Weekend Forecast for January 11-13, 2008

By Reagen Sulewski

January 11, 2008

When I wear baby blue, I just want to dance!

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The first Veggie Tales movie seemed to be more openly in tune with the Christian themes of the series, although I expect there's a strong moral message buried in this film. Again, I only have a tangential knowledge of this series, but I feel like I'm taking a good guess here. Jonah opened to about $6 million in 2002, and I feel a slight uptick might be in order, given that it's on about 400 more screens. Let's say $7 million and move on.

Generic action junkies have an option this weekend, but it's like a shiny, colorful piece of candy that's painted with cyanide. The unwieldy titled In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Movie, is based on the on vaguely familiar Dungeon Siege video game. Starring Jason Statham, Kristianna Loken... wait a minute... video game, January release, C-list casting... holy crap, this is a Uwe Boll movie! Alert status red, people! Dive, dive, dive!

Yes, Uwe Boll, German for Ed Wood, is back in theaters with yet another film destined for infamy as one of the worst ever created. With the Dungeon Siege "franchise", he's taking on the fantasy genre that the kids like so much these days. Apparently the abject embarrassment that came from BloodRayne wasn't enough to scare him away.

In addition to Statham and Loken, we also have Matthew Lillard, Leelee Sobieski, Claire Forlani, John Rhys-Davies, and to top it off, Burt Reynolds and a wildly out of place Ray Liotta, apparently as the head of the medieval mafia. How has this group not been brought together before now? The plot... well, who really cares. It's a Uwe Boll film. There'll be some swords and strangely choreographed fight scenes, and probably an awful, awful sex scene. Expecting anything out of this movie is beside the point. Boll actually looks to have stepped up the production values a tad this go around, so he may fool some people into paying money for it. I predict about $5 million for this film's opening weekend, but sweet Jeebus, don't you contribute to it.


This brings us to a couple of foreign films that are expanding, The Kite Runner and The Orphanage. The Kite Runner is based on the award-winning novel of the same name, set amidst the chaotic events in Afghanistan through the last half of the 20th century and into the 21st.

Somewhat similar in theme to Atonement, also expanding this weekend, it involves an Afghan boy who betrays the son of a family servant with tragic results. Even after the boy grows up and moves to America, he is haunted by his actions until events allow him to return to his homeland to attempt to make amends. By this time, Afghanistan is under Taliban rule, and his mission for forgiveness becomes more dangerous than he imagined.

Directed by Marc Forster, The Kite Runner has garnered a little bit of awards buzz, with two Golden Globe nominations and some scattered critics' awards. In four weeks of limited release, it's also earned about $9 million, which is a pretty solid result for a foreign language film with little ad support. Mostly it's been getting by on the popularity of the book, which is still kind of impressive. It jumps from 380 screens to 715 this weekend, and needs a strong result to have hopes at Oscars. I see about $2.5 million for it, which is not going to be enough to break into the top ten, but could give it some momentum.

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