Weekend Preview (1.22.10)


Just take a look at the movie posters above. Do any of those even remotely look like they can dethrone Avatar? Not a chance at the rate that it’s been decreasing. Here is the rough number of millions of dollars Avatar has made in its five weekends starting with its opening: $75, $77, $68, $50, $42. It’s poised to make more than $30 million this weekend and none of these films have that kind of pull.

I’ve yet to say this or endorse this, but if you haven’t seen Avatar yet, this is the weekend to finally go. Do it. You won’t be sorry. If you can go see some of the artsier films vying for Oscars, you can do that instead, but if you’re just looking for mainstream and haven’t seen Avatar, get a move on.

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Extraordinary Measures

Directed by: Tom Vaughan
Written by: Robert Nelson Jacobs, Geeta Anand (book)
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Keri Russell, Harrison Ford


The Word: New (and potentially powerful) distributor CBS Films unveils its first motion picture and it comes with a message – we want to make you cry.  “Measures” is about parents of a child with a genetic disorder who enlist the help of a scientist (Harrison Ford) to find a cure. Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell play the parents despite this not being a children’s adventure story and there looks to be a lot of Harrison Ford shouting.

My Thoughts: It’s easy to be skeptical of an illness film (as I was of My Sister’s Keeper last summer, which turned out to be right), but I was open-minded about “Measures” and put it on my list of films to watch this winter because it’s based on a true story and I was curious to see how Fraser, long considered underrated, handles drama. I also enjoy Russell a lot. But I knew this would be a film that I would only see upon a strong reviewer endorsement and so far that’s not happening with 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s being called a Hallmark/Made-for-TV movie and that’s never a good thing.

Recommendation: With the sentiment being it’s a made-for-TV movie, then it’s probably worth renting in a few months.

The Tooth Fairy

Directed by: Michael Lembeck
Written by: Six different dudes. One’s name is Babaloo Mandel. That’s pretty cool.
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Juddtooth-fairy-poster

The Word: Dwayne “I guess he’s no longer The Rock” Johnson stars as a minor league hockey player famous for knocking players’ teeth out who gets punished for being such a douche bag by the leader of the tooth fairies (Julie Andrews) and is sentenced to serve as a tooth fairy himself. Yes, they pay people in Hollywood to come up with this stuff, six writers (one named Babaloo), in fact.

My Thoughts: Dwayne Johnson must have some serious debt. The dude has no problem being in these horrific kids movies such as Race to Witch Mountain and The Game Plan when he could be making action movies that better suit his talents. Tooth Fairy looks to be another flop for him, shrinking him down with horrid green screen technique among other things. 17% on Rotten Tomatoes though Johnson is managing to be the film’s lone bright spot according to some reviews.

Recommendation: Worth dismissin’


Directed by: Scott Stewart
Written by: Peter Schink, Scott Stewart
Starring: Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid


The Word: Visual effects guru Scott Stewart writes and directs his first of two evil creature action movies starring Paul Bettany (the albino in The Da Vinci Code). But what the film lacks in seasoned writing and direction, it hopes to make up for with stunning visuals – and with Paul Bettany as an archangel trying to stop evil angel/demons that God has sent to destroy the world because another flood would be so cliché.

My Thoughts: I put this at No. 5 on my list of winter movies and I wondered if I was crazy. Rarely do these crazy religious-themed action movies (especially ones without experienced filmmakers) end up awesome. With Bettany and some other interesting parts in the trailer I thought this could be a silent cult fav, and then I saw it wasn’t being screened for critics. Early reviews have been decidedly negative too, so I’ve admitted defeat in including this in my Top 10.

Recommendation: Worth dismissin’, but if you’re a fan of the genre, it could be worth renting later.

Box Office Predictions

Once again I don’t recommend running to see anything that came out this weekend though after seeing The Book of Eli this week in hindsight I’d recommend it a little more.

So as I eluded to, Avatar will be No. 1 again with around $30 million. Last week there was a smaller decrease because of the holiday weekend, but it should fall a bit more like a normal movie in its sixth week would.

Now comes the battle of everyone else. With one kids movie in its fifth weekend and another flopping hard at the box office, I think this week’s new release will be that poorly reviewed kids’ movie that does decently, but I don’t see it being an easy No. 2 because I don’t think you’re going to see a huge drop in The Book of Eli. But I’m more comfortable picking The Tooth Fairy to do better than my expectations than The Book of Eli. I think “Eli” will have a great second week for a January film with $18 million, which is what I initially guessed for “Fairy,” but “Fairy” being new with a family demographic — it’s a safer pick for second.

Once again I feel like I’m juggling a few films to pick from at No. 4 and 5 who will all get near about $10 M. Right away I’m going to call Legion a flop with too few theaters and a demographic that’s just been pelted with movies so far this month. Neck and neck, I think Extraordinary Measures will beat out The Lovely Bones to round off the Top 5. I remember now the kind of box-office draw that Brendan Fraser has as well as Harrison Ford. It might even do a little better than the $10 M I’m initially thinking.

  1. Avatar
  2. The Tooth Fairy
  3. The Book of Eli
  4. Extraordinary Measures
  5. The Lovely Bones

1 Comment

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