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Weekend Forecast for February 29 - March 2, 2007

By Reagen Sulewski

February 29, 2008

Ron Burgundy experiments with a new look.

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The once-in-every-28 years Leap Day release date sees only three films take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity. Do studios have no sense of history?

The most significant of the films to make a date with immortality is Semi-Pro, starring Will Ferrell. Like Anchorman, this sees Ferrell mine the 1970s for comedy once again, specifically the ABA, the rival league that merged with the NBA in that decade. Ferrell plays Jackie Moon, the player/coach/owner of the Flint Tropics, one of the... shall we say, lesser lights of the league.

When the merger between the ABA and the NBA is announced with the top four teams coming across, it falls to Moon's band of misfits to jump from the cellar to, well, respectability. And some fans would be nice too, which is where the crazy stunts like wrestling a bear and Evel Knievel-esque stunts come in.

In the last few years, Ferrell has taken over Adam Sandler's mantle as the biggest ex-SNL comedy star out there, though he hasn't been quite as reliable as Sandler was in his heyday. Blades of Glory showed that his box office is highly dependent on the setup for the film, as it threw well under Talladega Nights's box office, at least on opening weekend. Semi-Pro relies on mostly the same forced wackiness of his other films, along with his proclivity for Ferrell's characters to think of themselves as sex symbols. There's basically no new ground being tread here, which is probably the safe route for him.




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Semi-Pro also features Andre Benjamin, Woody Harrelson, Maura Tierney and Will Arnett (and a few other recognizable names), but these are essentially just fillers when it comes to box office appeal. It's make-or-break on Ferrell. With basketball being a bit more 18-35 male demographic pleasing than figure skating, it should be able to do a bit better than Blades of Glory, but he's got some work to do to get back to his peak appeal. I say about $35 million this weekend.

The Other Boleyn Girl may be a talky period piece about sibling rivalry, but you can't say they're not trying to meet potential male viewers halfway. In casting Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson as Anne and Mary Boleyn, two of Henry VIII's mistresses, they've put two of the hottest young starlets together on the screen

Set in the early days of Henry VIII's reign, and shortly after his turn from Catholicism, The Other Boleyn Girl focuses on the struggle of him to produce a male heir. With two daughters, the Boleyn family offers up the eldest, Anne, as a potential mistress and wife for the King, in order to secure power. And you thought your parents sucked. While this initially works out for all concerned, Anne's sister also catches the King's eye, and let's just say it's good to be the King.

Anne's certainly not too happy to be pushed aside, especially for someone so close, and revenge is plotted in much the same manner of the villain in a high school movie, except with the fate of a country and not just the prom colors at stake. It's The CW presents costume drama, though in its defense, most of the film's actions really happened.


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