Four new releases come out this weekend, and I expect one of them to be a blockbuster, while I don’t have much faith in the other three. Having said that, I’m expecting three of the four new releases to make the top five.
Disney’s A Christmas Carol is the big release of the weekend and it stars Jim Carrey and is directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is another animated film by Robert Zemeckis that utilizes motion capture technology. This style of filmmaking has alienated audiences because they are not impressed by the look of the animated characters. Having said that, Beowulf had much better animation than The Polar Express and Disney’s A Christmas Carol looks to be an improvement over Beowulf. I am very divided on how I think the film is going to do. My pro argument is that Jim Carrey is the voice, and he is a box office draw. His star power might not be as great as it was in the late 90’s, but he can still bring in an audience. It also has a Christmas theme, and the last time that Carrey was in a Christmas themed film was How The Grinch Stole Christmas back in 2000. That film had an opening weekend of $55 million and a final gross of $260 million. Ratings should not be a factor, as the film has a massive marketing push from Disney, and kids do not care about ratings. As of me writing this, Rotten Tomatoes lists the film at 57%. Plus, the film is in 3-D and IMAX 3-D, which will help boost the box office, as the cost of the ticket is more. It definitely has the makings of being a major box office winner. The negative is the motion capture technology. The Polar Express opened in 2004 with a gross of $23.3 million. It ended up doing quite well finishing with $180.8 million. Beowulf was more of a disappointment as it had on opening weekend of $27.5 million, but only finished with $82.2 million back in 2007. The motion capture technology has yet to be perfected, so the complaint about the eyes and body features not looking real still exist. For the record, I quite enjoy this style of filmmaking, and I do not totally agree with people being distracted by the animation. So how do I think Disney’s A Christmas Carol will do this weekend? Opening in 3,683 theatres, I’m predicting that Disney’s A Christmas Carol will open at #1 with $55 million.
Richard Kelly returns behind the camera with his latest film The Box. Starring Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, and Frank Langella, the film is about a couple who is given a choice – press the button in the box, and you will get $1 million dollars, but someone, somewhere in the world will die. I always like these premises, but I don’t have very high expectations for the film. First – Diaz and Marsden are not huge box office draws. Secondly – reviews are important for this type of film, and currently Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 48%. Finally – the film was moved, although I will admit it moved from last weekend to get away from Michael Jackson’s This Is It, but it will face an even bigger film this weekend in Disney’s A Christmas Carol. I’m just not convinced that this film will take off at the box office. Opening in 2,635 theatres, I predict that The Box will open with $7 million and be the #4 film in the land.
The Fourth Kind is a film that I feel sympathy for because it is coming off the phenomenon that is Paranormal Activity. There is no way that the film even has a chance, because Paranormal Activity is still in theatres and is still playing well. The Fourth Kind has a scary trailer, and an interesting concept, but Milla Jovovich can only draw people to the box office if she is in a Resident Evil film, and reviews have been terrible. Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 15%. Opening in 2,529 theatres, I’m predicting that The Fourth Kind will open with $6 million, and be the #5 film.
The final new release is The Men Who Stare At Goats and it has an amazing cast. George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor, and Kevin Spacey. With a line-up like that, you would expect the film to be a massive hit, but I think this is going to suffer from The Shawshank Redemption syndrome. The title of the film is going to turn off people. I truly believe people are shallow and will not see a film because they think the title sounds dumb. It’s just my theory, and we’re going to test it out this weekend. It is an adult themed picture, and reviews definitely help these types of films if they are good, but unfortunately the film is receiving only average reviews, as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 58%. I really am intrigued by this movie, but unfortunately I am predicting that it will not make the top 5. Opening in 2,443 theatres (which is the lowest of any of the new releases this weekend), I’m predicting that The Men Who Stare At Goats will gross $5 million.
The two films that I’m predicting to still be in the top five are the following:
Michael Jackson’s This Is it continues to do well, as it has been the #1 film from Monday-Thursday. Its grosses have been between $2.1 and $2.6 million on those days, which is not bad at all. I’m predicting that up front demand has been met, and with people flocking to see Disney’s A Christmas Carol, I think Michael Jackson’s This Is It will take a hit. I’m predicting a drop of 60% and a gross of $9.2 million to make it the #3 film.
Paranormal Activity continues to play well and it was consistently the #2 film from Monday-Thursday. I’m making a bold prediction in thinking that the film is going to hold up better that Michael Jackson’s This Is It because I still think there is more interest in this film because people want to know what the hype is all about, and I think the hype on Michael Jackson’s This Is It is over. I’m predicting a drop of 40% and a gross of $9.7 million to make it the #2 film.
Opening in limited release is, Precious: Based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire. This film has received glowing reviews, and has won quite a few awards at films festivals. Plus it has the backing of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. The film is about an overweight, illiterate, and pregnant with her second child, teenager who tries to overcome the odds to make a better life for herself. I know that the plot synopsis sounds corny, but this film is supposed to be around come Oscar time. It’s getting a limited release this weekend of only 18 theatres, so expect a very high per theatre average. Currently Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 86% and it is certified fresh.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
1) A Christmas Carol – $55 million
2) Paranormal Activity – $9.7 million
3) Michael Jackson’s This Is It – $9.2million
4) The Box – $7 million
5) The Fourth Kind – $6 million
Check back on Sunday to see how I did!