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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The Hitcher

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So far, this year's releases have been feast or famine in terms of quantity if not quality. Last week offered a good number of films to choose from, while this week offers up two new to my town. One new release that seems set on taking charge of the box office through sheer number of theaters, and the other, an Oscar hopeful, is going out to a wider audience.

Anyway, maybe that means this week would be a good one to catch up on films that you may have missed? I would have to recommend that you track down Children of Men and Pan's Labyrinth — those are two of the most original and exhilirating films of 2006.

The Hitcher. (2007, 84 minutes, R, horror, trailer) Here is the latest horror remake to hit the big screen. Just like all remakes, The Hitcher is being greeted with plenty of venom from fans of the original. It isn't all ill will being flung towards the movie, some people aren't even aware that it is a remake, and still others don't much care if it's a remake or not. Whatever the case, I think it looks like fun. The main reason I am interested in it, aside from enjoying the genre, is Sean Bean. He is a great character actor who becomes one with his roles, and here he looks like a rather vicious man, and I don't see how you can go wrong with his performance. He may be surrounded by crap, but I am sure he is going to be fine. The movie was directed by Dave Meyers, who last made Foolish in 1999. In between he has kept busy in the world of music videos.

The Last King of Scotland. (2006, 133 minutes, R, drama, trailer) I have been interested in seeing this since I first heard about it last fall. I have heard raves about Forest Whitaker's performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. The film is about Nicolas Garrigan (James McAvoy), a Scottish doctor who becomes Amin's personal physician and confidant. He is seduced by his powerful position, until the atrocities perpetrated by Amin become clear to him and he has to find away out of his grasp. The film was directed by Kevin Macdonald, who also directed the docu-drama Touching the Void.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Alone With Her
  • The Italian
  • Mafioso

Box Office Predictions

Last week, Night at the Museum was finally dethroned by Stomp the Yard. It took three weeks for the Ben Stiller comedy to fall from its perch. It will probably be a few months before we see another three-peat. This week, I think that The Hitcher is going to have a good showing, simply based on the number of screens; combined with a short run time to squeeze in more showings, it will take the top spot. Sure, Museum and Pursuit of Happyness still have more theaters, but they are starting to slide a bit and have longer run times.

Here is how I think the top ten field will play out:


Rank Title Box Office
1 The Hitcher $21 million
2 Stomp the Yard $17 million
3 Night at the Musem $13 million
4 Dreamgirls $7.5 million
5

The Pursuit of Happyness

$6 million
6 Freedom Writers $5 million
7

Children of Men

$4.5 million
8

Alpha Dog

$4 million
9 Primeval $3.5 million
10 Arthur and the Invisibles $2 million

What are you seeing this weekend?

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