Weekend Forecast: Fresh Daniel Craig, Seth Rogen Dishes No Match For Leftovers
If it's Thursday, then it must be time to survey the latest new releases at the mutliplex and beyond. For what that's worth: This week's box-office turnout is likely to bear an uncanny resemblance to last week's -- particularly near the top, where Moneyball, Dolphin Tale and that stereoscopic flaxen-maned juggernaut that roared, The Lion King 3D are all expected to repeat last week's command performance in one permutation or another. Where will the rest fall? To the Forecast!
[Click the film titles for Movieline's reviews]
· Dream House: Some day the whole story will come out about Dream House, whose origins as a high-concept haunted-house thriller for Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts and director Jim Sheridan gave way to a folly of acrimony, egos, reshoots, and ceaseless studio meddling. (At least Craig and Weisz got a marriage out of it, right? Though even its origins during Weisz's bust-up with Darren Aronofsky are not without suspicion.) Or maybe the story won't come out, considering that Dream House has virtually zero buzz, didn't screen for critics and may open as low as fifth place this week, thus signaling a miniscule public appetite for anything related to this film. It's especially bad news for Craig, who already has a mega-flop to his name this year and doesn't need more baggage to haul to the Bond 23 set. Anyway, I've already spent more time writing about this thing than most of America will spend watching it in the next three days, so... yeah. In some parallel universe where good people's good intentions blossom into good work, this is a hit. Here it's a Halloween-flick benchwarmer. FORECAST: $12.4 million
· What's Your Number?: Americans can basically bedivided into two factions: Devoted Anna Faris completists who attend every movie she makes, and once-devoted Anna Faris completists for whom some films are simply a bridge too far. For some it was Scary Movie 4, for others it was Mama's Boy, for others still it was Yogi Bear. And for others still it's going to be this. You know which camp you fall into. And if early _What's Your Nymber? buzz is any real indication, then a lot of the former group are preparing to join the latter. At least for this weekend, anyway. FORECAST: $10.7 million
· 50/50: I like this movie and want it to do well, but its R-rating, subject matter, and the increasingly divisive Seth Rogen factor suggest that the otherwise satisfying cancer comedy -- based on screenwriter and Rogen pal Will Reiser's real-life battle against cancer -- will probably run smack into a seven-figure box-office ceiling in 2,400 theaters. Very, very low eight figures is a possibility depending on how Moneyball holds over, but don't bet on it. Or do bet on it! What do I care? It's not my money. FORECAST: $9.8 million
The best compliment I think I can pay Take Shelter is that even as engrossed as I was throughout by Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain's performances, and even as sensitive as Jeff Nichols's script is, and even as dazzling an eye as Nichols has developed as a filmmaker, and even as it ratcheted and ratcheted up the psychological tension, and even as the execution's degree of difficulty soared and the odds that the director could stick the landing diminished, it never occurred to me that Take Shelter could possibly falter at the end. That it didn't made Nichols's exploration of family, faith, community and brain-cramping apocalyptic nightmares one of the more trenchant and beautiful American films of the year. I can't recommend it enough.
It seems hard to believe and almost impossible to write, but it's true: Kenneth Lonergan's embattled drama Margaret finally reaches theaters in limited release; Anna Paquin, Mark Ruffalo and Matt Damon lead a cast that doesn't really look anything today like it did when this thing was filmed six years ago. On the midnight circuit, meanwhile, we've got the halfpleasing splatter-comedy Tucker & Dale vs. Evil and the trippy genre mash-up Bunraku, the latter featuring Josh Hartnett, Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore among others. And documentary mischief-maker Nick Broomfield is back with Sarah Palin: You Betcha!.
Call your shots, take your picks... you know the drill! Any plans this weekend?