Archive for the ‘Denzel Washington’ Category

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Father Scorned; Revenge At The Box Office

January 28, 2010

Alright guys, I’ve already talked a good bit about Edge Of Darkness this week, but I’m going to do it a little bit more.  Since the popular box office game of the week (wouldn’t it be awesome if we actually had one of those?!) has been to see what can take Avatar out of the #1 spot, and since Edge Of Darkness has the best shot of doing so, and since it is Box Office Analysis Thursday, I thought we could take a quick look at three similar movies at the box office and perhaps make an early prediction for Edge Of Darkness.  Take a look inside for this box office quickie:

Taken (2009)

This revenge thriller followed Liam Neeson on a vengeful quest to rescue his kidnapped daughter.  It opened on the same weekend last year that Edge Of Darkness is opening on this year, though it had to compete with The Super Bowl, which hurt its Sunday grosses.  Still, people enjoyed Neeson’s determined drive to take down the evil society that had kidnapped his baby girl, and Taken opened to a solid $24.7 million before grossing $145 million overall.

Man On Fire (2004)
Denzel Washington played Dakota Fanning’s bodyguard in a dangerous Mexico City.  Despite his desire not to get attached, Washington grows to care deeply about the young girl.  When she’s kidnapped, he goes on a rampage, stopping at nothing to get her back, even if it’s at a major cost to himself.  The gritty revenge thriller was a mid level hit, grossing $22.7 million on opening weekend and $77.9 million total.

Payback (1999)

Mel Gibson starred in this thriller back in 1999, and I can’t get over the poster’s uncanny resemblance to the ads for Edge Of Darkness!  In Payback, Gibson played an oily guy who was betrayed by his friend and shot by his own wife.  Remarkably, he recovers and quickly decides to seek revenge on his former loved ones.  The thriller opened to $21.2 million and earned $81.5 million overall.

Edge Of Darkness (2010)

Based on the predictions above, I think we’re going to be looking at yet another debut in the $20 millions.  Mel Gibson may have a tarnished image, but he’s still a star, and he looks like a perfect fit for this angry role.  This mini-genre of individual men seeking revenge has proved to be pretty consistent, and with a good advertising campaign, I think Edge Of Darkness might be looking at a $26 million opening weekend and a $95 million gross.

Weekend Preview: The Book Of Eli Prophesies (Guess What?) Another Winning Weekend For Avatar!

January 15, 2010

When we look at the first two weeks of 2010, we’ve seen some solid box office results, but they’ve been due primarily to the popular December releases.  This weekend, which is extended due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, it looks like 2010 might finally be starting to pull its weight.  The Book Of Eli, The Spy Next Door, and The Lovely Bones are all opening into wide releases, and each should find some alright results.  Still, none of them will be able to unseat Avatar at the top of the chart, and the sci-fi epic should see a fifth weekend of incredible revenue.  Overall, most holdovers should have very small drops this weekend, as MLK Day gives people the chance to stay out late on Sunday and hit the theaters on Monday as well.  Avatar should get very close to the $500 million mark over the four-day frame, while Sherlock Holmes and Alvin will each get closer to $200 million.  You can watch the video above for my predictions of the newcomers, and then check below for my full box office predictions for the four day weekend.

Box Office Predictions for January 15-18, 2010
Rank Movie Theaters Predicted Gross
1 Avatar 3,285 $43 million
2 The Book Of Eli 3,111 $28 million
3 The Spy Next Door 2,924 $16.5 million
4 The Lovely Bones 2,563 $12.7 million
5 Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel 3,296 $11.2 million
6 Sherlock Holmes 3,173 $10.9 million
7 Daybreakers 2,523 $8.2 million
8 It’s Complicated 2,670 $7.5 million
9 Leap Year 2,512 $6.2 million
10 The Blind Side 2,408 $5.9 million

New And News: Denzel And Jackie Star In One Very Confusing Movie, And One Very Obvious One

January 11, 2010

Alright, now this is more like the January I’ve come to know and love.  As opposed to the relatively well-reviewed releases of last week, two sorta crappy-looking movies are hitting theaters this Friday.  These are the sorts of films that usually debut in January.  Movies have typically opened poorly in January, as it’s somewhat of a box office dead zone after the huge numbers of November and December.  Because box office results are often bad, studios release some of their worst movies in January, and because movie quality is bad, the box office stays in the toilet.  Do you see how that cycle perpetuates itself?  Well, with a confusing apocalyptic thriller and a fish-out-of-water family comedy that, despite some solid star power, each look pretty poor, the third weekend of January should continue the tradition sub-par quality.  Poor box office, however? That’s another story, as both of these new releases have a shot at some moderate success.  Keep on reading for an over view of this week’s new releases, as well as some news about Star Trek 2, Green Lantern, a sequel to Twister, and James Cameron’s latest move.

New:

The Book Of Eli (Warner Bros) – 3,000 theaters – Reviews

This movie looks downright confusing.  Somehow, Denzel Washington is a super-violent, Bible-thumping, warrior in a post-apocalyptic world.  Maybe it’s a sequel to 2012?  Maybe to The Road?  Denzel is supposed to be a sort of righteous fighter, with Mila Kunis as his apprentice, and as they journey over a barren landscape, they kill a lot of people.  This movie’s advertising seems to be avoiding associating itself too much with the Bible, though it seems like a key plot point.  Thus, the ads have left me scratching my head, and when audiences don’t have any clue what movie is about, it’s never good for business.  Denzel will bring in audiences for sure, but I don’t see this taking down Avatar.

The Spy Next Door (Lionsgate) – 2,800 theaters – Reviews

This looks almost exactly the same as Disney’s 2003 Vin Diesel vehcile, The Pacifier.  Jackie Chan plays a former spy ready who’s asked to babysit a neighbor’s three children, who find themselves in a heap of trouble when one of them downloads an top secret code.  Keeping these kids in line and winning their approval proves to be harder than he would have thought, and hijinks ensue.  Blah.  How can I tell this movie is a stinker.  First off, it’s an uncreative premise.  Second, it’s debuting in January.  Third, it’s starring Billy Ray Cyrus. 

News:

Star Trek Sequel’s Release Date Set:

I mentioned it last week that Star Trek 2 (I’m sure the title will be something more along the lines of Star Trek: The Rise Of The Blah-Blah-Blah) would begin shooting in Late 2010. Now, BoxOfficeMojo reports that the Paramount sci-fi film will release on June 29th, 2012.  That means we’ve got 2 years, 5 months, and 18 days to buzz anxiously about it!

James Cameron Options Japanese War Film

The Avatar director has optioned yet another film that he may possibly make.  Instead of a sci-fi epic like Battle Angel or The Fantastic Voyage, though, this one would be an adaptation of the upcoming book, The Last Train To Hiroshima, which chronicles the eyewitness accounts of Japanese civilians and American pilots who watched the atomic bombs go off.  Is this really the right movie for Cameron to direct? I know he loves big special effects, but we don’t really want to turn Hiroshima and Nagasaki into entertaining spectacle, do we?

What Goes Around Comes Around

Who needs new ideas when we’ve got so many old ones?  Despite the fact that Twister, which earned $241 million at the box office, is now a whopping fourteen years old, Bill Paxton is hoping to move forward with production on a sequel.  At least he’s honest about why he’s doing it, though: “The only reason I’d like to revisit that ground is because I realize we’re living in a time where big movies cost so much to make that the town is looking for built-in audiences…”  The bad news about this: they want to shoot it in 3D.  Ugh.

Blake Lively Cast In Green Lantern

Female castings in superhero movies are always some of the most buzzed about movie news on the web, and that’s certainly been the case with Blake Lively’s recent casting as Ryan Reynolds’ love interest in The Green Lantern.  I think she’s a great actress, and she’ll probably do a good job, but to me, her voice is a bit too deep to be a screaming damsel in distress!  Is that too judgmental?

This Week In Blockbusters: The Dry Spell Continues

June 9, 2009


We’re moving into the next week of the smaller blockbuster movies. You know, those that only make 45 million in their opening weekend.
Last weekend, despite early predictions, The Hangover edged out Up by just a few hundred thousand dollars. It made some 45 million to Up‘s 44.1. A close race to be sure. The Hangover is an hysterical movie, so I’m glad it’s performing well. They’re already talking about a sequel. Seriously.

But it will be interesting to see if this weekend will top last, or if we will have our lowest opening so far this summer. When it comes to bankable movies, there’s only two worthy of mention. Imagine That brings Eddie Murphy to another family comedy, hopefully one that performs better than his previous forays in this territory. It doesn’t have too many early reviews, which often isn’t a great designator in a company’s faith in a movie. But of the four that it has so far, three of them are positive, putting it at a cool 75% on Rotten Tomatoes. That beats Pluto Nash by a landslide.

Imagine That tells the story of a financial executive (Murphy) who finds himself in a business rut. His daughter (Yara Shahidi) has quite the active imagination, and dreams up a fantasy world with countries and monarchs all named after huge American corporations. When her drawing shows two of these characters getting married, it soon follows that the companies with the respective names decide to merge with one another. Realizing his daughter’s strange prophecy, the businessman will use her and whatever fairy she’s getting her information from to help him get ahead. And it’s likely he and his daughter will become close. Just throwing that out.

Family films have the strange power to make crap-loads of cash. I say this week-end might be a slump, but I’ve seen predictions for this movie upwards of 65 million. It certainly could happen, I just feel like I’ve heard very little about it. I’m not sure it’s been marketed well, unless it’s only been previewed on Nickelodeon. Or perhaps I’m just missing it. But it seems to be one of those movies that tries to appeal to adults, so I feel like I should be seeing it everywhere for it to rack in that much cash. Well, only time will tell. Come Monday we’ll see just how much another family friendly Eddie Murphy comedy can pull in.

Excitement Buzz: 5/10 


Also coming out this week is the action/suspense film The Taking of Pelham 123. It stars Denzel Washington as Walter Garber, as a lowly dispatcher of the New York City subway system. The described ‘mastermind thief’ of a villain is portrayed by John Travolta, who I happen to love in bad-guy rolls. Swordfish, Broken Arrow, hot damn he can take cartoony villains and make them menacing. In this movie, he even sports a goatee, which means he’ll be willing to kill even more people than usual. Sweet.

Ryder (Travolta) along with three lackies hijack Pelham 123 in New York City’s subway and demands a large amount of money to be delivered within th hour, or people start to die. A plot elegant in its simplicity, no? Ten years ago, this would be pitched as ‘Die Hard’ on a subway train, if only this weren’t a remake of a 1974 movie. Anyway, he will only speak to Walter, who has extensive knowledge of the subway system. Walter has one question that nags him the entire film: even if they get the money, how do they plan to escape? I don’t know what it’ll be, but it’s going to be sweet. I imagine extensive use of dynamite, a wrecking ball, a helicopter, gold fish crackers, a catapult, the monster from Lost, and Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

It’s a standard action film, but it’s got big names in the leads, which will certainly draw viewers in (especially since Denzel is sooooo dreamy). Most predictions for this film are in the 30 million range, so Eddie Murphy might beat Denzel after all.

Excitement Buzz: 7/10

And finally, a movie I expect will make much less than it deserves, the new cerebral science fiction movie Moon comes out this Friday. Starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey, the films tells the story of astronaut Sam Bell (Rockwell), who has lived on the moon alone for three long years, extracting the rare gas Helium-3 for a company called Lunar, which says it holds the key to solving Earth’s energy crisis. When he’s only two weeks away from the end of his tenure on the moon, when he plans to retire wealthy and make up for lost time with his wife and daughter, he begins to feel odd and has aural and visual hallucinations. The mystery unfolds as Sam discovers Lunar has been less than honest about their intentions and that the life he has created might not be what he had perceived. It’s at a 100% at Rotten Tomatoes after 19 reviews, so if that trend continues we could have an excellent, insightful science fiction film, more akin to 2001 than to Star Trek.
Excitement Buzz: Me: 8/10, Females: 1/10. 
Angry comment of the hour: In searching for pictures of Moon, I searched “Moon film,” aware that searching for ‘Moon’ would give me, well, pictures of the moon. I didn’t get at all what I wanted. Instead, I got poster after poster of New Moon, the Twilight sequel that makes self castration seem like an attraction at Disneyland.