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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The Last Exorcism, Takers, Avatar Special Edition

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For the past few weeks I have been talking about how the end of summer is fast approaching. The film releases over the past few weeks, up to and including this one, have helped punctuate that fact. Gone are the big budget, special effects extravaganzas. They have been replaced by films of more modest budgets and lowered expectations. These films have generally been greeted with opening weekend grosses to match. This weekend is no different with its pair of wide releases and one re-release.

The Last Exorcism. (2010, 88 minutes, PG-13, horror) I am looking forward to this one. I believe this is the first exorcism film since The Exorcism of Emily Rose, which was pretty solid. This new exorcism centers on the Reverend Cotton Marcus, a man who has performed a number of these rituals in the past but finds himself completely unprepared for what he finds at the Louisiana farm of Louis Sweetzer. In addition to this setup, we get our in by the fact of Marcus recording this exorcism to document his last one (hence the title). Produced by Eli Roth and directed by Daniel Stamm, I am looking forward to seeing if this can get me.

Takers. (2010, 107minutes, PG-13, action/thriller) I had almost forgotten about this movie as I remember seeing trailers for it a long time ago and then they just disappeared. In any case, the movie is here now and I cannot say I have much interest in seeing it any more than I did then. The story centers on a group of bank thieves whose exploits baffle police. Now they are set to take on their biggest and final job and this may be the one that finally gets them caught. It has a large cast that includes Idris Elba, Chris Brown, T.I. Harris, Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, and Michael Ealy. John Luessenhop directed the film.

Avatar: Special Edition. (2010, 171 minutes, PG-13, science fiction) Everybody and their mother has probably already seen this film, or at the very least knows of it so I am not going to bother with a plot description. The biggest money-maker of all time (unadjusted) is heading back to 800+ theaters in special edition form with eight minutes of previously deleted footage. So, for those of you who cannot get enough, check your local listings and head out to see it again. Coming on the heels of this release is the announcement that there will be another home video release with 16-minutes of new footage. I have to wonder just how much cut footage is out there…

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Aashayein (Wishes)
  • Centurion
  • Chakjawana (Go For It)
  • Change of Plans
  • Daniel and Ana
  • Mesrine: Killer Instinct

Box Office Predictions

I look at this week’s release slate and despite there being five new films in the fray, I do not see any of them being a big hit. By that token, I am not thinking this is going to be a big weekend. I don’t believe any of these movies will cross the $20 million mark. It will be interesting to see how they all perform. I expect The Expendables to repeat at the top while Scott Pilgrim will falter following its weak open (although I would love to see it do better). I would also like to see a good open for Piranha 3D and a complete and utter failure for Vampires Suck. We shall see.

Here is how I think it could play out:

Rank Title Box Office
1 The Last Exorcism $16 million
2 Takers $12 million
3 The Expendables $9 million
4 Avatar: Special Edition $8.5 million
5 Eat Pray Love $6.5 million
6 Lottery Ticket $5.5 million
7 The Other Guys $5 million
8 Vampires Suck $4.5 million
9 Piranha 3D $4 million
10 The Switch $3 million
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