Weekend Forecast for January 9-11, 2009
By Reagen Sulewski
January 9, 2009
We had to wait until the second weekend of the year for the first new releases of 2009, but it's hard to say it was worth the wait.
While January brings us the usual expanding films looking for Oscar glory and/or lucre, the movies this period with a calendar date of this year are almost always nothing to write home about, because, hey, if they were, why wouldn't they open in December? While I'm not a fan of pegging quality to release dates, this is one case where it usually fits.
Bride Wars stars Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson in one of those films that's sure to set back the cause of women's rights about a decade. The two play best friends who accidentally schedule their weddings on the same day at the same venue, leading to fights over dresses, caterers, etc. etc. devolving into outright sabotage. Cattiness abounds for the two, threatening to derail both their happy days.
The actresses in this movie are a tale of two going in different directions. Hathaway had her second breakout year, starring in Get Smart and in Rachel Getting Married, which is almost certain to nab her an Oscar nomination. Hudson has seen her stock fall since getting a nomination of her own in Almost Famous, and has made most of her mark in sloppy romantic comedies like Fool's Gold and You, Me and Dupree. Still, it's a pretty good pairing and I think the two could work off each other.
The appeal of this one will depend a lot on how much you like those Bridezilla shows on TLC, and if you think jokes about bronzer hit the mark. There's probably quite a few of you out there to whom this applies, although if I may be so bold, the trailer is entirely laugh free. I would hope Bride Wars would bomb, but in a testimonial to the two lead's star power, it should arrive with about $16 million this weekend.
Over the last few months, horror has had a pretty good run in January, based on the formula of making something cheap with a young cast and hurling it into as many theatres as will take it. This year's is The Unborn, directed by David Goyer, who actually has a decent track record as a writer, if not necessarily a director (Blade: Trinity, anyone? Didn't think so).
Odette Yustman stars as a woman who, after a series of unsettling events, discovers that she was supposed to be a twin, but that her unborn sibling died in the womb. And it's trying to rectify that. Various creepifyin' things happen after that leading up to her confrontation with ultimate evil, I assume.
Another horror film from Michael Bay's production company, The Unborn has a couple of things going for it – a very bizarre creature/demon/tormented soul/something, and a creepy kid, which as we all know, sells tickets. Part of me thinks it actually inspires more laughs than scares, but sometimes that works too. Opening at 2,356 venues, look for the Unborn to come in with $11 million this weekend.