September 2007 Forecast
By Walid Habboub
September 7, 2007
3:10 to Yuma
Christian Bale seems to be in a hurry to star in every single genre of movie imaginable in as little time as possible. The thing is, he's mostly doing a terrific job of it. Bale seems intent on walking that grey line between character actor and leading man which should pay off for him in a few years. It's only a matter of time before he has Oscar mentioned in the same sentence in his name.
In the meantime, Bale stars alongside Russell Crowe in this western, a remake of a movie that not a lot of people have heard of. With these big names, it's a wonder that the film does not have a sexier release date; however, even the most successful westerns are not very successful and only make money on legs, not openings.
Having said that, the early reviews have been terrific and western fans such as me might be craving for a good ol' shoot'em up tough guy film. 3:10 To Yuma should do well initially and might find an audience in an otherwise unimpressive September.
$14 million, opening, $48 million total.
Shoot ‘Em Up
It is really sad that this movie has a chance of finding an audience, mainly the one that got suckered into paying money to see Smokin' Aces and The Transporter. Shoot ‘Em Up is a less hyped, cheesier looking action flick than either of those films and seems to have as little charisma as its leading man.
Oh yeah, I did just say that. I'm sure I'll get hell for it but I have done a complete 180 on Clive Owen since being on the "He Should be James Bond" bandwagon that started rolling shortly after he starred in those BMW ads. The man seems to have the emotional range of...well, Keanu Reeves. Difference is, Neo has more charisma than Owen. The man is the very definition of cardboard cutout acting; a pretty face sleepwalking through whatever role he's in.
Regardless, Shoot ‘Em Up feels forced, unoriginal and simply a waster of space. I would think, and hope, that movie fans opt to go with the western this week rather than the stylish yet hohum looking actioner.
$12 million opening, $30 million total.
The Brothers Solomon
Will Arnett, what the hell happened?
$3 million opening, $10 million total
It's always interesting when an actor manages to create a genre all on his own. Billy Bob Thornton, with Bad Santa, The Bad News Bears, School for Scoundrels and now Mr. Woodcock, has officially typecasted himself after being considered one of the best character actors in Hollywood. Thornton has changed from a perennial Oscar contender into Rob Schneider. But what to call this new genre? Billy Bobbing?
Regardless, the reason Billy Bob keeps playing the same character over and over is because it has proven to be a successful formula. Movie-goers are responding favorably to these films and Mr. Woodcock looks to be no different (having Stifler in the mix doesn't hurt either). Come on, Billy, you can do it!!!
$13 million opening, $40 total
The Brave One
Say what you want about Jodie Foster, she has become one of the most consistent box office performers of the decade. With Panic Room and Flight Plan, Foster has proved that the gravitas she brings to her roles work really well in these lone wolf type thrillers. Unfortunately, The Brave One lacks the appeal of those two films and seems to be a much darker project. However, this revenge tale looks genuinely suspenseful and looks to deliver on its modest but effective marketing campaign.
$10 million opening, $30 million total
Good Luck Chuck
Is having the greatest poster in movie history enough to make your movie a hit? If you're not sure what poster I am talking about, then the answer is obviously no.
Having Jessica Alba in your movie is huge positive that might only be offset by the huge negative of having Dane Cook in your movie. Cook is as vanilla as you can get and absolutely needs a Jessica Alba in any film he does (or most recently, a Jessica Simpson). The fact that the trailer really does not reflect the movie synopsis is worrisome but apparently, some people like Cook and want to pay money to see him, so who am I to argue?
Alba makes this film slightly intriguing but she can't distract from the fact that it looks like another tame romantic comedy. Good luck, Good Luck Chuck.
$10 million open, $25 million total
Resident Evil: Extinction
When they title of the latest Resident Evil movie was announced, my reaction was "Oh god, let's hope so." Really? People want this? Apparently yes and they want it in bunches.
I have to admit, I think Extinction looks more promising than its predecessor, a sequel that looked so much like the original, you could barely tell they made a new movie. Changing the general setting of the movie is a perfect move that should pay off. This movie will be successful but not so successful that it will warrant a Resident Evil: Reincarnation.
$22 million open, $65 million total
The Game Plan
Rock, please, please, please, go back to wrestling. Seriously. Or get a better agent. Or both...yes, both. Yes, the trailer is awful. Well, the first time around it was. Upon second and third viewings it does not completely suck, just mostly.
Sadly, this should find an audience. The Rock is sort of a name, at least when he plays a role like this. The film also looks sappy, ridiculous and - or maybe BUT - it also looks kid-friendly. I'm undecided on this. You couldn't pay me enough to see it but I have a feeling it will be one of those movies that catches most prognosticators by surprise.
$18 million opening, $55 million total
You have to hand it to Peter Berg. The actor turned director is great at producing some really interesting looking films that look much more expensive than they actually are. This is the case with The Kingdom, a movie that should be a Tier II film, yet looks like a Tier I summer blockbuster.
Of course, you have to more than just look like a blockbuster to be one. While The Kingdom should see some relative success, both the release date and subject matter should prove to be a hindrance at the box office. Any thriller that seems to demand that the audience member think beyond the next big explosion is always in danger of completely missing the mark.
What doesn't help is the lack of real star power on this flick. I have never been and never will be a believer in Jamie Foxx's status as a star and The Kingdom could very well be the nail in his coffin. Jennifer Garner is a marginal box office draw at best, though I am a big fan.
Again, I am seriously on the fence with this, though in very different way from my feelings about The Game Plan. The Kingdom should be the biggest film opening in September but I have a feeling that the audience for this movie is not really there.
$14 million opening, $38 million total