...And One Jive-Talking Chevrolet to Rule Them All
Welcome back to Movieline Attractions, your regular guide to everything new, noteworthy and culture-war inducing at box office. This week, we sit back and watch Michael Bay's bloody coup overtake the world, Cameron Diaz gets maternal, and two of the better outcomes of the War on Terror cross over to the States. Pray that a shapeshifting Chevrolet doesn't intercept them, and view the rest of this weekend's movie forecast after the jump.
WHAT'S NEW: Usually this is the space where much deliberation goes into predicting the week's box-office winners, losers and dark-horse contenders. But Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and its record-threatening box-office pace ($88 million domestically in two days) makes that kind of irrelevant. I suppose we could discuss whether or not the Cameron Diaz kid-cancer weepie My Sister's Keeper has the hormonal pull to over take the second week of The Proposal, which, even with a 50-percent-plus drop, should still overshadow Sister's $12.3 million for the weekend. Unless Sister achieves some counterprogramming boom, which is altogether possible in a weekend this volatile.
Mutilplex refugees can find asylum in an unusually fortified art house, starting with Stephen Frears and Michelle Pfeiffer's terrific Cheri, trickling down to Kerry Washington's transsexual showcase Life is Hot in Cracktown and Jennifer Lynch's gruesome little indie thriller Surveillance. Also: The hot-button Iranian drama The Stoning of Soraya M., Indian auteur Kabir Khan returns to post-9/11 themes in the drama New York, and IFC has imported the Italian drama Quiet Chaos (NYC only).
THE BIG LOSER: From where I sit, this weekend looks like a gold rush. Even The Hangover is going to break $200 million globally this weekend. Everybody wins.
THE UNDERDOG: Can we have two? Considering its well-documented link to spiritual cousin American Idol, the non-fiction Sundance darling Afghan Star (right) could fit here just as easily as the universally acclaimed Iraq War thriller The Hurt Locker (top right), both of which open in limited release today. This is a pair of Oscar-caliber films plunked right in the dead of summer, and curious viewers will take their opportunities to get behind each of them starting now. It's never too early to mount a campaign (at least not any more), and with the impressive box-office showings expected from each, be the first on your block to call your awards-season shots.
FOR SHUT-INS: Venture out to the theater if you can, or just surrender to a book: Apart from the overrated critics' darling Waltz With Bashir, there's kind of a famine of watchabilty between Confessions of a Shopaholic, Inkheart, The Pink Panther 2 and The Girls Next Door: Season Five.