Archive for the ‘matt damon’ Category

New And News: This Week Brings Disney’s First Black Princess And Nelson Mandela; Coincidence?

December 7, 2009

Welcome to the Monday column, New And News, where I go over this week’s new releases, as well as some of the best news articles from the past week.  Opening in theaters this week we have two movies that deal interestingly with race.  The oft-criticized black-princess-showcasing Disney release, The Princess And The Frog, and the racially themed Nelson Mandela biopic, Invictus.  After summarizing those two films, keep on reading for news about sequels in the Harry Potter, Twilight, and Bourne franchises.


The Princess And The Frog (Disney) – 3,300 theaters – Reviews

The Disney we all know and love is back to doing what it does best: telling romanticized fairy tales with beautiful music and traditional animation.  Five years after Disney’s rather foolish statement that it would no longer produce traditional 2D animation, the studio is back with another sure-to-be-a-classic princess tale, The Princess And The Frog.  Equipped with jazzy New Orleans music, iconic Louisiana bayou scenery, a voodoo witch-doctor villain, cute animated animals, and the first black Disney princess, this film has a lot of buzz around it, and it’s sure to get nostalgia points from audiences of all ages.  I mean, who wasn’t excited by the first five animated minutes of Enchanted back in 2007?  As a college student, I know that tons of my friends are ready to go see this, and parents and kids alike are sure to be drawn to the theaters.  I know I’ll be taking my little sister once I come home for Christmas!  The Princess And The Frog has done extremely well in its limited release of just two theaters, and it will play very well over the holidays.  My very early estimate for this has it earning somewhere between $150-$200 million, with a $50 million opening.  That will probably change over the course of the week as I do some more research, but for now, that’s what I’ve got.

Invictus (Warner Brothers) – 2,150 theaters – Reviews

Morgan Freeman portrays South African President Nelson Mandela in this presitigious Oscar-bait.  Freeman is beloved by audiences, though he rarely has a major leading role, so there’s a considerable amount of excitement around this feature.  Matt Damon also stars as famous rugby player Francois Pienaar, and between star power, good reviews, strong advertising, Clint Eastwood (who the academy loves… see Million Dollar Baby‘s win for Best Picture in 2004), and racial drama (which the Academy loves…. see Crash‘s win for Best Picture in 2005), this should be a considerable hit for Warner Brothers.  If it does well in the beginning of its run, strong word-of-mouth and awards nominations will carry Invictus to becoming a major financial victory.


Final Twilight To Be Split Into Two Movies

Following in the footsteps of The Hobbit and the final Harry Potter (more on that below), Summit has decided that it will split the final Twilight film, Breaking Dawn, into two films.  Unfortunately, whereas the book versions of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows and The Hobbit have extremely dense and complex plotsthat merit such a split, it appears that Breaking Dawn will simply be an even more drawn out affair, in which Bella and Jacob stare meaninglessly out into the drab, rainy forest.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Teaser

Warner Brothers has attached a new teaser for the first part of their final Harry Potter installment.  It’s getting me pretty excited!  A little less than a year away, Deathly Hallows is coming out next Winter.

Greengrass Backs Out Of Fourth Bourne Movie

This news broke out on The Playlist blog, and far too many people on the internet have scooped it up, claimed it as their own, and failed to give credit where credit is due.  Paul Greengrass, director of all three films in the Bourne franchise, has backed out of directing a fourth edition.  Where this puts the state of the franchise and Matt Damon’s involvement is unknown at this point.  Personally, I’m cool with this.  The Bourne Ultimatum was a tremendous ending to the stellar action franchise.  I say, why not end on a high note?!


Friday Estimates: Meatballs-Good, Informant-Solid, Love Happens-Fair, Jennifer’s Body-Poor

September 19, 2009

Here are your box office estimates for Friday September 18:

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs had a solid first day with $8.1 million, and it seems headed for a $27 million weekend.  The Informant! fared pretty well with $3.7 million on Friday, and a $10.8 million weekend seems in order.  Jennifer Aniston’s Love Happens found $3.1 million, while Megan Fox’s Jennifer’s Body earned $2.8 million on Friday, but Jennifer’s Body is sure to be frontloaded.  Give Love Happens $9 million for the weekend, while Body might find $6.8 million.

Friday Estimates for September 18, 2009
1. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs – $8.1 million
2. The Informant – $3.7 million
3. I Can Do Bad All By Myself – $3.1 million
4. Love Happens – $3.1 million
5. Jennifer’s Body – $2.8 million
6. 9 – $1.6 million
7. Inglorious Basterds – $1.2 million
8. All About Steve – $1.1 million
9. Sorority Row – $850,000
10. The Final Destination – $740,000
11. Whiteout – $665,000
12. Julie And Julia – $590,000

What do you think about these results? Let me hear your reactions in the comments!

Weekend Preview: Will "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" Rain As Box Office King?

September 18, 2009

Four new films hit theaters this weekend, and contrary to the usual September box office behavior, we’ve got some high profile, well promoted pictures flying onto the screen.  Sony is bringing us an animated adaptation of the famous childrens book, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.   Fox has the Megan Fox horror film, Jennifer’s Body.  Warner Brothers is premiering the Matt Damon vehicle, The Informant!.  And Universal is debuting a schmaltzy romantic (comedic?) film, Love Happens.  Along with solid holdovers from Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself and 9, it should be a lively weekend at the box office, which makes my job fun!  Here are my predictions:

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs – 3,119 theaters – $27 million
1. This is based on a popular childrens book.  Movies that are based on books have built in audiences, which helps box office a lot, but a movie with a built in kids audience is even better because it drags parents into the theater.
2. Advertising has been strong, the premise is fun, and reviews are great.  All of these things will help the box office.
3. Isn’t it kind of nice to just get a nice, normal computer animated film?  None of this 3-D mumbo jumbo.  Imagine how refreshing it will be when Disney debuts The Princess And The Frog later this year and we get nice, normal traditional animation!

Jennifer’s Body – 2,701 theaters – $13 million
1. Some analysts have this earning more, but I’m not convinced that Megan Fox is actually a box office draw.  Guys love to see her in the Transformers movies, but that’s like saying Keira Knightley is the reason guys saw the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Action and adventure will get men into the seats, and though they’ll gobble up the gorgeous women selling themselves on the screen, I don’t believe that is the main drawing factor.  Fox has yet to prove she can open a movie, and as Sorority Row taught us last week, hot girls aren’t enough to make something a box office hit.
2. In the film, Megan Fox becomes some sort of zombie, but the advertisements make her look more like some sort of vampire.  I’m sure this is intentional, as vampires are the new penguins in terms of consumer appeal, and it will probably help a bit.
3. R Ratings are not good for box office.  Especially for a movie headlined by someone with a very young fanbase.

The Informant! – 2,505 theaters – $12.5 million
1. I’m not going to lie.  I had heard nothing about this movie until last week, but it looks like it’s being marketed as a Coen Brothers-style farce by Steven Soderbergh.
2. Matt Damon is another star who has yet to prove himself as a box office draw outside of the Bourne and Oceans franchises.  Still, he’s reached a certain level of celebrity in the last two years.  You know, the kind where you can go on any late night talk show whenever you want.  The kind where you can get on the cover of People without any movie to promote.  It’s called the A-list, and while Damon is no Brad Pitt, he’ll certainly bring some crowds to the theater.
3. Calling your movie The Informant! instantly places it into the realm of politics.  Movies about politics are tough sells, especially these days, when people have just about had enough of our own government.  The subject matter is the biggest negative to this film’s box office.

Love Happens – 1,898 theaters – $12 million
1. The reviews are terrible, the title is horrendous, and the theater count is pretty low.  But this is a romance, and romances are review-proof.  If P.S. I Love You can make $53 million, then I simply can’t believe that this, a film with much more star power, will flop.
2. Jennifer Aniston is a box office draw.  She proved it with Marley And Me, The Break Up, and He’s Just Not That Into You.  People don’t give her the credit she deserves
3. Nights In Rodanthe opened in late September last year to $13.4 million, but that movie looked more romantic and less dour, so I think Love Happens will perform similarly.


Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself will plummet this weekend, as all Tyler Perry films do in their second weekend.  Don’t be surprised if it undercuts by $10 million prediction.  9, meanwhile adds 399 theaters, to bring its venue count to 2,060.  That should soften it’s second weekend decline, giving it a $6.3 million weekend. Here are the full box office predictions:

Box Office Predictions for September 18-20, 2009
1. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs – $27 million
2. Jennifer’s Body – $13 million
3. The Informant! – $12.5 million
4. Love Happens – $12 million
5. I Can Do Bad All By Myself – $10 million
6. 9 – $6.3 million
7. Inglorious Basterds – $3.6 million
8. All About Steve – $2.7 million
9. The Final Destination – $2.4 million
10. Whiteout – $2.2 million

What are your predictions?  And what do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments!

Trailer Junkies: Here’s Your Fix

July 1, 2009

We’re getting bitch-slapped with new trailers today, so it’s a good thing we’re masochists.

The Informant

I have a funny confession. I’ve seen stuff about this movie pop up from time to time, and completely and utterly ignored it. Why? Because I thought The Informant starring Matt Damon was going to be another typical thriller film starring Matt Damon. The title definitely had me thinking more action suspense than funny comedy. I wasn’t the only one either, apparently many other people have made the mistake. But it looks hilarious, reminiscent of the Coen Brothers ‘serious comedies,’ most recently Burn After Reading, a brilliant and hysterical movie.

I also approve of Matt Damon in the comedy role (which is good, I know he was seeking my approval). He was great in the Ocean’s Eleven series (even the horrific disaster that was the second movie), and I thought he and Greg Kinnear were great in Stuck On You. The Informant looks like it’s pumping some intelligence into the ‘idiot has to play reconnaissance’ gag, and it looks like they did it successfully.

Couples Retreat

Four times the couple, four times the rom-com. If nothing else, this movie has a stellar cast. Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau play off each other very well, and Jason Bateman has gained some humor cred in the TV show Arrested Development. Malin Akerman is a rising star (a rather attractive rising star) who has been seen in two big films this year, Watchmen and The Proposal. Kristin Bell has a rather incredible mix of the ‘cute,’ ‘hot,’ and ‘beautiful’ tenents that come with female attractiveness. And Kristin Davis, of Sex and the City fame, is a talented actres, and pretty damn good looking for a forty-four year old (or thirty-four year old, for that matter). The last couple are of the unknown variety, but they’re played by and Faizon Love and Kalie Hawk.

The only trick here is juggling all four couples (8 leads) effectively, without obfuscating the plot too much (I’ve been trying to fit that word in for weeks now). But overall it looks like a decent premise.

Alvin and the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel

Movie TrailersMovies Blog

You read that right. Yes they are making a sequel to Alvin and the Chipmunks, the surprise box-office success, and yes some assclown decided to subtitle it “The Squeakquel.” Those are the most adorable things I think I’ve ever wanted to strangle.

Biggest mystery ever: the Chipmunks are actually voiced by some well known actors: Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Anna Farris, Christina Applegate, and Amy Poehler. The females especially are bringing some celebrity clout. The mystery: why? They’re just going to distort their voices and throw them up 12 octaves anyway, why not just have one person do all six? Oh well.