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Weekend Forecast for March 12-14, 2010

By Reagen Sulewski

March 12, 2010

That guy swears he's not Jason Bourne, but we don't believe him.

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There's no $100 million-plus surprises awaiting in this weekend's box office (I don't think), but we do have a weekend chock-full of new films ranging from action to comedy to romance, and each utilizing their own definitions of star power.

Green Zone leads, the way, directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Matt Damon. That pairing should be familiar to most action fans as the one responsible for the last two Bourne films, and the ones responsible for turning that franchise into one of the bigger one of the last decade. After talks about a fourth Bourne film broke down and with Greengrass admitting he didn't have any strong ideas for another film, they've moved on to a different plan.

Movies about the Iraq War and/or terrorism have at best been minor box office hits, with the odd critical darling in the mix that audiences ignored. The Kingdom (only tangentially about Iraq) and The Hurt Locker have really been the only two notable successes. In the case of the latter, it's only after a huge push by guilds and critics' organizations, and it will probably earn most of its money through DVD sales.

Green Zone brings a potent combination of star power and action that we haven't seen in a movie of this type recently. Lions for Lambs had Tom Cruise but little action; The Kingdom had lots of action but only mid-level stars. The biggest question for this film is whether the public's attitude to films about Iraq has changed – or was it just that the films that we did make about them were overly preachy and boring?




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I tend to lean towards the latter – films about Vietnam came out just years after that war ended and were popular, and that was no less unpopular a conflict. Many of the films people point to as examples of how movie goers aren't willing to watch movies about Iraq, like Stop Loss and Rendition, simply aren't the kind of films that are ever going to be blockbusters. Green Zone has Damon combating deceptive government agents and military contractors in the search for WMDs – but with far more emphasis on action and espionage than any of the previous films about this war.

It's pretty unlikely that Green Zone will pick up right where the Bourne movies left off – you can't beat name recognition for one thing, and the ads are necessarily less slick, as befitting the fact that this isn't a techno-thriller. It should, however, start off better than the first Bourne movie did. Opening at a little over 3,000 venues, Green Zone should have an opening weekend of about $31 million.

You kind of wonder what Robert Pattinson has done to someone at Summit Entertainment. They've apparently purchased a lifetime contract on him and decided to use it up by putting him in the worst crap ever. This week it's Remember Me, a sub-Sparksian romance about 20-somethings in New York City.

There's not much to this one outside of the presence of Pattinson and Lost's Emilie de Ravin making kissy-faces and getting out of their parents' shadows, dammit! Okay, that's not entirely true – there's a twist ending to the film that's floating out on the web that's just outrageous in nature that it's almost worth seeing. Almost.


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