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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Informant!, Jennifer’s Body, Love Happens

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September marches on. As we head into the second half, I can’t say that the offerings have lit up the charts or the audiences. Well, I guess you could count the latest Tyler Perry film as an exception. I have not heard much in the word of mouth department, but it opened well and Perry’s films always seem to do well. This weekend brings a variety of films with it. Where last week catered more towards genre fans, this weekend expands its scope to families and women with hopes of crossover appeal.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. (2009, 81 minutes, PG, animated) This looks pretty decent. I cannot say I am overly excited about it; perhaps if I had read the book as a child I could muster up a little more excitement. Still, it looks like an enjoyable romp, particularly in 3D. The story centers on a small town that has hit hard times and is strapped for food. A failed inventor steps in with a machine that turns water into food, so instead of rain, you may get hamburgers. However, the machine goes wild and threatens the town. Will our hero save the day? Voices include Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, and Coolio.

The Informant! (2009, 108 minutes, R, comedy/drama) This looks like another winner from director Steven Soderbergh. It is being marketed as from the director of the Ocean’s movies, which seems like a smart move as the trailer makes he film feel like a comedic yet sophisticated caper. It is based on the real life story of Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon), an executive working for Archer Daniels Midland before turning informant for the FBI. The catch is that Whitacre is bipolar. The film exposes the work he did and how it combines with his disorder.

Jennifer’s Body. (2009, 102 minutes, R, horror) I am definitely intrigued by this movie. I am still concerned over its quality and whether I will like it or not, but I still very much want to see it. This is Diablo Cody’s first work since the amazing Juno and is in a distinctly different genre. If she can capture some of her first film’s magic, this should be good. On the downside, we have Megan Fox in one of the lead roles, and she is not a very good actress. Fortunately, she is countered by Amanda Seyfried who has a much better upside on the acting scale. In this film we get to watch Megan Fox kill people while Amanda tries to put a stop to her evil.

Love Happens. (2009, 109 minutes, PG-13, romantic comedy) Aaron Eckhart plays a self-help guru on the verge of a big media deal who has a hard time taking his own advice. He meets Jennifer Aniston, owner of a flower shop, who has sworn off dating. Will they be able to connect? Frankly, it looks rather typical, but the leads could make it worthwhile. The supporting cast also looks good with Judy Greer and Dan Fogler.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Bright Star
  • The Burning Plain
  • Paris

Box Office Predictions

I suspect that this week’s crop of films will be overall a bit stronger than last week’s. It will be interesting to see where the cards are going to fall. Will Tyler Perry hold on for a strong second week? Will it get swept out of the top slots? I suspect that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs will do well.

Here is how I think it could play out.

Rank Title Box Office
1 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $26 million
2 Love Happens $15 million
3 The Informant! $13.5 million
4 Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself $12 million
5 Jennifer’s Body $10 million
6 9 $5.5 million
7 Inglourious Basterds $3.5 million
8 All About Steve $2.75 million
9 Sorority Row $2.5 million
10 Whiteout $2 million
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