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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The Twilight Saga – Eclipse, The Last Airbender

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When Toy Story 3 arrived in theaters, it felt like summer again. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this summer has been a little underwhelming. Don't you think? Sure, there have been good movies, but there is a distinct lack of energy. Toy Story 3 helped pump some life into the box office a couple of weeks ago. Last week had a bit of summer feel, led by Grown Ups. Now, this weekend feels a bit like the Fall as the top grosser is going to be a sequel to a pair of films that lit up theaters during the Thanksgiving season. I'm feeling cold already!

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. (2010, 124 minutes, PG-13, romance/drama) Looking to get a head start on the weekend and knowing full well it was going to be an opening day smash, this opened this past Wednesday to the tune of $68.5 million. Yes, that is an enormous sum of money and once again proves that big box office movie draws are not a boys' club. If you want to see this movie, you know who you are and have likely already seen it a few times. It is a franchise that I do not care for. I saw the first film, did not like it but I also did not think it was terrible. As much as I did not really care for the film, I feel that the fan base has done more to hurt the potential reach of the movie. Basically, I cannot stand the idea of sitting in a theater surrounded by Twilighters, Twi-hards, Twi-moms, or team of any sort. Apologies to those groups, but it just turns my stomach. Perhaps one day I will be able to give the movies a look. Good, bad, indifferent, I cannot say I will find my way into a screening.

The Last Airbender. (2010, 103 minutes, PG, fantasy/action) I am looking forward to this, despite the bad buzz that has just begun to build and besides the fact of the issues fans have with the casting. I am not familiar with the series and perhaps that lack of baggage will help me enjoy it more than the series fans. The film looks like fun with the big special effects and interesting look. I am also interested in seeing what M. Night Shyamalan has done with the material since this is the first time he has done work for hire. He has not been on a good run of late (although I am one of a handful that liked The Happening). The man is a talented director who needs to right the ship. Oh, I will not be seeing it in 3D, this is much like Clash of the Titans. It was not shot in 3D, it was a decision by the suits after the fact looking for a few extra bucks. I also have to wonder if opening opposite the Twilight sequel was a calculated decision to build in an excuse if it fails. Maybe?

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • God of Vampires
  • I Hate Luv Stories
  • Love Ranch

Box Office Predictions 
Do you really need to ask? There is no doubt what the top movie of the weekend will be. Let me give you a hint: it has already set box office records. That's right, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse will top the charts. Of course, it will likely fall off considerably over the next couple of weeks. It is definitely an opening-weekend machine. As for the rest of the list, it will likely be led by Shyamalan's film and the rest just sliding down a little bit.

Here is how I think it could play out:

Rank Title Box Office
1 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse $95 million
2 The Last Airbender $34 million
3 Toy Story 3 $32 million
4 Grown Ups $21 million
5 Knight and Day $11 million
6 The Karate Kid (2010) $8.5 million
7 The A-Team (2010) $3.5 million
8 Get Him to the Greek $2 million
9 Shrek Forever After $1.75 million
10 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time $1.5 million
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