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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Julie & Julia, A Perfect Getaway

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The first full weekend of August (with a Friday) brings us a trio of films targeted at a trio of audiences, with a little room for crossover. As we move away from the blockbuster season proper and into hopeful blockbuster/sleeper territory, we will begin to see a wider variety of films. This weekend features one movie that has aspirations of being a blockbuster, another with more modest aspirations and a decidedly different target audience, while a third just hopes to make a dent. Are any of these films worth your time? That isn’t an question I can answer for you, but I can say all three hold some interest for me.

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. (2009, 118 minutes, PG-13, action) Following the success of Transformers it was inevitable that other products of the 1980s would be mined for the live-action experience. Of course, GI Joe is the logical followup, as it has an audience on par with the transforming robots. The problem is that this thing looks nothing like the series I remember. It just doesn’t feel right, it looks too much like Transformers blended with Iron Man with a decent amount of soul sucked out. I am hoping I am wrong, but I doubt that I am. Stephen Sommers is the man at the helm of the adaptation that looks to be big action and little brain. It will definitely be interesting to see if my reservations can be overcome.

Julie & Julia. (2009, 123 minutes, PG-13, comedy/biopic)This definitely looks interesting. It is a biopic that covers two related subjects who never knew each other. The Julie is Julie Powell (Amy Adams), a frustrated temp who has decided to cook her way through Julia Child’s cookbook and record her progress in a blog. The other side focuses on Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and her forays into the cooking world, and the troubles therein. The movie is directed by Nora Ephron and looks like a crowd-pleaser sort of film with modest aspirations. Should be enjoyable.

A Perfect Getaway. (2009, 98 minutes, R, thriller) I am looking forward to this. I am also curious how well it will do, as I am not convinced it will make much of a mark. The thriller follows a couple as the celebrate their honeymoon on a remote island, thinking they found paradise. Then they meet another couple with a story of murder. Eventually others join them and they have to decide what to do, go forward, go back, try to survive, or something else? The film is directed by David Twohy (Pitch Black, The Arrival) and stars Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant, and Marley Shelton.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Cold Souls
  • I Sell the Dead
  • Paper Heart

Box Office Predictions

Funny People won last weekend in rather easy fashion, despite not living up to expectations. That said, it will probably have a decent slip and allow GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra to slip into the top spot with ease. The question is where the other two releases for this week will land? Well, that and how big will the overall gross be? Last week seemed a bit soft, even considering the films and time of year.

Here is how I think it could play out:

Rank Title Box Office
1 GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra $45million
2 Julie & Julia $18 million
3 Funny People $12.5 million
4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $11 million
5 G-Force $10 million
6 A Perfect Getaway $8.5 million
7 The Ugly Truth $6 million
8 Aliens in the Attic $4.5 million
9 Orphan $4 million
10 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs $3.5 million
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