Last week's releases failed to ignite the box office as Horton Hears a Who repeated for the Easter weekend. This week's offerings may offer some good entertainment, but none seem immediately obvious as a successor to the throne. However, one film seems to be the clear choice if there is going to be a change at the top, can you tell which it is? Among this week's offerings are films concerning card playing, soldiers, comic book heroes, and a fat guy in a marathon. Which will be taking your dollar?
21. (2008, 118 minutes, PG-13, drama, trailer) This looks like it could be good, but at the same time possibly a little dull. I hope it isn't, but I cannot say the trailers look terribly exciting. It is the story of Ben Campbell, a gifted student at MIT, recruited to join a team, headed up by a math professor, trying to run the tables in Vegas by employing card counting and elaborate signals. It is a high stakes game that goes to Ben's head as he is seduced by his new lifestyle. The cast includes Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, and Laurence Fishburne. The film is directed by Robert Luketic whose last film was Monster-in-Law.
Run Fat Boy, Run. (2008, 97 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) Simon Pegg follows up Hot Fuzz with a film that does not feature director Edgar Wright nor frequent costar Nick Frost. This time out he stars as a loser who left his beloved (Thandie Newton) at the altar. Years later he realizes his mistake and looks to win her back from her current beau, played by Hank Azaria. I do not think the movie looks any good, but I cannot lie and say it doesn't look funny. It is directed by former Friends star David Schwimmer, who also co-wrote it with comedian Michael Ian Black.
Stop Loss. (2008, 113 minutes, R, drama, trailer) Though following on the heels of last year's war-themed films, will Stop Loss break the trend of flops? Something tells me no, even if the movie is good. This one centers on Ryan Phillippe who portrays a soldier just returned from Iraq and is looking to resume his life. It is a difficult task but he is helped by his friends and loved ones (some of whom served with him). The task is cut short when he is ordered to return to the Middle East. In addition to Phillippe, the stars include Abbie Cornish, Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Timothy Olyphant. Kimberly Pierce directs, her first film since 1999's Boy's Don't Cry.
Superhero Movie. (2008, 85 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) Well, at least it isn't from the same team as Epic Movie, Date Movie, and Meet the Spartans, but that isn't saying much. I will say that it does, believe it or not, look better than those other films, although that, again, does not mean much. The target of this film? Do you really need to ask? Really? The cast includes such familiar faces as Leslie Nielsen, Tracy Morgan, Pamela Anderson, and Christopher Macdonald. It was written and directed by Craig Mazin who was also responsible (at least partly) for the last two Scary Movie outings.
Also opening this week, but not near me:
- My Brother is an Only Child
Box Office Predictions
With Horton Hears a Who winning the past two weekends, does it have a shot at a third? Logic would seem to say no, and who am I to argue with logic? Last weekend it took in nearly $25 million, it is likely to have a drop in the 45-50% range. That will put it around $13.5-14 million, though it is a quality movie and it could pull out a smaller drop making a tally around $17-18 million not out of the question. Now, one of this week's four new films has got to make more than that, doesn't it? The question is which one of the four new entries will challenge for the top spot? I am going to have to go with Superhero Movie. These spoofs tend to do quite well and $20 million is not out of the question, especially with so many kids on spring break. The rest of the list will be harder to predict, although I expect Stop Loss to tank, regardless of whether or not it is any good.