On top of that there are some excellent action pieces in the movie, some amazing special effects that help pull you into this world that Nolan created.  There is even a sequence in the film with slow motion movement and battles that bests the sequences in The Matrix, not a sequence, EVERY sequence, its something that the Wachowski brothers would never have thought of doing in a million years and it just makes you want to see the movie again and again.

More after the trailer…but be warned spoilers follow heavily if you don’t want to know what Inception is about or what happens in it do not read.

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Inception begins in the dream, some would argue that this is where the movie is the entire time from beginning to end, some argue that this is just a bookend to help draw us into the movie.   Neither is wrong, and on that note neither is right.    Nolan stated many times that he left the movie open to interpretation on purpose, he wants us to think while sitting there watching the movie.   The opening sequences make you wonder what is going on, it’s not that its hard to follow its just that you don’t know the rules of this world that Nolan has created yet.  Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) helps us by sort of explaining things quickly while in the room, but basically at first we are left to wonder what is going on.   There is  a sequence here in the beginning with Cobb and Saito  that makes us realize that we’re not really in reality but in a dream within a dream and then finally we get to witness reality.

Nolan doesn’t shove a lot of things in our faces, he doesn’t make us wonder how is this possible or how does it work.  Instead he just sets the rules quickly of how it works.  Someone somewhere discovered shared dreaming and now it’s started to spread and has become a way for men like Cobb and Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to make a living by slipping others into their dream reality and using it to twist them and get them to reveal their secrets.   The dream world is created by the architect and only they have control of it yet the dreamer is the one that they are seeking to draw information out of so the architect has to be careful not to make the world unreal.    All of this is explained to us but it’s never forced down our throats in a way that we cannot digest.  That is the pure genius of the movie, it works on this level because it doesn’t say: this is possible and this is how its possible.  It just assumes that we understand the first rule and leaves the second part up in the air.  You see its not importnat how it is possible….its just important that we believe it is possible.

We quickly learn that Saito (Ken Watanabe) wants to use Cobb and Arthur to help him, not steal a secret but implant a thought instead.  This is what the movie is about: Inception or the creation of a thought that was not in someone’s head before but now needs to be.   They say that Inception is impossible but Cobb of course believes that it is possible, we begin to learn quickly that Cobb is perhaps not the most stable of men.    He agrees to help Saito and that is when things really start to get twisted because they need to hire a team, a team of experts.  They get a group of men that they have used before and then there is the new one, the start-up the young protegé: Ariadne (Ellen Page) who becomes the new Architect.

There is a sequence in the movie when Ariadne is just learning how to use her ability in the dream world that is truly amazing, it’s when she knows that she’s dreaming and she starts to mess with the world in such a way that everyone in Cobb’s subconscious starts to question her being there and think of her as threatening.   That is the most important rule that you learn: every living person in the dream is in fact a part of the subconscious of the dreamer, not the architect but the one that is dreaming the dream that the architect designed for them.  This rule becomes important once the heist starts because it’s the only way that they manage to actually succeed in what they are trying to do.

Cobb has a twisted and deep story, he’s a tortured father who lost his wife we learn quickly that they dreamed together, a dream so deep that they spent an entire life together within the dream.   In the world of dreams things happen much faster than in real life, if you sleep for an hour you can dream weeks and days even depending on how deep you are in the dream.   In one such place Cobb and his wife Mal (Marion Cotillard) spent and entire lifetime together, but when they awoke she was not the same even though he tried to bring her back she was different and Cobb forever blamed himself for what happened to her.   Because of this Mal appears in Cobb’s dreams even when he’s not the dreamer.   She’s a powerful influence on him and its slowly driving Cobb towards the edge in his conscious mind.   Ariadne is the only one who is aware of how deeply Mal has effected Cobb and that’s because she sneaks into his dream one night and learns just how deep his obsession with his wife has gone.

We don’t learn much about the others, it’s mainly the story of Cobb, Ariadne, Mal, Saito, and Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy).   These are the characters that we learn the most about, and there is nothing really wrong with that for they drive the story the most.   Murphy is really good in this movie as Robert Fischer, in fact I think this is probably his best performance ever even better than what he did in 28 Days Later.   People over look Cillian Murphy a lot I wish that he wasn’t over looked because he is a very good young actor.  Fischer is interesting because he’s not some weak spoiled child that doesn’t like his father, in fact he is the exact opposite a child who loves his father but his father never really loved him.

In Fischer’s first dream level we learn that there is such thing as security, rich people like Fischer are aware of what can happen to them in the world of Inception and thus are trained to make their subconscious mind realize when it’s dreaming and thus defend against those that have invaded the dream.    This becomes very important as we get deeper into the dream, but it is one of the things that doesn’t live up the potential in all of the way.    In this part of the dream though we learn that you can also change how you look if you’re good enough at disguises such as Eames (Tom Hardy).   Here he disguises himself as Browning (Tom Berenger) who is Fischer’s father’s best friend and also most loyal employee.   Things get crazy from here on out, if it wasn’t already insane enough with them in one dream they work it so that they slip into a second dream.

In this dream Cobb convinces Fischer that he is in fact the head of his in the head security and is working with him to stop those that have invaded his head, this works to their advantage as they slip into the third level of the dream.   It’s the fact that things in the real world or higher dream worlds actually do effect the dream world as well, the shifting of the van that Yusuf (Dileep Rao) is driving actually affects the deeper dream world in the hotel.  The numbers that Fischer picks in the higher dream actually effect the lower two levels of his subconscious mind to the point that they are used over and over again.   It is here in the hotel that Arthur has three really cool sequences dealing with gravity and the loss of such a thing when the van first flips over while he is fighting a group of men and then the second time when gravity is lost as the van heads towards the lake below the bridge.

I cannot describe these sequences they have to be seen, but both of them are so well done that it makes you want to see them again.   At the same time in the deeper dream Fischer gets shot and actually “dies” though you don’t really die in the dream, you just slip further into your subconscious (when sedated when not you just wake up) into a place known as limbo.   It is here that we go in the last few minutes of the movie, here in limbo we see the world that Cobb and Mal created and everything comes head long into a conclusion that you won’t believe until you actually see it.    At the end once everyone has been pulled from the dream and Cobb is heading home it all seems to real to be true, the one phone call to make the things that were keeping him from going home, the arrival at his parents house to see his two kids who look just as they did in his dream.

It all seems too much like a dream, but is it a dream?  Does Cobb never wake up from his dream?  Was he dreaming all along throughout the entire movie?   Or did he wake up and he’s now back in the real world and the spinning top is actually going to topple just after the credits roll?   I can’t tell you what to think, I can only tell you that I believe he woke and is back in the real world, I believe that they pulled off Inception and that Cobb finally has his life back, why do I believe this? Because I like to believe that he made it back and in the end that’s what I believe, it might not be what you believe and that is the genius of Inception it’s all about our perceptions on what happens, it never forces its own perception on us, but instead lets us decide for ourselves…..

What they Did right: The dream sequences are amazing, the special effects are real and never invading.  The plot is pure and simple a heist movie within a dream movie that is also science fiction but you’d never really guess it was while watching it.  The characters are believable and the action is tight and deeply thought out as you would expect from the man who brought us Dark Knight.

What they did wrong: The only real fault I had with the film was that the whole three layers of the dream were not long enough or complex enough for all of the work that went into setting it up.   It is true that they went in thinking that they were just cracking his mind and implanting but not expecting security, still I would have loved to have seen more of those dreams than what was there…..maybe I’m just being selfish wanting a 3 hour movie?

Overall: 99/100

A must see, one of the best movies ever made plain and simple.  This one has become one of my top favorites of all time a film that I could watch over and over again and not only never get bored but always see something new as well each time I watch it….

Movie Release Previews for July 2010

June 21, 2010 2 comments

With July quickly approaching I feel its time to put out my previews for July and estimates for how films are going to do in July.   The month of July has a lot of interesting things going on, with the release of many films that look like they could make a lot of money all competing with one another for box office gold in the month of July.

Weekend of July 2-4

The Last AirbenderReleases on July 1 the weekend of the fourth.

To me this movie is a do or die for M. Night Shyamalan time.   The Last Airbender is his directed movie but for the first time it’s based on a property that is not his own.  Although he wrote the script it was really based upon a story that is already established.   The Last Airbender was a huge successful cartoon franchise for Nickelodeon and they are betting on this movie being big as well.   The Last Airbender is the story of a young boy named Aang who is the last of the Airbenders, a clan of magic users in an alternate world that can use magic.  The Airbenders are all dead besides Aang who also has the distinction of being an Avatar one that can use all of the elements not just air.  This tells the story of the corrupt Fire Nation who will do whatever it takes to stop Aang from becoming the destined one.

Starring: Jason Rathorne, Nicola Peltz, Dev Patel, and Noah Ringer

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

Opening Weekend Box Office versus the competition: This is a hard one to judge, coming out right after Twilight: Eclipse is going to be a hard sell for a lot of people, though I do think that more guys will be interested in this movie over the Twilight film at least part of the audience that would go see this movie during opening weekend usually will be seeing Twilight instead.    I think the movie has a good shot at pulling in 40 million since I know its going to be a big weekend divided between those that want to see Twilight and those that want to see Airbender.  They are two different audiences but a lot of wives and girlfriends who don’t want to see airbender but their boyfriends/husbands do will be drawing their boyfriends/husbands to twilight instead as a “date” film.

Gross for the weekend: It’s a four-day weekend for the movie instead of a three-day weekend so I am putting it at northward between 40 and 50 million.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse-Releases June 30th of 4th of July weekend

This is the big one for July as far as I can determine.   I am not a huge fan of the Twilight movies although I have watched the first two on DVD and they are not horrible.   Twilight tells the story of Bella Swan who is in love with a vampire named Edward.   The first movie was a fun little vampire film even if it did step on a lot of the traditions of what a vampire was.   I can see the appeal for young women, it is full of dreamy men and romance is every step of the way along with some really decent action sequences.   The first two movies moved quickly and always kept things interesting, so far it looks like this one will continue that tradition.   The movie is the one before the finale film in the saga so it has to build up a lot towards that end.   SO far Summit has been smart about when they release these films, and how quickly they are putting them out as well before the vampire craze once more dies down.

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Bryce Dallas Howard

Directed by: David Slade

Opening Weekend Box Office Competition: Lets be honest here for a minute, Twilight is a huge series on the same scale as Harry Potter, it is going to dominate the weekend that it is released simply because it is Twilight.   There are a lot of women and young girls who will want to see this movie opening weekend and you can bet they will be dragging their boyfriend/husband along with them to see it instead of letting them go see the other wide release this week: The Last Airbender.   So I am guessing that this movie will finish the weekend high and in first place.

Weekend Gross: Northward of 70 million, perhaps closer t 100 million if Last Airbender does not hold up at all at the box office.

Weekend of July 9-11

Despicable Me-Releases July 9th nationwide

Steve Carell is a funny man, and he is also really good in movies such as this.   In Dispicible Me Carell plays Gru an evil villian that wants to do nothing more than dominate the world, yet there is someone even more evil than he is, Dr. Nefario and Gru wants to do nothing more than prove that he is the world’s number one Super Villain . The only thing standing in his way is a trio of orphan girls who want nothing more than for him to change his ways.   When I first saw the trailers for this movie I thought it was going to be a film about two super villains facing off against one another, then I saw the second trailer and learned what it’s really about.    Despicable Me tells the story of Gru who is a villain but also of the orphans who change his life and help him see the world in a different light.   It’s a family film for sure and it looks interesting, but its hard to say if it will make money or not.

Starring: Russell Brand, Jason Segel, Steve Carell, and Will Arnett

Directed by: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud

Opening Weekend Box Office Draw: Hard to say, there is no huge family film releasing this week or the weeks before it, so this one has a chance of drawing family’s to the box office.  At the same time it is releasing against an action movie (Predators) as well that might help families steer more towards this film instead of the other.      The movie has a few things going for it in this regard.   By the time that Despicable Me comes out Toy Story 3 will be a distant memory of a movie already out for three weeks at the box office and there are no real family films releasing between the two (Grown Ups is debatable on how much family appeal it has).  I am thinking that this movie will draw in the family crowd while its counterpart will draw in those looking for an action film.

Weekend Gross: 40 to 60 million if families are still interested in seeing another animated film this summer.

Predators-Releases July 9th nationwide

In 1987 a movie was released that help redefine alien horror films just as the first Alien movie did years before.  That movie was Predator and it stared Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role as a bad ass military man who has to take down an alien hunter from another world that came to be called a Predator.   Years later after a second movie and two attempts at Predator Vs. Aliens that were less than stellar we are finally getting a sequel to Predator or rather a prequel.   The movie is called Predators and its about a group of humans who wake up dumped on a planet that is a hunting ground for these predators.   The movie is being produced by Robert Rodriguez and directed by Nimrod Antal.    The trailers have all made the film look really interesting and a lot of fun as well, but it’s really hard to tell how people will receive the film.  To me it looks like a fun action film that I will be seeing when it comes out.

Starring: Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Danny Trejo, and Laurence Fishburne

Directed by: Nimrod Antal

Opening Weekend Box Office Draw: Predators is the only real action movie that is coming out this late into the summer, by this time The A-Team will be a distant memory to people who want to see an action film and this one is coming out at the perfect time when there is no real competition.  In fact this movie is perfectly coming out right when it should.   There are a lot of people who will go see it just because it is a new Predator movie.    That being said if the early screenings and early reviews are not good we might not get a lot of people going out to see this one.

Opening Weekend Gross: 20 to 30 million maybe more if people are in the mood for action.

Weekend of July 16th-18th

Inception-releasing the 16th nationwide

The last time that Christopher Nolan put out a non-batman movie in-between batman movies it did really well at the box office and was also one of the best films of that year (The Prestige).   This year he comes at us with Inception a movie about dreams, and a man who can hijack people’s dreams and find out secrets about them.  This is of course just the premise behind the story, I am sure that there is a lot more going on as there always is in a Nolan film.   The movie has a wonderful style to it, I enjoy looking at the cinematography and the real out there plot helps sell the movie for me, but I don’t see it as a box office draw as most people do not know what to think about it.

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Ellen Page, and Cillian Murphy

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Opening Weekend Box Office Draw: Hard to say this movie is more different from any other film being released this summer.  The movie is from Nolan and it does start Leonardo DiCaprio two reasons right there to draw men and women both into the seats.  At the same time it also looks so far out there that it might turn some of those people off on the film who would otherwise have gone to see it.  I don’t see it drawing many people who don’t like Nolan or Leo and I also don’t see some of the fans of either going to see this movie just because it is so far out there.   I am putting it at the lower end of the box office for its opening weekend.   But if it is a good as it looks it will draw a buzz over the coming weeks and build momentum into a success.

Opening Weekend Gross: 30 to 40  million if the stars align correctly and everyone wants to see Leo in a strange film that is not his usual kind of a film.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice-Opening July 16th nationwide

I am all for crazy over the top action movies that make little sense but are fun to watch while in the theater or at home just to watch not to actually get any cinematic value from.   That is what this release from Jon Turtlertaub and Bruckhiemer films looks like to me.  The movie is about a young man named Dave (played by Jay Baruchel) who it turns out can use magic and has to become an apprentice to a crazy sorcerer named Balthazar Blake (Nicholas Cage) to save the world from blah blah blah.   Lets face facts  no one is going to see this movie for the plot…they are going to see it for the crazy action sequences, the cars jumping through glass, the huge ass dragons rampaging the cities.    This is the kind of movie that Turtletaub excels at and it is the kind of film that Nicholas Cage likes to do…I mean after all this is the guy who did GhostRider.

Starring: Nicholas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Monica Bellucci, and Alfred Molina

Directed By:  Jon Turtletaub

Opening Weekend Box Office Draw: Harder even to say on this one than Inception.   The movie does look like a fun Disney family action film much like the huge box office National Treasure movies which were directed by Turtletaub and also starred Cage.   The movie has really high quality special effects and it might be exactly what people need by this time of the year.  There are very few options for wizards and sorcery during the summer so this movie could end up being a draw of sorts for those that are looking for a similar movie to Harry Potter or even just a pure over the top adventure film.

Opening Weekend Gross: probably around 20 million if I had to guess what this movie is going to draw, though I could be south of the real number once the film arrives.

Weekend of July 23-25th

Romona and Beeezus-Opening July 23 Nationwide

The story of Ramona comes from the series of Beverly Clearly novels that many girls read as kids.  This family film is more aimed at young girls than it is at young boys, and perhaps their adult moms who remember reading Beverly Clearly when they were kids as well.  The trailers really paint a funny movie as far as I can tell, I enjoy these kinds of films because they remind me of what it was like being a kid and seeing the world around us in the way that kids see it and that we as adults forget to see it.  Ramona is really well cast being played by a newcomer named Joey King who seems to come off cute and warm all at once, and the big draw for the teenage girl crowed is her co-star Selena Gomez playing Ramona’s big sister.

Starring: Joey King, Selena Gomez, and Sandra Oh

Directed by: Elizabeth Allen

Opening Weekend Box Office Draw: Another family film in a summer filled with family films, it is coming out at the end of July and it does have potential to draw in one specific crowd.   It also helps that the weekend before has a two movies coming out that are nothing like this simple family comedy and also there is no real competition as the other movie releasing this week is the Angelina Jolie action film Salt.    The movie seems like a simple draw, not one that will make huge amounts of money but it will be interesting for the young girls that like these kinds of movies and those that like Selena Gomez as well.   The rest of us will pass on it or wait till it comes out on DVD.

Opening Weekend Gross: 20 to 30 million perhaps less, hard to tell till we get closer to release date, but I will stay by these numbers till then.

Salt-Opening July 23rd nationwide

This summer Angelina Jolie is back in theaters doing what she always does really well Action films.   I love Jolie because she is female, hot, and good at action and drama films.   This time she takes on the story of Evelyn Salt an FBI agent who is accused of being a Russian Spy who will assassinate the president if she’s not taken down.   Rather or not she is a spy is what Salt is all about, how she will go about proving that she isn’t a double agent working for the Russians.   The movie looks like it has some really good action sequences and on top of that some really dramatic moments as well.   There is also no doubt that Jolie just by herself will help draw in people to see the movie, because she always does really interesting projects just like her husband.

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, and Zoe Lister Jones

Directed by: Phillip Noyce

Opening Weekend Box Office Draw: Angelina Jolie is a box office draw for both men and women.  Unlike Megan Fox whose talent is questionable Jolie is very talented and people like watching her on the screen.   She also usually takes roles that are deep and complex within stories that not only do really good action but also really good drama.   Salt is very similar to another release of hers, Mr. and Mrs. Smith but different as well, its hard to say how they movie will do.

Opening Weekend Gross: 40 to 50 million for the weekend.

Weekend of July 30-August 1

Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore-Opening July 30th nationwide

For the final weekend of July there are three movies coming out that all will probably not draw anyone to the box office, besides kids who like movies with talking animals, romance drama, or comedy.    Cats and Dogs the first of these three films is a sequel to the original of the same name but without the subtitle.    The first Cats and Dogs was horrible, something that only young kids who have never been exposed to really great kid movies really enjoyed, and the adults surely did not, this one looks no better.   It’s hard to say why anyone in Hollywood decided to greenlight this movie other than the first one made money.  I am not betting on this one at all as there are better kid movie choices out there this week already.

Starring: Christina Applegate, Michael Clark Duncan, Neil Patrick Harris, and Fred Armisen

Directed by: Brad Peyton

Opening weekend Box Office Draw: It will draw in kids, no doubt about it, rather or not their parents want to sit through another film this summer with talking animals is beyond me.   I am sure that some will and some parents will take their kids to see it as well.  The thing about Cats and Dogs is that the movies are boring and simple but a lot of kids like these kinds of films as they are not too long and they have lots of things happening the entire movie….just don’t take nay kids below six to see it in 3-D.

Opening Weekend Gross: 20 million or so.  I will be surprised if it does more.

Charlie St. CloudOpening July 30th nationwide

Charlie St. Cloud is the new Zac Efron romantic drama movie about a young brother who’s younger brother dies and he has a special tie with that is all changed when he meets the woman of his dream.  Basically its a love story with some super natural elements to it and a weak plot that is held together by these elements and the fact that it stars Zac Efron whom has become a sort of sex symbol for some reason beyond me.   The movie’s trailers are really simple and the film does not look like it will draw in anyone but women and teenage girls who want to cry over a sad story about a boy who can’t move forward in his life because his brother died.

Starring: Zac Efron, Amanda Crew, Ray Liotta, and Kim Bassinger

Directed by: Burr Steers

Opening Box Office Draw: I am putting this one at low, except I know that I lot of women will want to go see it because its romantic and dramatic all in one.   They will of course drag their husbands/boyfriends with them and they will end up liking it though they won’t admit it.   The movie does not look terrible, in fact I am sure that it is worth at least a rental, but it’s not the kind of movie that draws audiences to the theaters.

Opening Weekend Gross: 30 to 40 million due to the fact that there are so few romantic dramas out there and it is opening on a slow weekend.

Dinner for Schmucks-Opening July 30th nationwide

Its been a few weeks since a real comedy came out and this looks like the perfect time for another one to make its way to theaters, this time its a movie with Paul Rudd and Steve Carell about Tim who brings an IRS agent named Barry to a work party because they are having a contest at his work to bring the perfect funny and dumbest guest to the party.   Barry is pretty much that guy perfectly but the film has more going for it than that, its directed by Jay Roach and has a lot of other stars that are really funny as well.   The story is also deeper as Tim begins to realize that he really likes Barry and things go crazy from there.  It looks funny and I love Carell so this is one that I will be seeing in theaters.

Starring: Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Zach Galifianakis, and Stephanie Szostak

Directed by: Jay Roach

Opening Box Office Draw: Not too big, perhaps around the same draw that Charlie St. Cloud will be doing, the movie is the exact opposite, a real comedy when its been so long since one came out so this one has a good shot of making it.   The movie looks fun and it also looks like it has real heart.   It’s hard to tell with comedies though, sometimes they surprise you and are huge hits and other times they are miss-marketed and never make any money despite being really funny.

Opening Weekend Gross:  30 to 40 million, its not going to do a lot, but it will do enough because of who is staring in the film.

There you have it the month of July is going to be interesting and full of a lot of hits and misses that will either help the summer box office or hurt it.   There are some that might do better than I think they will and some that might do worse, this just a guess, and I just like discussing the movies that are coming out so I post about them.  I’ll be back around the middle of July to give you my run down on August’s movies.