Weekend Forecast for February 1-3, 2008

By Reagen Sulewski

February 1, 2008

Oops. She did it again.

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Against one of the strongest and potentially most historic Super Bowl match-ups in history, Hollywood is basically crying uncle and resorting to stunts.

Oh, there are at least three new films in wide release for you this weekend, depending on where you are, and at least two of them have counter-programming potential, but the likely champ for the weekend is a one-week-only concert film aimed at the one demographic guaranteed not to care about football – pre-teen girls.

Hannah Montana, in case you've been in a coma for the past two years, is the hottest thing in inoffensively bland pop music these days, something akin to the 12-year-old's Springsteen, via her Disney Channel show. Montana is actually Miley Cyrus, the offspring of Billy Ray Cyrus, who we all thought we'd gotten rid of – and we sort of did, but we forgot to read the fine print.

Concert tickets for her shows have reached the "You've got to know a guy, then kill him for them" stage, so to prevent further carnage, this one-week run of one of her concerts is coming to theaters. It features her in both her Montana and Cyrus personae, and as such is titled "Best of Both Worlds", which really should have gone by a couple more focus groups. Somewhere, Randall from Clerks is laughing his ass off.


Although it opens in just 683 theaters, it's a prime candidate to win the weekend, both because of the weakness of what's out there and the rabidity of its fan base. Just try and stand between a pre-teen girl and tickets to this, I dare you. I look for a weekend figure of about $21 million, though much of it front-loaded to Friday.

On the heels of One Missed Call is yet another remake of an Asian horror film, this one entitled The Eye, and starring Jessica Alba. Alba plays a blind violinist who receives eye transplants, which have the unfortunate side effect of letting her see into the spirit world. The spirit world isn't too happy about this, and from the frightening visions she receives, she must determine exactly what they're up to and what they want with her before it's too late.

As always, there's a mystery and secrets and things that should have stayed silent yada yada yada, but the plot is seldom what people are looking for a movie like this. The original Hong Kong film's wasn't too bad as these go, but it's beside the point, which is how scary is this film? The original had its moments (as directed by the semi-legendary Pang Brothers), but the American adaptations are almost always a disappointment in comparison, with the possible exception of The Ring.

I've seen very little in the way of promotion for The Eye and it hasn't been released to critics, which does scream "dog", though Alba does have her fans still. One Missed Call was a surprise hit earlier this month, though that had much better promotion. And of course, any horror film can break out. However, I'm predicting only about $8 million for this one.

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