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New Movies & Box Office Predictions: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Battle for Terra

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Well, the blockbuster season has officially begun. Are you ready for a steady stream of big hit hopefuls? I know I am (whether or not any of them pay off). This week’s big release suffered a blow when it was leaked some weeks ago, but the studio is hoping that the leak will not hurt the box office receipts. The weekend will also see the arrival of a couple counter programming options if big budget action is not to your taste.

The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. (2009, 100 minutes, PG-13, romantic comedy) How to say this tactfully… I don’t have a lot of interest in seeing this movie. At the start of the year, I vowed to cut back on the number of movies I saw. I didn’t do that because of a dwindling love of movies, it has been more of an attempt at being selective. Of course, it did not start out so well, but the past few weeks have offered up such fare as Obsessed and 17 Again, which I have found easy to bypass. Now we have another offering that does not stir the interest bug inside me. This is a romantic comedy take on A Christmas Carol, the twist being instead of greedy old Scrooge, we get womanizing Matthew McConaughey, and instead of a tour of his greedy past, we get a look through his past girlfriends and how they relate to the “one that got away.” It strikes me as wholly mediocre and easily avoidable. The cast also includes Michael Douglas and Jennifer Garner.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine. (2009, 97 minutes, PG-13, action) Here is the movie everyone has been waiting for, well a lot of people anyway. Earlier this year an unfinished workprint got out and has been making the rounds all across the web. It is going to be interesting to see if that leak will have any impact on opening weekend. I am looking forward to the film, although I am not setting my expectations too high. It is hard to get that excited following the big disappointment that was the third X-Men movie. Hugh Jackman has done a fine job providing one of the main story threads for those three films however and it will be interesting to see how he does as we take his story back to the beginning. Hopefully it will not be as screwed up as I fear it might be. The cast includes Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Ryan Reynolds, and Taylor Kitsch. It was directed by Gavin Hood, an interesting choice considering that his last two films are the Oscar winner Tsotsi and Rendition.

Battle for Terra. (2009, 85 minutes, PG, animated science fiction) Here is a another movie I am planning on skipping. I like the idea of humanity being the invading force on an alien culture, but this just does not look good. I get the idea that it is another Space Chimps, and I was already suckered into seeing that dud. I am sure there will be those who like this movie and while I am happy for you, I am just not willing to lay out my money for it.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Home
  • The Limits of Control
  • Skeptic

Box Office Predictions
Is there any doubt what movie is going to top this week’s charts? Would it be safe to guess it features a tri-clawed Aussie? Yeah, I think so. Yes, everyone’s favorite mutant hero has his own film opening this weekend, perhaps you’ve heard of it? As for the rest of the chart? There probably will not be much happening other than a downshift. The other new release, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, should prove to be a popular counter-programming choice. As for Battle for Terra, which is opening on 1,000 screens? I doubt it will have much of an impact at all.

Here is how I think it could play out.

Rank Title Box Office
1 X-Men Origins: Wolverine $86 million
2 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past $17 million
3 Obsessed $13 million
4 17 Again $7.5 million
5 The Soloist $6 million
6 Fighting $5.5 million
7 Earth $5 million
8 Monsters vs Aliens $4.5 million
9 State of Play $3.75 million
10 Battle for Terra $3 million
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