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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: All About Steve, Extract, Gamer, Cold Souls

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September is here, Labor Day is here, the end of summer is here (at least in principal). Still, the movies march on. This weekend sees three new films enter the fray and compete for the smaller audience’s money. See anything that catches your fancy? I think the offerings all appear decent, although it is still pretty easy to rank the order I want to see them in. I think the better question is, will you be around to see any of them?

All About Steve. (2009, 98 minutes, PG-13, romantic comedy) Despite the light advertising behind this, I think it looks pretty good. It features two of the bigger comedy stars of the past summer in the suddenly hot Bradley Cooper and the always dependable Sandra Bullock, so that cannot be a bad thing. Next, the concept strikes me as pretty funny. Sandra plays a woman who falls in love with Bradley’s character after a brief date and thinks they are a couple. He, however, sees her as a stalker. Funny stuff, no? I do not expect much from it, but could prove to be worth some time.

Extract. (2009, 90 minutes, R, comedy) Mike Judge returns to the big screen with Extract, his first feature on with a major theatrical since Office Space. An argument could be made for that being Idiocracy, which deserved a bigger release but ended up an a handful of screens for a weekend. Anyway, this one stars Jason Bateman as the owner of a vanilla extract factory. He must deal with work troubles, troubles with his wife (Kristen Wiig), and an attraction to the new temp (Mila Kunis). It looks like vintage Judge. The cast also includes Ben Affleck, Clifton Collins Jr., and JK Simmons.

Gamer. (2009, 98 minutes, R, action) From the twisted minds behind the Crank films comes another high concept feature. This one looks to be as action packed, but not quite as crazy in execution. It actually seems restrained by comparison. The idea is that online gameplay has advanced with the advent of mind control technology. Players take control of actual people (actually prisoners) in war games that are played to the death. Gerard Butler stars as something of a cult figure — a star prisoner who has not yet been defeated. Should be fun!

Cold Souls. (2009, 97 minutes, PG-13, comedy) This one opened early in August and has been making the art house rounds ever since. This weekend it comes to my area and I am looking forward to it. Paul Giamatti plays an actor named Paul Giamatti. He sees an article that may be the key to his elusive happiness, a company can extract, deep freeze, and store your soul. He undergoes the process and becomes a victim of soul trafficking in the process. He heads off, all the way to Russia in an attempt to retrieve his soul. Sounds awesome.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Amreeka
  • Carriers
  • No Impact man

Box Office Predictions
This weekend looks like it should do decently. It won’t be pulling numbers like the middle of summer, but that has to be expected. Labor Day weekend is not known as a powerhouse at the cinema, as all the kids are getting ready to head back to school. Just wait for the weekend after. Gamer looks wild enough to pull in the most people this weekend, although I must admit that I am more excited for Extract, which I doubt will do as good.

Here is how I think it could play out.

Rank Title Box Office
1 Gamer $18 million
2 All About Steve $14.5 million
3 The Final Destination $13 million
4 Inglorious Basterds $11 million
5 District 9 $7.5 million
6 Halloween II $6.5 million
7 Extract $6 million
8 GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra $5.5 million
9 Julie & Julia $5 million
10 The Time Traveler’s Wife $3.5 million
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