December 2009 Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
December 4, 2009
12. Everybody's Fine(December 4th)
This dramedy looks mighty similar to last year's Last Chance Harvey, with the plot once again dabbling in an ignored parental figure who journeys to reconnect with his sullen offspring. Robert De Niro is nice, sad, and likeable in the lead, and the presence of polar opposites Drew Barrymore and Kate Beckinsale ought to give Everybody's Fine some tonal variety. If the reviews are decent enough, this one could actually nab a presentable little total for itself, even with some same-genre comeptition. It just looks like a good little story for the holidays, doesn't it?
Opening weekend: $10 million / Total gross: $37 million
13. Brothers (December 4th)
Here's a remake of a Danish film that plays like a gathering of the Oscar junior leagues: Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Natalie Portman. Not too shabby, but a dark story like this only has so much box office appeal, and the trailer oddly descends from melodrama to near-thriller. I'm a little confused at the moment as to whether this is being positioned as a serious awards contender, or just a drama aimed at dampening the holiday cheer of audiences over the Christmas season. If it's not that Oscary, I don't see a particularly leggy run, just a good performance with a hint of legs. A smidgen.
Opening weekend: $9 million / Total gross: $33 million
14. Armored (December 4th)
This one's an action thriller pushed back from September, and so it's no surprise that it seems out of place among a batch of awards-bait comedy-dramas. Armored looks OK, but does anyone really want to spend the holiday season watching a bunch of people shooting each other? There's a reason that Christmas-set Die Hard 2 came out in July - these dark action movies don't do well in December, and so Armored may well repeat the legendary box office performance of Punisher: War Zone.
Opening weekend: $5 million / Total gross: $13 million