Weekend Preview (10.16.09)

Wild Things are in store for the box office this weekend. The first children’s/family film to compete in a month since Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Where the Wild Things Are, the anticipated adaptation of the classic picture book, is sure to draw a big crowd of filmgoers of all ages.

With weather across the country having turned for the worst, many parents will take fondly to the idea of cozying up in theaters with a movie version of a book old enough to have been enjoyed by both their kids and themselves as kids. Spike Jonze looks to have done a beautiful job with this film.

As for the rest of this weekend’s docket, Overture Films will be the next to test the box office pull of Gerard Butler in Law Abiding Citizen, which is in desperate need of a hyphen. Jamie Foxx co-stars, which adds some credibility to the film, as does the direction of F. Gary Gray. Butler plays a sociopath who orchestrates murders from his prison cell. Foxx is the prosecutor who tries to stop him.

The latest horror film of the month is The Stepfather a remake starring Nip/Tuck’s Dylan Walsh about a boy who comes home to find mommy’s new boyfriend is not so awesome. That will have to compete with the wide release of low-budget horror thriller Paranormal Activity, the box office wunderfilm that made a killing last weekend in only 160 theaters.

In limited release starting today is the vignette film New York, I Love You and also Black Dynamite, basically your African-American James Bond only in a ‘70s period comedy and is filmed with a historically accurate lens.

Where the Wild Things Are – Law Abiding Citizen – The Stepfather – Paranormal Activity

My Endorsement: You should’ve caught on by now that my blog the last few days has basically become a lobby for “Wild Things.” I picked it as my No. 1 movie to look forward to this fall and I’m sticking to it. If you’re thinking of seeing anything this weekend, look no further. “Wild Things” is sure to awaken the Wild Thing in all of us for at least a short period of time. Bring a friend, bring a child – if you’re a child reading this somehow … bring a parent. Even if Mommy and Daddy refuse, your hard earned piggy bank money will be so worth it.

Red Flag: With Paranormal Activity poised to finish huge this weekend in wide release, it makes absolutely no sense for you to waste your time with The Stepfather. I don’t normally go see scary movies anyway, but if I were this weekend, I sure as hell would be going to see the massively hyped movie everyone’s talking about, not another creepy suburban family horror film that seems like the premise for “Lakeview Terrace 2.”

Box Office Prediction: Last weekend I continued to predict the winner and I’m feeling confident again this time as I try and go 6-for-6 this fall. Obviously my choice is Where the Wild Things Are. Although I expect Paranormal Activity to fight hard for B.O. glory, the demographic for “Wild Things” is so much stronger and it’s going to get a maximum release, whereas “Activity” will see at least 1,000 fewer theaters.

The rest of the Top 5 will be a bit tougher. The battle at No. 2 will be between “Activity” and the returning champ Couples Retreat. I’m giving the edge to “Activity” because word of mouth for these films is going in the opposite direction with “Retreat” looking down. The former should have no problem finding the 3-spot, however.

At No. 4, I’m going to place my trust in Law Abiding Citizen, despite not knowing what to expect from that film. Butler and Foxx should draw some interest and it doesn’t look too bad, so I think there’s a demographic that will say ““Wild Things” looks to cheesy, I’m going for the masculine thriller.” As many positive things have been said about Zombieland, I don’t think it can hold off a fresh set of legs in its third week, though I expect it to be close. It should be the No. 5 film, which means the end of the reign of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in the Top 5.

In summary:

  1. Where the Wild Thing Are
  2. Paranormal Activity
  3. Couples Retreat
  4. Law Abiding Citizen
  5. Zombieland


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