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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Terminator: Salvation, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Dance Flick

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Week four of blockbuster season is here. It is also a holiday weekend, so expect some big numbers. This is shaping up to be the biggest one of the season, with two potential big dogs duking it out for supremacy. Of course, my main focus is quality entertainment with dollars a distant second, but it is fun to see gaudy numbers on movies I like. In any case, this weekend should be fun!

Terminator: Salvation. (2009, 130 minutes, PG-13, science fiction/action) Early word for this big money sequel is not good. Most seem to be praising the effects, plus the fact that there is a lot of daylight action, while deriding the muddled structure and general poor story. Will this have an effect on the box office? Probably not. Those who want to see it, myself included, will see it regardless of what reviews say. I hope it is not as bad as the advance buzz. In any case, this movie takes us where we’ve wanted to go since the original film. We get to see the future war with John Connor leading the fight. The cast includes Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, and Bryce Dallas Howard, working for director McG.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. (2009, 105 minutes, PG, comedy) The original film proved to be a big hit over the Christmas season. Will the sequel do the same for the summer? I am sure the suits hope it will. I enjoyed the original, it was funny, clever at moments, and was just a good time at the movies. This new movie shifts location from the Museum of Natural History in New York to DC’s Smithsonian. It also features the return of the mystical tablet and a number of our favorites from the first film. The trailer looks pretty funny, especially the moments with Bill Hader as General Custer. The cast also includes Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Jonah Hill, Amy Adams, Hank Azaria, Steve Coogan, Owen Wilson, and Ricky Gervais.

Dance Flick. (2009, 83 minutes, PG-13, comedy) Seriously? Do I really have to comment on this? When I first saw the trailer on the big screen I groaned. I also felt sad for everyone around me who seemed to think it was the funniest thing they’d ever seen. I think this one will be safe to skip.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story
  • Burma VJ
  • Easy Virtue
  • The Girlfriend Experience

Box Office Predictions

Last week we very nearly had our first upset of the blockbuster season. Star Trek nearly retained the top spot in the face of the relatively soft open of Angels & Demons. This weekend I think the sci-fi film will outdo the religious thriller. Neither, however, will take the top spot as this weekend sees a pair of top shelf box office draws hitting the theater. One is a family film and the other may be a wide drawing sci-fi action film. Which will take the top spot this weekend? My bet is on Terminator: Salvation, although I would not be surprised to see it go the other way.

Here is how I think it could play out.

Rank Title Box Office
1 Terminator: Salvation $82 million
2 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian $68 million
3 Star Trek $24 million
4 Angels & Demons $22 million
5 Dance Flick $15 million
6 X-Men Origins: Wolverine $7.5 million
7 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past $3.5 million
8 Monsters vs Aliens $2.75 million
9 17 Again $2 million
10 Obsessed $1.5 million
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