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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Inkheart, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, The Wrestler

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Will any of the recently Oscar-nominated films experience a box office bump? I am sure the studios are hoping so, with films like Frost/Nixon and Revolutionary Road expanding across the nation. To combat potential Oscar pretentiousness, there are a pair of 2009 films competing for your dollar. What will win? What film will earn your entertainment budget for the weekend?

Inkheart. (2009, 105 minutes, PG, fantasy, trailer) This one looks like it could be fun, but is also another in a long line of Brendan Fraser family-friendly adventures. I like the guy, but he really needs to branch out a little bit. Anyway, the story looks like a family-fantasy version of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman. Fraser is Mo Folchart, a father who has the ability to bring the characters in a book to life. When he awakens an evil character, he kidnaps Mo’s children and Mo is forced to bring together a collection of fictional heroes to lead the rescue. It looks like fun.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. (2009, 93 minutes, R, sci-fi/action, trailer) This third outing of the series takes us back to the beginning, well before the first two films anyway. Being a prequel, it should be easy for potential fans to jump on board now and get the story that sets up the first two films, while fans will be able to see the story that set up the films they like so much. This story tells the story of Lucian (Michael Sheen) and Sonya (Rhona Mitra), the couple whose forbidden affair sets about the long standing war between the two factions. Looks like fun to me!

The Wrestler. (2008, 105 minutes, R, drama, trailer) I have been dying to see this movie. Whether or not it lives up to my expectations is yet to be seen, but it is finally coming to a theater within my “willing to go the distance” movie going radius. It is the story of Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke), a top wrestling star of the 1980s now forced out of the business after a heart attack, longing for a return to the top while wishing to mend fences with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood). The film comes from director Darren Aronofsky and looks considerably different from his previous films. Here’s hoping!

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Dog Eat Dog
  • Donkey Punch
  • Killshot
  • Of Time and the City
  • Outlander

Box Office Predictions
Last week Paul Blart: Mall Cop surprised everyone (well, me at least) by taking the top spot at the box office (not to mention being a pretty funny film). Will this week bring any new surprises with it? I do not know, but I think the Underworld prequel will prove to be the week’s top entry. But who knows what will happen, my recent track record has not been all that great.

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

Rank Title Box Office
1 Underworld: Rise of the Lycans $22 million
2 Paul Blart: Mall Cop $17 million
3 Inkheart $14 million
4 Gran Torino $12.5 million
5 My Bloody Valentine: 3D $11 million
6 Hotel For Dogs $8 .5million
7 Notorious (2009) $8 million
8 Slumdog Millionaire $7.5 million
9 Revolutionary Road $7 million
10 Frost/Nixon $6 million
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