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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The Last House on the Left, Miss March, Race to Witch Mountain

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Last weekend saw the arrival of Watchmen. It got March off to a hot start. Of course, it did not hurt that it was the sole film to open nationwide. This week’s films are not so lucky, as three are throwing their hats into the ring. The one saving grace is the three films are targeting three different groups, with potential crossover appeal between two of them. Will any of these be lucky enough to win your cinematic dollar?

The Last House on the Left. (2009, 109 minutes, R, horror/thriller) I was a little apprehensive when I first heard this remake was coming down the pipe. It is not that the original is any classic, but it does have the distinction of being Wes Craven’s debut film, and a gritty, dirty exploitation pic that is bound to get under your skin (despite the rather bad dialogue). The trailer for this new take actually looks good. There are some differences already noticeable between the two films, but so what? The look is suitably grimy, the bad guys suitably slimy, and the violence looks to be just about right. I also love the piano version of “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” it fits very nicely. Dennis Iliadis sits in the director’s chair for his first English film, and second overall following his debut film, Hardcore.

Miss March. (2009, 90 minutes, R, comedy) I am not sure what to think about this one. A couple of the clips look really funny, especially when Craig Robinson (The Office) is on screen. It is the story of a guy who gets knocked into a coma before he is able to seal the deal with his prom date. He wakes up years later to find she is a Playboy centerfold. So, he heads off with his best pal to crash the Playboy Mansion and find his lost love. Looks rather ridiculous, but I could see myself sitting in that theater.

Race to Witch Mountain. (2009, 99 minutes, PG, science fiction) This is a remake of the 1975 film Escape to Witch Mountain. Why they changed the title, I do not know. It is a family-friendly adventure about a couple of children who also happen to be aliens and need to get to their spaceship, with the aid of a cabbie, played by Dwayne Johnson, while being pursued by a mysterious organization with its own nefarious purposes. Alex Fickman directs the film, his first feature since The Game Plan, which also starred Dwayne Johnson. It looks like it could be fun.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Brothers at War
  • Severed Way
  • Sunshine Cleaning
  • Tokyo Sonata

Box Office Predictions

Last weekend was dominated by the highly anticipated adaptation of Watchmen. It opened lower than the studio’s expectations, but it is nothing to sneeze at. What will be interesting this week is whether or not it will suffer a steep drop or not. I have a feeling it will have a sizable drop, enough to knock it out of first. This now begs the question, will it be the family film or the horror film that steps up to take charge?

Here is how I think it could play out.

Rank Title Box Office
1 Race to Witch Mountain $28 million
2 Watchmen $24 million
3 The Last House on the Left $13 million
4 Taken $6.5 million
5 Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail $5.5 million
6 Miss March $5 million
7 Paul Blart: Mall Cop $4 million
8 Slumdog Millionaire $4 million
9 He’s Just Not That Into You $3 million
10 Coraline $2.5 million
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