Weekend Preview (3.5.10)


The spring movie season kicks off with a bang this weekend. Far and away the spring’s most anticipated film, Disney and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, kicks things off and should dominate. It is the second film after Avatar to be done in live-action 3D.

The Box Office was pretty down after last week. Shutter Island finished No. 1 twice in a row and only took in just over $20 million. Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan cop comedy Cop Out and horror remake The Crazies did okay, but not well enough to help the box office overall. By virtue of “Alice” alone, there should be an increase.

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Alice in Wonderland

Directed by: Tim Burton
Written by: Linda Woolverton, Lewis Carroll (books)
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway


The Word: Alice returns to Wonderland in this psychedelic Burton-style re-imagining that mashes together Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Burton aims to make good after a mixed reception of his last book adaptation, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The film looks to be a storm of visual effects promising craziness, quirkiness and fantasy action. It is the second live-action film shot for 3D.

Rotten Tomatoes: 54% (mixed)

See in 3D?: Yes

My Thoughts: As far as stunning visuals alone go, “Alice” will be worth admission. The novelty of 3D is still high. It will eventually run out, but “Alice” stands to benefit. With some reviews directly contradicting each other and absolutely no unanimity, it’s fair to say judge for yourself, and any Tim Burton film is worth the risk unless you know you really don’t like his style. I recently read the books for the first time, so my interest is peak.

Recommendation: Worth admission’. When a film looks to be as good as it is in 3D, it’s hard to just wait for it to come out later, even if Disney is releasing the DVD in June (which angered many theaters).

Brooklyn’s Finest

Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Written by: Michael C. Martin
Starring: Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes


The Word: Training Day director Antoine Fuqua returns to the genre that brought him acclaim: corrupt cop action thrillers. This one shows how three different Brooklyn cops with different stories all find themselves connected by the end. One is on the verge retirement (they always are), one is under cover and the other goes corrupt trying to feed his family. Gere, Cheadle and Hawke make up the solid cast.

Rotten Tomatoes: 32% (bad)

My Thoughts: I like Fuqua’s style. His last film, Shooter, with Mark Wahlberg, was enjoyable — as an On-Demand rental. I saw this trailer and I think it could be interesting, but it also looks like something we’ve seen dozens of times before. There are just so many cop thriller dramas. The critics echo that the film really has trouble escaping those cliches.

Recommendation: Worth renting later. This feels like a film that though not very good, could be enjoyable as a rental.

Box Office Predictions

I nailed the Top 5 last week and I’m thinking with only one serious contender that this should be a pretty easy predicting week once more. Without question, Alice in Wonderland will be number one. As far as how much. I’m going to venture $65 – 70 million. This weekend last year, R-rated and mix-reviewed Watchmen made $55 M, so that should be possible.

Then slide them down pretty much and adjust for Avatar. Shutter Island should finish second with around $12 million, but with the Oscars this Sunday, I wouldn’t be surprised if Avatar went up from $13 M last week, but I’ll keep it at No. 3.

I think The Crazies will do better in its second week than Cop Out. The former will be closer to $10 M while Cop Out will be in the $8-9 M range. Brooklyn’s Finest should finish right there with it, but I’m going to stick with the dumber cop movie for some reason. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if “Finest” managed to outdo both, but I don’t expect it.

  1. Alice in Wonderland
  2. Shutter Island
  3. Avatar
  4. The Crazies
  5. Cop Out


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