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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: G-Force, Orphan, The Ugly Truth

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This weekend begins the slide back towards regular time in movie-land, culminating with Labor Day, which is historically one of the slower weekends of the year as kids are preparing to return to school. This is not to say there will be nothing to see between now and then, just nothing that is expected to blow the doors off the box office. To me this is where the writers’ strike effects will be seen the most as the summer blockbusters stop coming a little early. That said, this weekend does see a few films that I am interested in seeing, spread across a trio aimed at distinctly different demographics.

G-Force. (2009, 90 minutes, PG, family) Here is a movie that I really cannot say I had much interest in seeing when I first heard of it. Of course, I was let down to find out this was a movie about talking guinea pig spies. I actually thought it was going to be a live action adaptation of Battle of the Planets (also known as G-Force). Granted, I am sure I would have heard about that being in production a long time ago so I should have known better. As for this movie, it looks like it has a certain manic energy to it, not to say it is good, but the lineup of talent here is hard to ignore, even in a lesser movie. The cast includes Zach Galifianakis (hot off of The Hangover), Will Arnett, Bill Nighy, Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Penelope Cruz, Steve Buscemi, and Tracy Morgan. It is not first on my list, but I may catch it down the line.

Orphan. (2009, 123 minutes, R, horror) Wow, R-rated and over two hours long. Those are two facts I was not expecting to associate with this movie. I was completely expecting PG-13 and and a runtime around 97 minutes. Now, this is not to say this is going to be a good movie by any stretch, but it does give me pause and perhaps a touch of hope for a quality film. The trailer brings to mind such films as The Omen, The Good Son, and Joshua, and this could turn into just another creepy kid movie, but there is always hope. It stars Vera Farmiga (The Departed, Running Scared) and Peter Sarsgaard (Rendition, Jarhead) as parents grieving the loss of a child who decide to adopt and are drawn to a young girl named Esther. Shortly after coming home, a series of bad things happen. Could Esther be hiding something evil? The trailer is pretty creepy and I hope the movie pays off.

The Ugly Truth. (2009, 95 minutes, R, romantic comedy) A Katherine Heigl starring R-rated romantic comedy? Much like Orphan, I was shocked to see the R tagged to this movie. Again, I was certain this was going to be another PG-13 romcom from the Grey’s Anatomy star. Also, I am not saying this will make the movie automatically better than a PG-13 film, but it is an intriguing turn of events. Heigl stars as a television producer on a news show and her new subject is a crass celebrity played by Gerard Butler. The two then proceed to trade theories on how to attract a mate. What makes me think they both are going to get more than they bargained for? I think this could be a little bit of fun.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • The Answer Man
  • In the Loop
  • Shrink

Box Office Predictions

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince easily won its debut frame, and judging the looks of the new competition, I strongly suspect it will take a second weekend. This week’s offerings may pull decent numbers, but are doubtful to challenge for the top spot. Well, at least I do not think the two R-rated films will — the talking guinea pigs could make it interesting, but will ultimately fall short of the top spot goal. As for the returning films, the bottom trio will get bumped off as everything else begins to slide down into place.

Here is how I think it could play out.

Rank Title Box Office
1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $35 million
2 G-Force $28 million
3 The Ugly Truth $20 million
4 Orphan $15 million
5 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs $9 million
6 Transformers Revenge of the Fallen $7 million
7 The Hangover $5.5 million
8 The Proposal $4.5 million
9 Public Enemies $3 million
10 Bruno $2 million

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