Weekend Preview (2.19.10)


Last weekend’s miraculous performance at the box office is a tough act to follow, even if you’re Martin Scorsese. With a combo of Valentine’s and President’s Day in one weekend, records were simply destroyed. Only one film vies to compete with those films in week two and that’s the long-awaited Shutter Island, a period thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

It’s about time. I’ve really gotten sick of seeing the trailer for the last eight months because of the delay from October ’09 until tomorrow. If I have to hear Leo say “we are duly appointed U.S. marshals” one more time out of the context of seeing the whole movie, I might throw myself off a cliff.

As anticipated as this film might be since it’s Scorsese’s non-Rolling Stones follow-up to his Oscar-winning triumph The Departed, only 2,500 theaters and an R rating is not going to be enough to become a smash hit. It should be successful, but I’m not going to overdo my predictions for this week.

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Shutter Island

Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Written by: Laeta Kalogridis, Dennis Lehane (novel)
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley


The Word: Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited follow-up to The Departed looks to apply the director’s fine skills toward the thriller/horror genre. The trailers make this out to be a spooky one, which is not exactly how most people think of Scorsese. Have faith, however, as Dennis Lehane’s novels have made for two terrific films thus far: Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River and Ben Affleck’s directorial debut Gone Baby Gone. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the film is about tow U.S marshals asked to investigate the disappearance of a woman on the remote Shutter Island, which is where all the criminally insane are housed. Somehow, Leo and his partner (Ruffalo) end up becoming more than just island guests.

Rotten Tomatoes: 66%(good)

My Thoughts: Never shy away from a Scorsese film, even if the trailers have gotten a bit annoying and you’re not a fan of scary movies. From all the early reviews I’ve skimmed, there are some definite weaknesses in this story, but there’s no doubt that Scorsese is still able to do some great things with it to make it suspenseful and intriguing. This was No. 1 on my Winter Preview list and I’m sticking by it.

Recommendation: Worth admission.

Box Office Predictions

With that little romantic holiday over, it will be interesting to see how our new No. 1 film will perform in its second week out. I’m thinking it will definitely take a 50 percent hit at the least. Even if Shutter Island does well given its circumstances of a smaller release, I don’t think it will do well enough to outdo Valentine’s Day. I think another strong $27 million is in order. It’s too risky to predict a bigger fall than that, but with the holiday having worn off, I don’t think it will drop off smaller than most films do in Week 2.

Next I will take Shutter Island with $25 M right behind it. Some people expect big things, but I look back and “Departed” made that much money in 500 more theaters at least its opening weekend. Plus, I think there will be a slight hangover this weekend after how strong last weekend was.

Other strong debuts from last week will have to work hard not to fall behind Avatar, which continues to slide ever so gradually down the list. I think Percy Jackson & The Olympians will do it, but if it indeed does stay above the big blue blockbuster, it will be barely. I’m predicting $18 million. It’s easier to do considering there is only one new offering this week.

I will take Avatar at No. 4 with around $17 M and then The Wolfman right behind it with $15 M or so. I’m taking Wolfy last because that’s the film (R-rated horror) that most directly competes with Shutter Island.

  1. Valentine’s Day
  2. Shutter Island
  3. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
  4. Avatar
  5. The Wolfman


  1. Jenni Hanley says:

    I too am tired of seeing the trailer and drooling in anticipation! I read the book … all I can say is that I couldn’t put it down, and I trust Leo and Martin to work magic!!

  2. Hi. I don’t follow many blogs, but yours is of thelittle I follow.Have a great day!

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