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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Imagine That, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

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Blockbuster season week seven is here. It seems like a light week, as neither wide release screams "BLOCKBUSTER." Coming after a week where the expected big movie tanked and the unlikely took to the top of the charts, who knows what will happen this weekend. I do not think we will have any surprises like we did with The Hangover. I suspect things will be a little on the cool side until Transformers arrives. This could be a good week to catch up on films you may have missed like Up, Star Trek, and Drag Me to Hell.

Imagine That. (2009, 90 minutes, PG, family comedy) This is another in the long line of Eddie Murphy family comedies. I cannot say that I am terribly interested in it, and it vaguely reminds me of Bedtime Stories. The story finds Murphy as a man completely focused on his career, so much so that he finds little quality time to spend with his daughter. As a promotion approaches, he begins to fall apart from the stress. This is when his daughter introduces him to her imaginary friends, where he learns to be a kid again, not to mention the answers to his problems. The movie looks rather sweet and a distinct step up from Meet Dave, which was awful, but I cannot say I feel the urge to rush out for this. It may be a good one to take the family to if you cannot get into Up. Karey Kirkpatrick makes his live action directorial debut; he previously helmed Over the Hedge.

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. (2009, 104 minutes, R, thriller) I am not sure how necessary this movie is, although I am intrigued by the combination of Denzel Washington and John Travolta. On top of that, Tony Scott and Denzel team ups tend to be good (Crimson Tide, Man on Fire, Deja Vu). Denzel plays the dispatcher faced with the crisis, while Travolta is the hijacker on the train. The two face off in a battle of wits. Who will win? I don't know, I have not read the book or seen the original film. The trailer does seem intriguing and while the story may not be new, it looks to deliver a lot of style points. This is the film I am looking forward to seeing this weekend.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Call of the Wild 3D
  • Food, Inc.
  • Moon
  • Sex Positive
  • Tetro

Box Office Predictions
This week does not seem to offer anything of particular value. I am interested in one of the two, and not so much in the other. This is a tough call to make: will one of these upstarts take to top or will we see a past winner return to the top? I honestly have no idea. There are no sure things on the schedule until Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen arrives in a couple of weeks. I am going to go with a narrow victory for the Denzel/Travolta team up over the latest Pixar masterpiece. I do not see Imagine That being a genuine contender, although I have been known to be wrong from time to time.

Here is how I think it could play out.

Rank Title Box Office
1 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 $27 million
2 Up $26 million
3 The Hangover $20 million
4 Imagine That $15 million
5 Land of the Lost $9.5 million
6 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian $8 million
7 Star Trek $5 million
8 Terminator: Salvation $4 million
9 Drag Me to Hell $3.25 million
10 Angels & Demons $3 million

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