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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The Rocker, Death Race, The House Bunny, The Longshots

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This weekend will continue the late summer trend downward with no obvious blockbusters set to arrive. As we draw closer to the start of the new school year studios are not exactly clamoring to release big budget fare. Instead we get films with more moderate aspirations like The Rocker and The Longshots. This is not to say they are bad or that we should expect bad films, just films that did not cost as much to make and are not expected to make as much as, say, The Dark Knight. Still, I urge you to get out there and see something!

The Rocker. (2008, 96 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) This one landed in theaters this past Wednesday, and I have already seen it, so I cannot quite give you a preview. What I can tell you is that it is not a great movie, but it has a good heart and I found it to be quite entertaining and worth checking out. Rainn Wilson stars as a never-was (as opposed to a has-been) drummer who ends up in his nephew's band as they climb the ranks. The supporting cast is good and there are plenty of laughs — not big belly laughs, more like a steady stream of chuckles.

Death Race. (2008, 89 minutes, R, action, trailer) This was launched from the cult Roger Corman production of Death Race 2000. It appears that the premise has been modified somewhat to make it grittier and more violent, or at least not violent in the same way as the original. Something tells me this one won't have people yelling "Score!" or having euthanasia day at the hospital. The original starred Sylvester Stallone and David Carradine; this one inserts Jason Statham and Tyrese Gibson. The trailers make this road race look like fun, although I doubt it will be good, at least not in the traditional sense.

The House Bunny. (2008, 98 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) Anna Faris stars as an aging Playboy Bunny (well, aging at 27). After celebrating her birthday she is forced to leave the mansion. Looking for a new job she stumbles across Greek Row at a university, where she takes a job as the house mother of a house of nerds and rejects. She proceeds to turn their lives around and make them popular. Sounds like Sydney White, Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj and others. I like Faris and it looks like it could provide some dumb fun.

The Longshots. (2008, 94 minutes, PG, drama/comedy, trailer) Ice Cube stars in this inspirational sports drama based on a true story. Where have I seen one of those before? Anyway, the story centers on an eleven-year-old girl, played here by Keke Palmer, who played Pop Warner football. The trailer does not show us anything that we haven't seen before, so it is not going to be the story that wins us over. What will win the audience over is strong execution.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Hamlet 2
  • I.O.U.S.A.

Box Office Predictions

This weekend will see the grosses start to dip back to non-blockbuster season numbers. It is doubtful that any film will reach the $20 million mark. Frankly, the most interesting aspect, for me, will be to see just how well The Dark Knight will continue to do. We will also see the wholesale changeover of the top ten that started last week continue as four new films will be vying for a spot on the top ten.

Here is how I think the top ten field will play out:

Rank Title Box Office
1 Death Race $15.5 million
2 Tropic Thunder $15 million
3 The Dark Knight $11 million
4 The House Bunny $10 million
5 The Rocker $8 million
6 Star Wars: The Clone Wars $7 million
7 The Longshots $6.5 million
8 Pineapple Express $4.5 million
9 Mirrors $4 million
10 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor $3.5 million
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About Draven99

  • Jordan Richardson

    I like Faris

    So you’re the one!

  • http://spatulaforum.blogspot.com/ Nik

    Hmm, House Bunny apparently is at #1, so guess lots of people like Faris too! Sheesh.