Weekend Movie Preview (12.9.11)


Now that Christmas is coming, it’s time to celebrate … New Year’s Eve? Well, you’re probably not interested in going to see the movie on Dec. 30, so you get Garry Marshall’s “Valentine’s Day” follow-up this weekend instead. Also available is the season’s only hard-R comedy, “The Sitter,” which tests Jonah Hill’s box-office power.

New This Week

New Year’s Eve

Directed by Garry Marshall
Written by Katherine Fugate
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel,  Ashton Kutcher, Robert De Niro, Everyone Else

Summary: The lives of several people in New York City intertwine on New Year’s Eve.

The Word: Garry Marshall follows up “Valentine’s Day” with another giant ensemble multi-subplot romantic comedy about the second most hopelessly romantic holiday, New Year’s Eve. Some of the notable additions to this absurdly large ensemble cast other than your usual Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl are “Glee” star Lea Michele, Zac Efron, Abigail Breslin, Sofia Vergara, Seth Meyers and even Robert De Niro.

Rotten Tomatoes: 6% (new year’s evil)

My Thoughts: “Valentine’s Day” opened with $56 million and made over $200 million worldwide, enough to pay off the billions of people starring in it, all because we get all giddy when we see that many recognizable actors in one movie and have to fork out our money to see it. I personally don’t subscribe to this form of Hollywood blitzing. With the holidays bringing out the gooey side of people and “New Year’s Eve” being the first post-Thanksgiving offering, however, I suspect another runaway hit.

Recommendation: For people who love celebrities equally or more than the movies themselves.

The Sitter

Directed by David Gordon Green
Written by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka
Starring: Jonah Hill, Ari Graynor, Max Records, Landry Bender

Summary: A college graduate unable to find work resorts to babysitting to make cash, but when the girl he’s “seeing” promises him some action he throws the three kids in the minivan and embarks on a night adventure that gets way out of hand.

The Word: David Gordon Green was a respected indie director until 2007 when he decided to forever dedicate himself to raunchy comedy. “Pineapple Express” won a lot of fans a stoner action comedy and TV show “Eastbound & Down” has a huge following, but “Your Highness” disappointed. Now he teams up with Jonah Hill (still fat) in this “Adventures in Babysitting” meets “Superbad” comedy.

Rotten Tomatoes: 20% (bad)

My Thoughts: It’s a bit odd that we will have had two R-rated comedies this year focusing on people who work with kids (“Bad Teacher” being the other) yet they are not for kids. “The Sitter” looks to walk the fine line between something we’ve seen a lot of before and a raunchy spin on the babysitting comedy. From the looks of it, it ends up more of the former.

Recommendation: Probably only worth a rental for a good laugh or two.



Box Office Predictions

New Year’s Eve is sure to win the box office coming off the downer weekend after Thanksgiving, but don’t expect “Valentine’s Day” numbers — $56 million is simply out of the question. “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” was the last film to crack $40 million and this is hardly one of those movies. Comedies and romantic comedies haven’t even come close, so expect no more than $30 million.

The Sitter by virtue of being new in a weekend of older films should easily take second, but not a close second. $12-15 million is all I see this movie doing.

The rest should all fall into place, all with $5-8 million. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 should stay ahead of The Muppets for now, but probably not long after this weekend. Hugo should grab fifth, but if it enters more theaters, it could make a surprising jump. It’s award buzz should keep it around for a long time.

1. New Year’s Eve
2. The Sitter
3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
4. The Muppets
5. Hugo


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