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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Ice Age – Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Public Enemies

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Week ten of blockbuster season takes us into the Fourth of July holiday, where there is much money to be made as families gather and head out to the darkened cinemas before firing up the grills, cracking open the beer, and getting burned with firecrackers. The weekend features two new movies in wide release: a family animated comedy/adventure and a period gangster film. Two films and two vastly different audiences. I have intentions of catching both at some point in the near future. And yes, I know the films have already opened; I completely forgot about the Wednesday openings!

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. (2009, 94 minutes, PG, animated) The latest animated feature to take advantage of the new 3D process. I must admit to being very impressed with the quality of the 3D, as well as the positive signal to noise ratio in film makers using it effectively and not just as a gimmick. The gimmick is there, but it is still in the background. I wonder how this one will be? Perhaps it will be enough to distract me from a potentially bad movie. I liked the first movie, but the second, well, not so much. This outing sees Manny trapped in an underground world where they meet dinosaurs, Sid steals dino-eggs, Scrat meets Scratte, and is Diego too laid back? I cannot say any of the descriptions sound all that exciting. So long as the Scrat segments are good I am sure to find something to like. The voice cast have all returned from the last movie, including Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, and Queen Latifah. Joining the stars in the supporting cast are Bill Hader, Simon Pegg, Jane Lynch, Seann William Scott, and Kristen Wiig.

Public Enemies. (2009, 143 minutes, R, drama) I have high hopes for this movie. Michael Mann knows how to craft a living breathing film (even Miami Vice). Take Mann's skills with the camera and bring in the talent of Johnny Depp and Christian Bale and it looks like a recipe for success. Of course, he last time I saw Bale, he was shouting at everything, all the time, and not very well. I suspect that was a fluke and he will be on point for this outing. The movie takes us back to the days when gangsters were national heroes and no one could stop them. Depp is John Dillinger, perhaps the greatest of them all. On his trail is Bale as Melvin Purvis, an agent of the FBI. Who will win? My knowledge of these men is pretty much non-existent. I do not expect the film to depict the true to the hard reality, but I do expect it to be honest with itself and entertaining in execution. I love the trailer and the music used, hopefully it will pay off.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • I Hate Valentine's Day – do we really need another Nia Vardalos movie already

Box Office Predictions
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen won last weekend, will it have the legs to take a second? I am not sure. I do expect to see a steep percentage drop, it is impossible to open that big and not suffer a precipitous drop, how many people of the originals will be rushing out to see it again so soon? Probably not many, so the pool will be made up by those who chose to avoid opening weekend crowds, but then those numbers could be tempered by those celebrating Independence Day with their families, although holidays generally make good times to go see a movie as a family. The possibilities make my head hurt. I suspect the battle will be between the juggernaut sequel and the upstart animated sequel. Ultimately, it will be Scrat and the Ice Age gang taking the crown. Dillinger will have to settle for third.

Here is how I think it could play out.

Rank Title Box Office
1 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs $60 million
2 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen $51 million
3 Public Enemies $32 million
4 The Proposal $10 million
5 The Hangover $9 million
6 Up $7 million
7 My Sister's Keeper $6 million
8 Year One $3 million
9 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 $2.5 million
10 Star Trek $1.75 million

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