Weekend Movie Preview (1.14.11)

If you can call it a “big January weekend,” the middle of January tends to hold the most appealing/promising films of the month. We saw “Cloverfield” here a few years back and “The Book of Eli” last year. This weekend we get the long-awaited “The Green Hornet” and the date comedy “The Dilemma” with Vince Vaughn.

New This Week

The Green Hornet

Directed by Michel Gondry
Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, George W. Trendle (radio series)
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz, Cameron Diaz

The Word: When Seth Rogen got his hands on the rights to bring the radio/TV crime-fighter The Green Hornet to the big screen, we knew we wouldn’t get a typical superhero movie. Written by Rogen and friend/collaborator Evan Goldberg, the film will mark the first superhero film/mainstream comedy hybrid. Rogen stars as Britt Reid, who after his father’s untimely death, decides to use his wealth to fight crime with his father’s personal assistant, Kato (Jay Chou).

Rotten Tomatoes: 41% (not good)

My Thoughts: Action and comedy has not been a good cocktail this past year, but “The Green Hornet” looks like a good killing of time in a drama-heavy month. As long as the balance between the action and comedy is proportionate, “Hornet” should come out all right.

Recommendation: Nothing even remotely blockbuster-y will be coming out for another month, so here’s your chance.

The Dilemma

Directed by Ron Howard
Written by  Allan Loeb
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder

The Word: How Ron Howard ended up directing a Vince Vaughn comedy is beyond me, but nevertheless, he tells this story of a guy (Vaughn) who instead of deciding to tell his best friend (James) that his wife (Ryder) is cheating on him, decides to spy on her.

Rotten Tomatoes: 24% (very bad)

My Thoughts: Despite bad reviews, Vaughn, who has become the face of middle-aged date night comedy, still gets the 35- to 55-year-olds out to the theaters and still pulls in some of the younger demographic too for some impressive totals. I’m not too optimist for “Dilemma,” but it’s got its target audience in its sights.

Recommendation: If all the star power has you giddy and you’re itching to get out of the house because you’ve been cooped up due to weather and the kids are yanking on your arms, I’ll still warn you, but have trouble dissuading you.

Box Office Predictions

I have a feeling there will be some strong debuts at this box office. While Rogen is not a huge draw, I think in the trappings of “The Green Hornet” he’s much more appealing to the masses. As for “The Dilemma,” we know the kind of money Vaughn’s films pull in and Kevin James is the January king of comedy, scoring more than $30 million for “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” a couple years back.

History, however, gives us no basis for star-studded romantic comedy in January. Feburary? Of course. But successful romantic comedies never debut here. So my inkling is to give The Green Hornet the edge over The Dilemma. $30 million to $25 million, though I could see results finishing closer to $35 and $30 million being possible.

True Grit will continue to lead the rest of the pack with $9-10 million. Below it, however, will be some change. Black Swan danced into the top five last week and will find itself in even more theaters come Friday. I expect it to stay around $8 million and pass Little Fockers, which should hold on for fifth.

1. The Green Hornet
2. The Dilemma
3. True Grit
4. Black Swan
5. Little Fockers

1 Comment

  1. Michael Moramarco says:

    Ah… didn’t see “The King’s Speech” sliding in there did you…

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