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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Alice in Wonderland, Brooklyn’s Finest

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Start saying your goodbyes to Avatar. This is the weekend where it loses a large portion of its 3D theaters to Tim Burton’s latest outing. I guess this also signals the beginning of the end of the film in theaters as its theater count will begin to dwindle and its box office take begins to drop a little faster. It is not a sad thing, just an inevitable one. It is a good film, even an historical one. It is interesting that this is happening on the eve of the Oscars where a couple of key victories could give it a box office bump. In any case, it is time to begin looking forward; we are not that far away from the 2010 blockbuster season with all of its hopeful riches. This weekend sees a flight of fancy and a gritty street level drama enter the theater. What will you be seeing?

Alice in Wonderland. (2010, 110 minutes, PG, Fantasy) I have been looking forward to this for some time. I am a big fan of Tim Burton and this material seems to be an interesting fit for his Gothic vision. I also find it interesting that it is not really a straight version of the classic story, nor is it a take on the Disney version (despite this being bankrolled by the Mouse House). Tim Burton and screenwriter Linda Woolverton used Lewis Carroll’s stories as a launching point. The film is actually a sequel of sorts. Alice is no longer a child and this is not her first journey into Wonderland. She finds herself back inside with all of the familiar denizens of Wonderland, including a Red Queen who is more dangerous than ever. The cast includes Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Ann Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Alan Rickman, and Stephen Fry. One thing I did find funny was the reasoning the MPAA gave for the rating: “a smoking caterpillar, scary situations, scary images and fantasy action violence.” Yes, it says “a smoking caterpillar.”

Brooklyn’s Finest. (2010, 133 minutes, R, thriller) I am not so sure about this one. The cast is pretty good and the director has done good work in the past. The problem here is that it looks like just another gritty cop film that we have seen many times in the past. Could it prove me wrong? I would welcome it. I do not expect it to be good, merely generic. The film centers on a trio of cops and one big drug bust. Richard Gere plays the veteran on the verge of retirement, Ethan Hawke is the officer who will cross lines to provide for his family, and Don Cheadle is the undercover operative struggling with shifting alliances. On the other side of the coin is Wesley Snipes (wow, how long has it been since he’s been on the big screen?). Either way it goes, I think it will have a respectable open.

There are no other films opening this weekend.

Box Office Predictions

Well, Shutter Island had its two weeks on top and now it is time for it to slide. Tim Burton’s 3D fantasy is going to overtake the top spot by a long shot. This is likely the most highly anticipated film to arrive so far this year and is set to make a killing at the box office. The rest of the top ten is going to be a dogfight.

Here is how I think it could play out:

Rank Title Box Office
1 Alice in Wonderland (2010) $65 million
2 Shutter Island $15 million
3 Brooklyn’s Finest $10 million
4 Cop Out $9 million
5 Avatar $8 million
6 The Crazies $7.5 million
7 Percy Jackson $5 million
8 Valentine’s Day $3.5 million
9 Dear John $3 million
10 The Wolfman $2 million
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