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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Featuring Lucky Number Slevin

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April seems to opening on a bit of a whimper. Nothing looks terribly special, although there is one that I am particularly interested in. It looks as if Ice Age: The Meltdown will have free rein at top the box office again. Let’s take a look at what is coming out.

The Benchwarmers. (2006, 85 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) This is could be a dream team of crap, but who knows, perhaps it will actually be funny. It is the story of a trio of losers who must form a baseball team to win back the field for the little guy, the picked-on kids of the neighborhood. It stars David Spade (Dickie Roberts), Rob Schneider (Deuce Bigelow), and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite). It was directed by Dennis Dugan, who also helmed National Security.

Lucky Number Slevin. (2006, 104 minutes, R, thriller, trailer) This is the movie I am most interested in seeing this weekend. A case of mistaken identity puts a guy named Slevin in the middle of a crime war. With few options, he has to figure out a way to keep himself alive. This is one of those movies that oozes cool, and that could cause a problem if it seems to be trying too hard. Hopefully that isn’t the case. The cast looks good, including Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and Sir Ben Kingsley. It was directed by Paul McGuigan, who also directed the underrated Wicker Park.

Phat Girlz. (2006, 99 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) I can’t say I am in the target audience, but this looks like it could be either surprisngly good or shockingly bad. It stars Mo’nique as a plus size wannabe fashion designer looking for love in a thin woman’s world. She and a friend wind up finding love in surprising fashion. The trailer doesn’t look half bad. It looks like it could be delivering a positive story of size identity. This is the big screen debut of writer/director Nnegest Likke.

Take the Lead. (2006, 108 minutes, PG-13, drama, trailer) Another in a long line of movies “inspired by true stories.” It looks suspiciously like Dangerous Minds, or any number of inspiring teacher tales. This one features Antonio Banderas as a ballroom dance teacher charged with teaching those students deemed hopeless. He uses his dancing style paired with the styles of his students to connect with them, and in turn both sides learn something new. I think this could be fun, but insubstantial. The film is the big screen debut of music video director, Liz Friedlander.

Street Fight. (2005, 83 minutes, NR, documentary, trailer) This nominee for the 2005 Best Documentary Oscar comes to town this week. It chronicles the knock-down, drag-out fight for the mayoral seat in Newark, New Jersey. It seems that this fight got so bad that, come election day, the federal government had to send in observers to watch for cheating and violence. I have read a little bit about the film, and I cannot believe just how bad this race got. This could prove to be very interesting.

Duck Season. (2005, 87 minutes, NR, comedy, trailer) This is beginning a run locally. This film was shot in black and white and was confined to a single set. It is about a pair of 14-year-old boys spending a Sunday morning without their parents. They create their own stories, and are joined by their neighbor, and a pizza guy who won’t leave. Word has it that it is a lot of fun.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • 4
  • 95 Miles to Go
  • Friends with Money
  • Guys and Balls
  • I am a Sex Addict
  • On a Clear Day
  • Sir! No Sir!
  • Unidentified
  • When Do We Eat?
  • White Rainbow

Box Office Predictions.

How will this week play out? I don’t think there is any doubt of what the top film will be, it will just be a question how the rest will fall.

  1. Ice Age: The Meltdown. No doubt in my mind that this will be at the top.
  2. Benchwarmers. I think this will be number 2 by default, due to the number of screens it is opening on.
  3. Take the Lead. Will an inspirational Banderas film bring in the people? I think so.
  4. Inside Man. Star power will continue to support this one.
  5. Lucky Number Slevin. This has some star power going for it, and it could do well, perhaps even better than number 5.
  6. Failure to Launch. This is showing some strong legs, it could have another week or two in it.
  7. ATL. This has probably peaked, although it was surprisingly good.
  8. V for Vendetta. This will cling on for another week. Very good film.
  9. Stay Alive. Eh, I would like to swap this for Slither on this list, but what do I know?
  10. She’s the Man. Its final week on the top ten, this has done well for itself.
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