Weekend Predictions: 04-24-09

Let’s say you were traveling through time. It’s one of those situations where you just kind of slip into a new time period, not sure where you’ve ended up. You ask the first person you see to tell you the date. Now this person, they’re a bit of a smartass and instead of giving you a straight answer, they give you a couple clues. So rather than just being decent and telling you the date, they tell you this: “Today is the day these three movies were released: One is about underground street fighting competitions. Another is an erotic thriller. And the third is a heartwarming musical biopic.”

Instead of popping this smartass upside the head like they deserve, you sit down and you think. Maybe it’s January 1991. Lionheart, that was about a dude that got caught up in the seedy world of street fighting. But Sleeping with the Enemy didn’t come out until February. Hmmm, and there’s no musical biopic around then either.

Hell, you think, maybe it’s October 1999. That’s when Fight Club was released. And weren’t Music of the Heart and Random Hearts released around then? Yeah, but I’m not sure Random Hearts really qualifies as an erotic thriller. And they weren’t all released on the same day anyway.

And then you have it- April 2009. Finally those three movie ideas that seem to always be circling each other are released on the same day. And then you realize what a glorious time it is: you can still see your favorite remakes before they’re remade.

I suppose it would be fair to say Obsessed is the most original film released today, even if it is basically Fatal Attraction. Stringer Bell plays the Michael Douglas role, the singer from Destiny’s Child plays Anne Archer, and the chick in the whipped cream bikini is Glenn Close. Well, not exactly Glenn Close, because no one does crazy like Glenn Close. Since this is the widest new release and probably the highest profile (and the fact that there isn’t a whole lot of competition at the moment), I’ll say this is the only movie this weekend with the potential to reach $20 million. My guess is it falls just short: $19,596,481.

Fighting stars someone that goes by the incredulously pretentious sounding moniker of Channing Tatum. That name sounds more like someone that would go to Yardale and have a 4.0 grade point average, not an action star. Aside from starring someone who’s name sounds more like that of a Harvard legacy, the movie seems about a decade too late to capitalize on the interest in underground fighting borne by Fight Club. But that sure didn’t stop anyone from making the movie. My brain says the movie stinks, but my heart says the movie really stinks. Even though I’m predicting $9,240,000, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was lower. It also wouldn’t surprise me if it opens to $100 million. Who knows any more.

The Soloist is basically garbage. I can tell you this with full and honest belief in that fact without knowing much about the movie and having read no reviews. How did I come to this realization? It’s a movie where the main focus is not on the plot, but the interaction of the two lead actors. Two actors that share a few awards between them. And that plot, it’s one man discovering and sharing the beauty that can be created by the most unlikely of people. And it’s a true story. Doesn’t that sound like something that should be geared toward winning an award of some kind. Doesn’t this sound like exactly the small type of movie that would clean up during award season? Yes, yes it totally does. Then why would it come out in April? Movies that come out this early in the year rarely earn any recognition from the major awards. Movies that sound like The Soloist come out in December to qualify for awards and be fresh in the minds of those making the nominations. When this kind of movie shows up in April, it’s just being dumped in a relative low point in the year where the fact that there’s little competition will be the only chance the movie has of attracting any audience. If it was anything near decent, this would be released just before the end of the year so Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr. would have a shot at an award. It’s being dumped in April because it’s garbage. I’m predicting $8,482,648, but I’m being awfully generous.

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