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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Alvin and the Chipmunks, I Am Legend, The Perfect Holiday

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Last week only had a single film entering theaters nationwide, The Golden Compass. This week we have three going into wide release. So begins the yearly increase of competition we see as Christmas approaches. All three films have different target audiences, unless your like me, and want to see everything. Anyway, good luck braving the Christmas shopping crowd on your way to the local cineplex!

Alvin and the Chipmunks. (2007, 88 minutes, PG, comedy, trailer) I remember loving the Chipmunks when I was a kid, always looking forward to the Christmas special and watching the cartoon series. I never thought I'd see a live action film, but after Garfield I suppose that it was inevitable. This movie recounts the first meeting between David Seville (Jason Lee) and the singing critters and their subsequent rise to fame. I cannot say that this looks all that good and Jason Lee appears to have phoned it in. I can only hope the movie is better than the trailer. I'm probably going to catch it this weekend.

I Am Legend. (2007, 100 minutes, PG-13, science fiction, trailer) This is the third filmed version of Richard Matheson's novella, the first was The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price and the second was Omega Man with Charlton Heston. How will the Will Smith version perform? Solidly, I hope. The trailer looks exciting, although I do not get quite the same tone I did with the Price version. It is the story of the lone survivor of a virus that has wiped out the majority of humanity. Those that lived, save Smith, have turned into something, well, else. I am truly hoping this is a good movie.

The Perfect Holiday. (2007, 96 minutes, PG-13, comedy/drama, trailer) This was originally titled This Christmas, but that was already taken by the Delroy Lindo/Loretta Devine starring film from a few weeks back. This film stars Morris Chestnut and Gabrielle Union and opened this past Wednesday to get a head start on the weekend. It is the story of a son and daughter looking for a new husband for their mother.  To achieve this goal they turn to a mall Santa for help. The cast looks good and the movie could be entertaining.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Good Bye Bafana
  • The Kite Runner
  • Nanking
  • Youth Without Youth

Box Office Predictions
Last weekend, The Golden Compass easily won the weekend, although it failed to live up to expectations (money or content-wise). This week it is a given that I Am Legend will take the box office crown, but will it live up to expectations? I can only hope. This kind of movie does have a wider range of appeal, so it will likely have a stronger opening, plus Will Smith is a huge star who can open a movie in a big way. The Chipmunk flick will have its audience, but I doubt it will be anywhere near as big. As for the rest of the field, it will be interesting to see if films like Enchanted and No Country for Old Men get any type of bump from their respective Golden Globe nominations.

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

Rank Title Box Office
1 I Am Legend $44 million
2 Alvin and the Chipmunks $19 million
3 The Golden Compass $15 million
4 The Perfect Holiday $13.5 million
5 Enchanted $5.5 million
6 No Country for Old Men $3.5 million
7 This Christmas $3 million
8 Fred Claus $3 million
9 Beowulf $2.5 million
10 August Rush $2 million
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