Theater Watch: November 2nd, 2007

by Paul William Tenny

theater_watch-alamo_drafthouse.jpgThis is has to be the lightest weekend I've seen this year in terms of the number of films either opening or expanding, I'm looking at a grand total of eight flicks on the move with only three opening in more than 90 or so theaters. I don't have magical Hollywood connections so I can't tell you how these things are "tracking", but I can still guess, right? I mean that's about all the people who green light these movies are doing anyway.

Bee Movie - is an animation coming out of DreamWorks with the widest release in nearly 4,000 theaters. This flick has one hell of a voice-over cast according to Wikipedia: Jerry Seinfeld, Renée Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Megan Mullally, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Oprah Winfrey, Eddie Izzard, and Patrick Warburton, from a script written by Seinfeld. I don't know what the costs on this flick are, but it couldn't have been cheap with names like that.

I imagine something like this will do very well this weekend against the other two films though there's no telling if it'll make its money back. I haven't seen any adverts on the tube so I'm wondering if they blew all their money on voice talent and saved little to nothing for advertising.

American Gangster - much loved by genre bloggers, this will be the much hyped meeting between Denzel Washington and Russel Crowe, written by Steven Zaillian, and directed by Ridley Scott. Apparently this property has been in development in one form or another for much of the last seven years with big names coming and going, with things generally resting on the budget and the perceived difficulty making a profit with less than bullet proof material.

At $100 million minus marketing, I can see what they mean - this isn't going to make a profit in its theatrical run no matter how long they let it stick around. Possible Oscar fodder if it's even eligible, I have no clue what the cutoff dates are for that. Anybody know?

Definitely a quality flick if you like crime dramas.

Martian Child - is a flick I've heard good things about, a film that is well suited to John Cusack about a writer that takes a kid under his wing that thinks he's from Mars. It could be cute and the budget is very tame by today's standards. David Gerrold wrote the script, directed by Menno Meyjes. It has absolutely no chance to take the top spot this weekend and New Line is showing little faith by opening in just over 2,000 theaters, less than half that of DreamWorks pet.

I really want to put Martian Child at the top of this list because it was cheap, and probably a decent film that just wants to tell a story instead of being all epic or just overloading with stars and praying people won't notice the lack of a real story, but I can't. People are falling all over animation these days and it's coming out on top.

Your best bet this weekend is: Bee Movie
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