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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, Captivity

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While last week's new openers all came on Tuesday, in advance of the Fourth of July holiday, this week splits the difference with one already having opened this past Wednesday, and one additional opening today. Each targets vastly different audiences, and one has already had a big impact.

Hot on the heels of last week's Transformers, this week brings a new Harry Potter flight of fantasy for your viewing pleasure. It is the second of the series to open in the summer months, and already looks to be on its way to outdoing the box office take of its predecessor. On the other hand, you have the latest entry in the so-called "torture porn" sub-genre under the horror header. Make your choice wisely.

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix. (2007, 138 minutes, PG-13, fantasy, trailer) Opening this past Wednesday, many of you have likely seen this already. Still, it is all but assured the top spot, and could very well become one of the top performers of the series. This time around Harry has to convince everyone that Voldemorte is indeed back, going to the extent of putting together an army for the battle ahead. This outing is darker, and offers a bit more of a menacing environment as our heroes grow up. It is a good film, a trend I hope continues into the sixth film. David Yates directs from a screenplay by Michael Goldenberg.

Captivity. (2007, 100 minutes, R, horror, trailer) Hot on the heels of Hostel Part II comes another horror film that focuses on the torturous side of the coin. The film gained notoriety earlier this year when a series of unapproved posters hit the streets of LA. Now the film is here and we will soon know if all the fuss was worth it. I suspect that it won't be, as I do not have high expectations. But my interest is still there, not because of the poster incident, but because I like horror movies. This one stars Elisha Cuthbert as the victim of a person who employs some psychological torture methods. Hopefully it will be fun. Interestingly enough, it was directed by Roland Joffe, who has such diverse credits as Oscar winner The Mission and Super Mario Brothers. Weird.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Drama/Mex
  • Interview
  • My Best Friend
  • Shortcut to Happiness (aka The Devil and Daniel Webster). Alec Baldwin is begging people not to see this. He directed and starred in this 6 years ago, it was taken away from him and recut, even having his name taken off the director credit and replacing it with a pseudonym. That is all I know about the film. Just thought I'd share.
  • Talk to Me

Box Office Predictions
While Transformers ruled the box-office last week — setting a record for biggest week for a non-sequel — this weekend will be ruled by a sequel, the fifth outing of the Harry Potter franchise. It set a Wednesday record, taking in north of $44 million, besting the prior record holder, Spider-Man 2, by more than $4 million. It will be interesting to see how well it holds through the weekend. Transformers will still do well this weekend, as it has had some great word of mouth. Hopefully, Ratatouille will do well, also. On the other hand, I am not expecting much from the latest slasher/torture film, Captivity, even though I do plan on checking it out.

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

Rank Title Box Office
1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix $74 million
2 Transformers $30 million
3 Ratatouille $18 million
4 Live Free or Die Hard $9 million
5 License to Wed $5 million
6 1408 $4.5 million
7 Evan Almighty $4.25 million
8 Knocked Up $3.5 million
9 Captivity $3 million
10 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer $2 million

What are you seeing this weekend?

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