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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Fame, Pandorum, Surrogates

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The end of August brought a head-to-head horror battle between The Final Destination and Halloween II. We all know how that turned out — it wasn’t much of a battle (as far as I’m concerned, the wrong film won). This week brings a pair of science fiction films into head-to-head competition in a battle I believe is over before it begins. The deciding factor? One is rated R and the other PG-13. Logic dictates the lower rating will bring bigger crowds, thus more tickets, thus higher box office.

Fame. (2009, minutes, PG, dance/drama) In 1980 the world fell victim to the Fame phenomenon. It was a box office hit and spawned a television series and now it is being reinvented for the big screen. Frankly, I am surprised how little advertising I have seen for it. I saw a trailer for it in the theater maybe once and an equal number of commercials. I guess I must be watching the wrong channels or shows. The film follows a group of students in a performing arts high school and the pressures that come with discovering your identity.

Pandorum. (2009, minutes, R, science fiction/horror) From the producers of Resident Evil comes another science fiction/horror hybrid. This one takes place in space and looks pretty good. Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster play a pair of astronauts who awaken from hyper-sleep, alone, and without their memories. Together they begin to explore the ship and uncover its secrets. What they discover may kill them. It certainly looks like fun to me. I am not expecting anything very deep, but I am expecting to enjoy it. It was directed by up and comer Christian Alvart.

Surrogates. (2009, 88 minutes, PG-13, science fiction/thriller) Set in the not too distant future, everyone lives their lives through replaceable robots that look like people. Pick your bot, pick your look, and you are good to go with no fears of dying, no fear. Then someone dies while connected to their bot, or surrogate, and it is up to Bruce Willis to find out the truth. This looks pretty good and early buzz seems rather positive. My issue with the trailer and the idea as portrayed is this: why wouldn’t crime increase? How are you protected while plugged in? I would think crime would rise. I guess I will see.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Blind Date
  • The Blue Tooth Virgin
  • The Boys are Back
  • Capitalism: A Love Story
  • Coco Before Chanel
  • I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
  • Paranormal Activity

Box Office Predictions

Can this weekend have the same punch as last weekend? I think not. Although, I do suspect that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has the strength to leg out a second weekend at the top. It will have the added 3D dollar bump, and it seems to have good word of mouth — that all helps point toward another win. Next will be a battle between Bruce Willis and a dance school. I am going to go with Willis in this case, merely based on the fact I have not seen much advertising for Fame, although I just may be watching the wrong shows.

Here is how I think it could play out:

Rank Title Box Office
1 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $18 million
2 Surrogates $16.5 million
3 Fame (2009) $15 million
4 Pandorum $9 million
5 The Informant $6 million
6 Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself $4.5 million
7 Love Happens $4 million
8 9 $3 million
9 Jennifer’s Body $2.75 million
10 Inglourious Basterds $2 million
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