Weekend Forecast for November 23-25, 2007
By Reagen Sulewski
November 23, 2007
Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest weekends of the year at the box office; that is, if there's anything out there worth seeing. Although one studio (maybe two) will have something to be thankful for, this fall is quickly turning into the season that blockbusters forgot.
Perhaps only Disney could make a movie like Enchanted. A modernist riff on the traditional fairy tale movies like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, the parody might come off as crass and mean-spirited from any other studio. But Disney knows this stuff backwards and forwards, so who better to tear it apart – with love, of course?
A mix of traditional animation and live action, Enchanted starts off in a fairytale land where Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) meets up with who she thinks is the Prince of her dreams, Edward (James Marsden). When the evil Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) banishes her out of the kingdom and into the real world, she's suddenly forced to fend for herself for the first time. What's a princess to do?
Upon arriving in New York, she meets up with what passes for a prince in these times – a lawyer (Patrick Dempsey) though he carries a pretty dim view of the stereotypical princess role. Luckily for Giselle, some of her fairytale powers still work in the real world, which definitely comes in handy when Narissa and Edward come looking for her.
Directed by Disney stalwart Kevin Lima, Enchanted tries to poke fun at the tropes and traditions of fairy tales while still being one – kind of like Shrek without the lame pop culture jokes. As such, it's trying to do what a lot of family films do these days – work at two different levels, both for the kids that are the primary audience, and the adults that take them, so they don't skip out and see American Gangster. It's something that Disney does very very well, and this should be a prime example of exactly that. Although the star power isn't fantastic, it's got some people on the verge of a breakthrough (or comeback) and the all-powerful Disney marketing machine. The widest opening film of the Thanksgiving weekend, it should have an easy win with about $34 million in three days, and $49 million over five days.
Although horror isn't traditionally a Thanksgiving genre, The Mist has a better chance than most to break through on this family holiday. For one thing, it carries the Stephen King name, being based on one of his better stories. For another, it boasts strong above-the-line talent and a terrific premise.
A mysterious storm set in over a small Maine town, bringing with it an impenetrable fog that just won't lift. The setting of the film is a supermarket in that town, and the people trapped in it as it becomes clear that there's something a little menacing in it – something hungry that wants in.
As in many King stories, it's the people that are just as big a danger as the monsters outside. In this case, it's a miniature religious cult that springs up as people start to fear what's outside. A father (Thomas Jane) is then forced to choose between the unnatural horrors outside and a potentially murderous group of people inside – without knowing where he could run.