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Here we are, all the preparations have been made, and now we’re on the cusp of summer season. Can you feel it? It’s in the air. The still of the box office air. Can you feel it? Cleveland, can you feel it?


THE MOST INTERESTING FILM OF THE WEEK

Well, four pictures are going wide: Next, starring Nicholas Cage, his hair, Julianne Moore and Jessica Biel. It was directed by the sharp dressed man Lee Tamahori, and is jockeying the spot of his successful launch of XXX: State of the Union. Then there’s The Invisible, which has a poster that makes it look like Unbreakable 2: Unbreakabler. The Condemned is another chance to get a wrassler doing a big screen thing, which… look,, even The Rock hasn’t become a star yet, so Steve Austin? I wouldn’t bet on this. And Kicking It Old School with Jamie Kennedy. Nuff said? Maybe one of these pictures, possibly Next, has a chance – a chance – of cracking ten million.

Side Note: I miss ZZ Top videos.

No, the most interesting picture of the week is Spider-Man 3. As we wait and equivocate, these new pictures are just hoping to either make a little pocket change or die quietly (or both) as the summer season begins in earnest in a couple of days. How big will Spidey open? 100 seems an afterthought. Can it top Pirates 2’s 135? Is an Aquaman joke too old to be remembered? Good money (mine) puts it around the 120 range. There it will have two weeks until Shrek the Third, which should put it over 200 by the time the green eared guy hits the door, probably closer to 250. This for a picture of which I heard mostly mixed word until I read Nick’s positive take (perhaps SM2 was just that fucking good that this can’t be seen as anything except a step back, and mileage on disappointment varies accordingly). Audiences won’t care, though. And I don’t blame them – if summer’s starting, fuck it, let’s all go to the lobby and get ourselves a treat. With a through-Memorial-day run, Spidey will likely top out around 350. But you throw in the X factors, and I could be wildly wrong by the time all is said and done, but I think I’m right because I’m an asshole.

There’s been stories about the film’s cost, and it is likely more than 300 (then again, they suckle at the sweet bosom of tie-in marketing and endorsements), but with international and DVD sales, there’s not going to be a lot of sweat on anyone’s brow, unless the film doesn’t clear a hundred opening weekend, which it has been foretold to do. Cause this isn’t Godzilla. And even a 50-60% drop for the second weekend (with no real competition, though Georgia Rule and 28 Weeks Later could play well to their respective audiences) that’s some mighty fine cake.

Mmm, cake. So my point is this. Go see Hot Fuzz again. It gets better with every successive viewing. And it’s a great film. And while you’re at it, pick up Sam Fuller’s Fixed Bayonets on DVD. That came out this week and is one of the best war movies ever made.

IN LIMITED RELEASE

Diggers, starring Paul Rudd and Ken Marino (who also wrote it) hits 16 screens, and is likely worth the effort, though a DVD release is following shortly. Zoo, a story about how sometimes a horse can love a man too much, opened Wednesday, and love is spelled Enumclaw. The Australian film Jindabyne, with Gabriel Byrne and Laura Linney hits 7, while Wind Chill hits 42. It’s a horror movie with Martin Donovan and Emily Blunt And who doesn’t love Emily Blunt? Also the drama Windchill hits as well, with Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman and Carrie-Anne Moss. They are likely to be lost, like tears in the rain or some such shit.

PREDICT-O-RAMA!

Really I have a fuck-all read on this, but my guess is that Next takes the top spot in a whirlwind of indifference, and the others just do their business quietly. My feeling is this is an off week, and I may be having one as well.

1. Next – 11 million
2. Disturbia – 8 million
3. The Condemned – 6.5 million
4. Fracture – 6.4 million
5. Blades of Glory– 5.2 million
6. Meet the Robinsons – 5.1 million
7. Vacancy - 4.4 million
8. Kicking It Old School – 4 million
9. The Invisible – 4 million
10. Hot Fuzz – 3.8 million

Micah has also decided to put on his Kreskin hat, and his sealed envelope suggests this:

1. Next - $15 million
2. The Invisible - $10 million
3. The Condemned - $8 million
4. Disturbia - $7 million
5. Fracture - $5 million
6. Meet the Robinsons- $3.7 million
7. Blades of Glory - $3.6 million
8. Hot Fuzz - $3.5 million
9. Vacancy - $3 million
10. Are We Done Yet - $2.5 million

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