Max Braden's March 2009 Forecast
By Max Braden
March 6, 2009
Weekend Starting March 6thWatchmen
When I saw the trailer for this last year I thought it looked full of itself and pointless. When I saw the costumes on the cover of Entertainment Weekly a couple months ago I thought it looked like a spoof. I was predicting a bomb until I actually saw the movie, and then I was impressed. I haven't read the graphic novel so I can't tell if hardcore fans will be impressed, but no doubt they'll go. Were it not for the ridiculously long two hour and 45 minute run time, I'd go again just to see Jackie Earle Haley's scenes (and the sexy Malin Akerman) and if I had Dr. Manhattan's powers I'd eliminate The Comedian's awful character. I predict mixed but overall positive reviews, which should help hold some box office. This is a spring break weekend for a lot of schools so there should be plenty of students in line. Too bad Warner Bros. is missing out on some vital 15-year-old males with the R rating. Perhaps the dangling blue penis will attract some extra adults.
Forecast: $58 million
Weekend Starting March 13Race to Witch Mountain
I wonder if any of Disney's target audience knows this is actually the third in the Witch Mountain series, since the last movie came out when their parents were kids. I watched the first two again recently and have to admit they stink compared to my childhood memories of them. On the other hand, this one looks like it's got enough adventure that I'd almost go to see. The Rock was good in Get Smart so I wouldn't doubt him hitting the right tone in this. Disney will just have to hope the extra action and less buffoonery will help make up for The Pink Panther 2's weak box office. The Game Plan (directed by Andy Fickman, who also directed Race to Witch Mountain) and Journey to the Center of the Earth both opened in the low 20s and had long legs. This should do decent business until Aliens vs. Monsters arrives two weeks later.
Forecast: $23 million.
The Last House on the Left
Were it not for Friday the 13th having a crazy opening last month, I'd compare this horror flick to The Strangers or Vacancy and dismiss it with a $10 million opening and move on. But this conveniently falls on a Friday the 13th. Rogue Pictures last released The Unborn in January which opened to almost $20 million. This year's box office has been high on something, so I'll go higher than my gut tells me to. On the other hand, my gut tells me not to go to this movie, and I'll listen.
Forecast: $20 million.
Amy Adams is adorable and I'm all about crime scenes, so even though this is a stealth chick flick I'll be looking forward to seeing this in the theater. Alan Arkin in anything with the word "Sunshine" in the title is also a draw. Director Christine Jeffs only has the Paltrow drama Sylvia under her belt, and this is from newcomer Overture Films, which has mostly delivered moderately wide releases with small box office. If they distribute this in more than 1,500 sites they could pick up business from good word-of-mouth.
Forecast: $11 million.