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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The American, Going the Distance, Machete

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Three new films enter the fray this weekend, which is generally considered one of the weaker ones of the year (another being the weekend after this weekend). Labor Day marks the end of the summer season. Kids go back to school and the cinemas become a mere shell of their summer glories. Somewhat like January, this begins a period where new films have lower expectations hanging over them as the wait for Oscar season begins. Fortunately, there are still movies coming out… movies I want to see!
The American. (2010, 103 minutes, R, drama) Seeking to get a head start on the weekend, this latest Clooney film seems to tell a familiar story, although the tone seems a little different. Clooney plays an assassin who holes up in a home in the Italian countryside. While there, enjoying being away from death, he takes a job, finds a friend, and sparks a new romance. Could this exposure bring trouble with it? See? seems familiar, doesn’t it. What I like about the trailers are the old school feel they have, more like a film from the 1970s’ right down to the poster art. Hopefully the film will pay off in similar fashion.



Going the Distance. (2010, 109 minutes, R, romantic comedy) Wow. An R-rated romantic comedy? Don’t remember seeing one of those in quite some time. Actually, the only other one that instantly springs to mind is Love, Actually. In any case, this movie stars Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. They play a couple who begin a light romance that takes off and has to survive their being on opposite coasts. I like the trailer, I like the poster, and I like the stars. I hope this is a movie that works the formula and gets beyond it somehow. This has the potential to be an engaging romcom that steps above this year of bad romantic comedies.



Machete. (2010, 105 minutes, R, action) Now here is the movie I have been waiting for. Hot on the heels of  the 1980s’ era exploitation of Piranha 3D comes this slice of 1970s’ grindhouse exploitation. This began life as a fake trailer on the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez team-up Grindhouse. Now, Machete finds life as its own full-length feature. Danny Trejo plays Machete, a former Federale left for dead after a battle with a Mexican drug lord. He now works as a hit man and day laborer. Soon he finds himself double crossed, he does not like it and sets out for revenge, leaving a bloody trail behind him. Rodriguez directs Trejo and a big ensemble cast that includes Steven Seagal, Jessica Alba, Robert De Nfiro, Jeff Fahey, Michelle Rodriguez, Cheech Marin, Lindsay Lohan, and Don Johnson. Looks like a bloody good time.



Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Mesrine: Public Enemy #1
  • My Dog Tulip
  • We Are Family
  • The Winning Season
  • A Girl, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop

Box Office Predictions 
I look at this week’s releases and I suspect it is going to be a slow week. No matter how much I am looking forward to one or two of them, none are surefire hits and the last weekend of summer is not historically a big one.  I sincerely doubt that any of them will even get near the $20 million mark. Actually, I would not be surprised to see none of them cross $15 million. I guess we will know in a few days how close I was able to place them. Of course, going by my recent track record, you can assume this will be way off.  

Here is how I think it could play out:

Rank Title Box Office
1 Machete $15 million
2 The American $13.5 million
3 Going the Distance $11 million
4 Takers $10 million
5 The Last Exorcism $8 million
6 The Expendables $5.5 million
7 Eat Pray Love $4 million
8 The Other Guys $3.5 million
9 Inception $3 million
10 Vampires Suck $2 million
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