As anyone who's anyone knows, I am a consummate insider as regards the Hollywood movie business, in constant demand for my insider status. It is for that reason that my box office predictive abilities are both spot-on and heavily sought-after. This weekend I offer my predictions for what promises to be one of the most volatile in recent memory, with several high-profile openings. So without further ado, let's, shall we?
1. ENCHANTMENT: This enchanting film continues to enchant, already earning an enchanting amount of money at the box office (high millions of dollars). What I'm hearing from my gurus is that it will still have enough of the old enchantment to hold off all of the newcomers to retain the #1 position, by making a respectable $223,456,784.23, for a modest 45% drop from last week's grosses. (By the way, my gurus were able to give me such a specific amount because they travelled back in time from last Tuesday when the actual numbers will be released. Thank gosh for time-travel, but too bad it has no other applications!)
2. THIS CHRISTMAS: Audiences will continue to mistake this film for the actual holiday "Christmas," and will continue showing up expecting presents. When they see only "this" film, they will be disappointed. Expect a drop of about 54% from last weekend, resulting in a $678 million weekend, for a hot new cume of $432 million.
3. THE GOLDEN COMPASS: Do not mess with God. God will smite you if you make a movie about how rotten He is, and from what I've read, that's exactly what this movie is about. Apparently, Nicole Kidman plays a woman with a pet bear who finds out that God (Daniel Craig) is working as a male escort at an erotic bar known as "The Golden Compass." She goes to the bar to purchase His services, but God says that she is too old for him. She sends the bear in after Him, but it turns out that God likes bears, so they go out for drinks. Actually, I'm not sure why God hates this movie, if my synopsis is accurate, but no matter. I expect a lower-than-expected $234 million weekend, because God is against it.
4. FRED CLAUS: When Santa's favorite elf walks in on Santa and Mrs Claus during an intimate moment, he learns an important lesson about life. In French with English subtitles.
Oh, wait, sorry, that's actually the plot of my own film, "Joyeux du Oignon et Noel," which can be viewed at Funny or Die.
5. THE WALKER: Woody Harrelson stars in Paul Schrader's reimagining of Chuck Norris' classic television series "Walker, Texas Ranger," only this time Walker isn't a Texas Ranger, he's in the CIA, and he's working at Guantanamo Bay, violating the civil rights of POWs. Although films about the "War on Terror" tend not to do well, Chuck Norris is a perennial favorite, and he's back in the spotlight thanks to his scintillating endorsement of Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. I expect his fans to show up in droves for this one, resulting in a $34 million Friday, $12 million Saturday, and $5.65 Sunday, for a staggering cume of whatever those numbers add up to.
6. BAYWOLF: Another television remake, but with a twist, as your favorite "Baywatch" characters are stricken with lycanthropy. Can the beach survive if it's patrolled by werewolves? Will furry breasts be as interesting as hairless ones, especially when they're bouncing in slow-motion? Audiences will continue hitting this mix of live action and animation for the answer (Which is a resounding "No."). I'm expecting this film to up its cume to about $589 million, although to be fair I don't have the actual numbers in front of me right now, I seem to have misplaced them.
7. ATONEMENT: December is typically the time of year when the studios release their prestige, "serious" films, and they don't come much more serious than "Atonement." Not knowing what that word meant, I recently looked it up in the dictionary, and discovered that it means this:
1: obsolete : reconciliation
2: the reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ
3: reparation for an offense or injury : satisfaction
4: Christian Science : the exemplifying of human oneness with God
If you want to watch a movie about all that, be my guest. A $456 million weekend should surprise everyone.
8. BEE GANGSTER: Jerry Seinfeld stars as a hitman who also happens to be a lovable bee! He gets chased by Russell Crowe, a tough as nails exterminator with the NYPD. In the end, Denzel Washington crushes the bee and he and Russell Crowe get together and win a bunch of acting awards. Look for this film to continue its blistering box office pace; a $389 million weekend will bring this film's cume to a startling $8963293 million, which is a lot of millions.
9. THE TRAILER FOR "THE DARK KNIGHT": Though it's only a trailer, anticipation for Christopher Nolan's latest Batman epic is so high that people are actually standing in line to plunk down $7.50-$18.00 (depending on where you live) to catch two minutes of promotional footage! This trailer should make an astonishing amount of money, but I won't tell you my guess until next Monday!
10. STEPHEN KING'S GROCERY LIST: Director Frank Darabont breathes chilling cinematic life into one of horror author Stephen King's grocery lists! Flour; kosher salt; cracked pepper; celery; onion; garlic; carrots; parsley; veal! Dear gosh, what could he have been preparing to cook??? Only those with a strong stomach will dare brave this terrifying film for the shocking twist answer! A $214 million weekend will bring this film's cume to an impressive yet disappointing eleventy-five million.
So much for this week's top ten! I expect it to be as accurate as last week's (I'm nothing if not consistent)!