Weekend Preview (11.25.09)


I have a lot of fond memories of seeing movies on Thanksgiving Break as a child. After nearly three months of school, to go to the movie theater and enjoy something during a weeknight knowing you don’t have to go to school the next day is pure bliss.

The movies I remember seeing the most? Toy Story and Toy Story 2. Talk about going to see a great movie with that precious time off of school. This was back before Disney/Pixar’s regular slot was early June, when they owned Thanksgiving week. Now, they still have a piece of it, but Old Dogs is far from Toy Story.

This would’ve been a great time for The Princess and the Frog, but apparently they are tiptoeing and wading slowly in with that one, trying to generate positive reviews with a limited release first and avoiding direct competition with The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Instead, we get middle-aged actor crap.

That doesn’t mean the Thanksgiving movie tradition should end. My preference, however, is not relegated to PG. Today, we get the overdue release of The Road and even then that’s not as wide as initially expected. I’ll still be making it my priority, however, to see it.

Other options are stylish action flick Ninja Assassin and as previously stated, the wide release of Wes Anderson’s stop motion cartoon The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

My Endorsement: Film festival buzz has been so positive for The Road, I was of the book and I think Viggo Mortensen is perfect for the father. With a bit of action to keep things interesting and small roles by Guy Pearce and Robert Duvall thrown in, this is sure to be worthwhile.

Red Flag: Much like its director’s rhyming predecessor starring John Travolta entitled Wild Hogs, Old Dogs might be good for a few laughs, if the old blunt-object-to-the-balls gag gets you every time. This will be exactly the kind of movie you’ll be glad you didn’t pay for and instead saw for free on the airplane on your way to Spring Break. There’s also no William H. Macy, who made Wild Hogs work at all, plain and simple. Seth Green is also not a redeeming factor. Avoid.

Box Office Prediction: When a film conquers the box office as mightily as The Twilight Saga: New Moon did, it’s hard to figure just how closer to Earth it might fall in just one week. Considering it was poorly reviewed and received by most people, I’m using Spider-Man 3 as a comparison. The only difference here is that Spider-Man has a bigger following and nothing strong enough came out that next week to compete. Having said that, it’s reasonable to expect,The Twilight Saga: New Moon to make about $40 million in its second week, which would be good enough beatOld Dogs no matter how many new tricks they may or more likely may not have learned. The film should eek out second place, however, with something near $30 million

Then it’s time to look at returners. The Blind Side is really the only movie working with positive reviews as it rolls into week 2. Modestly predicting how far it will fall, I’m going to say about $18 million.

Next, I’m going to slate The Fantastic Mr. Fox with about $15 million, though I think I’m grossly underestimating it here due to Thanksgiving weekend and all. With positive reviews and at least the appearance of being kid-friendly, it should do very well in wide release.

That’s also the reason I’ve got 2012 at the five spot. It should earn around the $15 million mark as well, but I’ve got more faith in “Mr. Fox” earning more.

I feel pretty good about this prediction; my research was more thorough than usual. We’ll see how it shakes out.

  1. New Moon
  2. Old Dogs
  3. The Blind Side
  4. The Fantastic Mr. Fox
  5. 2012


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