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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Duplicity, I Love You Man, Knowing

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Last week had a nice selection of films to choose from and an easy-to-predict top of the food chain. I look at this week's releases and see a trio of films that each have top of the chart potential; however, I do not see one that will run away with it. I suspect this will be a close race. That said, each film has its own appeal. Will any of these tickle your fancy and get you to part with your cinematic dollar?

Duplicity. (2009, 125 minutes, PG-13, romantic/thriller) This looks simultaneously interesting and dull. On one hand it looks like something I have seen before, but I cannot quite put my finger on it. Still, the pairing of Julia Roberts and Clive Owen is an intriguing one. Both are good actors and they seem like they would make a good pair. They play an ex-CIA and an ex-MI6 agent, respectively, who are looking to make a quick buck on a high stakes scam. There is another layer of interest in the form of the company heads the leads are trying to scam. They are played by Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti. I think it would be fun to watch these two actors spar.

I Love You, Man. (2009, 110 minutes, R, comedy) I am really looking forward to this movie. I believe this is the first official "bromance" movie. That is not a term that I particularly care for, but it seems appropriate when discussing this particular film. Paul Rudd is about to marry Rashida Jones, but he doesn't really have any male friends to ask to be a best man. So he heads out to make a new friend. He meets Jason Segel, who seems like the perfect friend. I am looking forward to seeing how it all falls apart. It looks like a Judd Apatow production and I hope it lives up to that potentially high praise.

Knowing. (2009, 115 minutes, PG-13, science fiction) Here is a movie that I really, really want to like but have a really, really bad feeling about. Nicolas Cage does not have the best track record of late and this looks awfully reminiscent of Next, and we all know how that turned out (if you don't, it was disastrous). Cage plays a scientist who discovers a formula that predicts disasters all over the world. The reason I want to like it is that I hope director Alex Proyas gets back on track. He directed a couple of excellent films early in his career (The Crow and Dark City), but has slipped a bit of late with I, Robot (which was a decent action film, but does not carry the heft of the Isaac Asimov source material nor of Proyas' Dark City). One can hope, right?

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Mancora
  • Sin Nombre
  • Super Capers
  • Valentino: The Last Emperor

Box Office Predictions

Which film will be the one to step up and take charge this weekend? The science fiction flick? The R-rated comedy? Perhaps the romantic thriller? Will star names come into play? Do names like Roberts, Owen, Cage, Rudd, or Segel mean anything to you? Do any of them hold sway over what you see? It’s tough to get a handle on this week's participants. It's going to be a close race, so I am going to go with my most anticipated of the weekend.

Here is how I think it could play out.

Rank Title Box Office
1 I Love You, Man $22 million
2 Duplicity $21 million
3 Knowing $19 million
4 Race to Witch Mountain $15 million
5 Watchmen $9.5 million
6 The Last House on the Left $7 million
7 Taken $5 million
8 Slumdog Millionaire $4 million
9 Paul Blart: Mall Cop $3.5 million
10 Madea Goes to Jail $2.5 million
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