Best Remaining Bargains (Jan - Mar)

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Best Remaining Bargains (Jan - Mar)

Post by MisterInformative on Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:56 am

It's been said before that the new pricing system is harder than the previous one -- that's because now I have a say in it! Bwahaha...

Still, there are bargains to be found; here are the picks I think will yield a great return on your investment:

Box Office

Depending on whether or not Watchmen is delayed, Race to Witch Mountain ( Mar. 13, $18 ) could be the big earner of March (not the biggest release of the month, necessarily, but it'll bring in more during the time constraints of the league than will Monsters vs. Aliens). Apparently Disney has decided that nothing says 'family man' like Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, but after the runaway success of The Game Plan, who could blame them? Even if Watchmen stays on the table, Witch Mountain appeals to a completely different demographic, so both can succeed at the same time -- but if Watchmen gets booted, Witch Mountain is essentially the only thing with blockbuster potential (relative to it being in the spring, of course). I think it'll win its opening weekend for sure, and $80 million by the end of March is possible.

If I had to compare it, performance-wise, to something from last year, I'd say Duplicity (Mar. 20, $12) is this year's 21. Solid, better-than-expected grosses because, well, everyone loves a heist, right? As much as I despise Julia Roberts, Clive "Stubble" Owen (seriously, he RARELY is clean shaven in his movie roles, but never has a full beard either) is one of my homeboys, so I'll still go see it -- and at least it looks like Roberts has some clever dialogue (not like some of the crap she says in Ocean's 11, which I greatly enjoy DESPITE her). I think Duplicity can open right around $20 million (21 made $24 million last year) and potentially break $40-50 million by the end of March.

In spite of my disdain for Superbad, I recognize that there's a quality to marketing Adventureland (Mar. 27, $4) as 'from the director of "Superbad"'. Although Judd Apatow isn't attached to this project, his touch is all over it in the aforementioned director, as well as in the casting of Bill Hader and Kirsten Wiig. And Ryan Reynolds knows how to do wry comedy (for example, in Waiting), and now instead of people going "who's that chick?", they'll go "hey, that's the girl from Twilight!" Might some rabid fanatics even cross over to watch Adventureland just because of her? It's certainly possible. It's my opinion that almost anything viable on the final weekend is still worth putting on your slate just for that final boost -- especially if it's under $5, and Adventureland definitely fits that bill.

Ultimate

I'm not a big horror fan, but I can't ignore the potential of a Friday the 13th (Feb. 13, $10) coming out on an actual Friday the 13th. I've also heard rumors that because Michael Bay is producing, that this will be the theatrical debut of the trailer for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (after some sort of ad appears during the Super Bowl). That might be enough to draw in some extra viewers. With Bay as producer, The Unborn already debuted with a successful opening above projections just a week ago, and a similar reboot/sequel, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning opened with a healthy $18.5 million in 2006. Although it may not take the weekend, I do think Friday the 13th can grab a handful of both PTA and Top 5, and it certainly shouldn't disappoint in the box office category either.

When the Academy recently released their shortlist of 9 films still eligible for the Best Foreign Film Oscar, one of the more shocking omissions was Italy's Gomorrah (Feb. 13, $7). (I'm sure Indie Jones could expound further on why it's so shocking.) Although Under the Sea 3D and New York, I Love You are also opening that weekend, and will surely be competitors for the PTA crown, a good sign for Gomorrah is that IFC is handling distribution in the US. They also handled similar spring PTA goldmines Paranoid Park and The Flight of the Red Balloon last year, as well as the ineligible-for-FM-but-still-had-impressive-stats 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days. It's got a 91% Fresh rating on RottenTomatoes and sits with a 7.3 IMDb rating already, so it won't hurt you there -- and though it won't win that Oscar, there's no reason to think it can't pull in a few PTA points on the cheap.

Picture a nice boost of about $40-50 million, 5 Top 5 points, and 5 PTA points, all on the last weekend of the season. That's a likely scenario for you if you pick Monsters vs. Aliens (Mar. 27, $15). (Look, here's an emoticon of the BOB character ---> cyclops ) DreamWorks animation is second only to Pixar when it comes to success with their movies, and after last summer's Kung Fu Panda, they're on a hot streak. Add in the fact that this will be released on (most likely) upwards of 1000 3D screens, and the box office potential just becomes that much greater. Yeah, you'd only have the first weekend (in this season at least), but oh, what a Monster weekend it could be.

Unlike Shryke and Chien, I don't have a regular weekly column template (films of such and such weekend) outside of the monthly studs and duds. So, if you have a column idea or something you'd like to see, leave a comment here or shoot me a PM or something. I could even re-post stuff from the old FM, and just include more updated examples, or whatever.
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Re: Best Remaining Bargains (Jan - Mar)

Post by brockman81 on Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:34 pm

Hello? ello, ello, ello, ello.....

Is there anybody in here? ere, ere, ere, ere, ere....

*(crickets chirping)*
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Re: Best Remaining Bargains (Jan - Mar)

Post by Shrykespeare on Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:28 pm

Mr. Informative has, erm, informed me (sheepish look) that his lack of presence on the boards lately has been due to his extremely busy work and school schedules (it's finals time, apparently). Rest assured, he will be back very soon.

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Re: Best Remaining Bargains (Jan - Mar)

Post by Buscemi on Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:32 pm

But do we need a replacement writer to cover for Mr. [Informative]?

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Re: Best Remaining Bargains (Jan - Mar)

Post by Shrykespeare on Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:57 am

Probably not. Just hang on for another week or so.

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Re: Best Remaining Bargains (Jan - Mar)

Post by MisterInformative on Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:03 am

Turned in the last paper today, and my final exams next week are nothing I'm extremely worried about.
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Re: Best Remaining Bargains (Jan - Mar)

Post by brockman81 on Tue May 19, 2009 10:16 pm

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Re: Best Remaining Bargains (Jan - Mar)

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