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Max Braden's December 2008 Forecast

By Max Braden

December 5, 2008

The working title of this film was Night at the Museum.

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Weekend Starting December 19th

Yes Man
Box office competition heats up this weekend, but Jim Carrey should come out on top with this comedy, which looks strikingly similar to Liar, Liar.
Forecast: $35 million.

The Tale of Despereaux
Based on the award winning children's books about an underdog mouse who saves a princess, this animated fairy tale should do very well with kids and more than a few adults. The Universal Pictures animation isn't Pixar, but the charm is there, and Despereaux is a cross between Fievel and Remy from Ratatouille.
Forecast: $30 million.

Seven Pounds
This movie has two things going for it. One is Will Smith, who is pretty much the first name in movies. Two is the intrigue: How is the ensemble connected? Is this more Pay it Forward, or more Atonement? And what's his obsession with running? He seems rich enough he could afford a driver. Anyway, there are a some drawbacks, too. The Pursuit of Happyness pulled in over $162 million but drew criticism about glossy drama. Smith is coming off of Hancock, not one of his better reviewed films. And audiences might be wary of a mystery hook after realizing there wasn't much going on in The Happening.
Forecast: $25 million opening and his lowest total gross since I, Robot.

Awards Season Alert! Everyone loves underdogs and swan songs, which is why Mickey Rourke may finally see his first Oscar nomination for The Wrestler.




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Christmas Week

Bedtime Stories
Combining the imagination of A Night at The Museum and Zathura, Bedtime Stories will be Adam Sandler's tenth $100+ million grossing film and likely the ultimate box office winner for this month's releases. While he's previously scored with brash characters geared more toward college and older crowds, this Disney release will appeal mostly to family audiences.
Forecast: $65 million based on its Wednesday opening.

Valkyrie
"One occult obsessed paranoid takes on another in Crazy vs. Crazy..." Sending Tom Cruise to kill Hitler sounds like a logical move to me, because Tom is so intense you practically duck when he looks your way for fear of his eye lasers melting your brain. Not intense enough to try a German accent, though. Still, I find the inevitable doom appealing enough to go see.
Forecast: $20 million.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The what-if premise of aging backwards seems intriguing on paper, but I wonder it can be pulled off in the context of a romance on screen. Won't the age difference be just wrong for all but a few minutes in the story? The draw here is the prequel to Forrest Gump's epic tour of an American era. Plus there are those that will see anything starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.
Forecast: $15 million and the top contender for Best Picture awards.

Awards Season Alert! Sam Mendes directs Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Revolutionary Road, about the emotional prison of 1950s suburbia. It's the kind of material that won Mendes his Oscar for American Beauty.


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