Weekend Preview (1.29.10)


And we’re waiting … and waiting … who’s got the goods to dethrone Avatar? This is our what, fifth weekend of 2010 and no one has been able to generate enough buzz to make the cash that will finally snap the streak. And guess what: it won’t happen again this weekend. Yes, it will be the closest it has ever been, but unless Americans rally behind Mel Gibson, it will fall short.

Now Playing

Edge of Darkness

Directed by: Martin Campbell
Written by: William Monahan, Andrew Bovell, Troy Kennedy Martin (TV Series)
Starring: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone


The Word: If 20th Century Fox can get a hit putting Liam Neeson into a protective-father thriller in January, why can’t Warner Bros achieve the same thing with Mel Gibson? Oh, that’s right, there aren’t too many fans of Gibson nowadays – he still hasn’t starred in a film since Signs. He’s still a good fit for the vengeful daddy, however, and nothing changes the fact it was written by Oscar-winning The Departed screenwriter William Monahan, directed by reputable Casino Royale director Martin Campbell, and has some enjoyable supporting actors such as Ray Winstone (filling in a part originally given to Robert De Niro) and Danny Huston (Stryker inX-Men Origins: Wolverine).

My Thoughts: I have my own personal dilemma with this film which you can read about by clicking that link above, but objectively, Edge of Darkness looks like a decent movie. You have some talented minds and a premise that usually finds success. I’ve no doubt it has flaws like any January movie is going to and I don’t quite think it will be what Taken was a year ago, but it could be one of the better films released in this young year so far.

Recommendation: Reviews are mixed bag on this one, a 59% RT rating, which usually means its a dependable rental.

When in Rome

Directed by: Mark Steven Johnson
Written by: David Diamond, David Weissman
Starring: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel


The Word: The lovable petit blonde, Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) gets her first star vehicle, only it’s Disney and was written by the guys who wrote Old Dogs. It also happens to have a completely ridiculous premise: an unlucky bachelorette goes to Rome for a wedding and steals coins from the fountain, which it is said will make the former owners of those coins fall madly in love with her. Soon she has more suitors than she can handle, most notably Josh Duhamel (Transformers), Jon Heder and Will Arnett.

My Thoughts: Even if Bell and Duhamel had the star-power to carry this film to any semblance of box office success, Disney kills it with the Old Dogs writers (obviously they didn’t expect that film to tank when they made this one) and Mark Steven Johnson, director of – believe it or not – Ghost Rider and Daredevil. Top it off with a cliché title/excuse to film in a romantic city and you have formula garbage.

Recommendation: It’s been a lousy year for Rom Coms so far. Worth dismissin’

Box Office Predictions

Avatar has been falling by about 20 percent on average each week, so it’s safe to predict that it will hit $28 M this weekend. That’s about $3 M ahead of my prediction for Edge of Darkness, about $25 M based on what this film’s 2009 equivalent Taken earned its first week.

It gets kinda muddy already beyond the two-spot. Top 5 returners Legion, The Book of Eli and The Tooth Fairy should all finish between $8-10 million after finishing between $14 and $18 M last weekend. The safe pick is Legion with $9 M followed by The Book of Eli with about $8.5. I won’t be surprised if “Eli” sneaks just above it. Finishing up the Top 5 will easily be kids’ flick The Tooth Fairy. Newcomer When in Rome should fall just behind that.

  1. Avatar
  2. Edge of Darkness
  3. Legion
  4. The Book of Eli
  5. The Tooth Fairy


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