This Week’s Theatrical Releases.

1. The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (3,141 Theaters, Rated PG): This winter movie season is a big one for the adaptation of the children’s novel series for the big screen. Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising series, five books in total, gets a jump on the pack this week. But it wont be long before it’s joined by adaptations of other series such as The Spiderwick Chronicles and the first part of the His Dark Materials trilogy, The Golden Compass.

See what Harry Potter (with help from Chronicles of Narnia) brought us? The success of the movie versions those kid lit favorites caused Hollywood to try to capture the next big thing.

Hollywood looking for a “Next Big Thing” which is remarkably similar to the “Current Big Thing” is nothing new in Hollywood. “Nothing Succeeds Like Success” isn’t just a motto in Tinseltown–its a rule. But the success of Harry Potter and Narnia. Doesn’t mean every kid lit series will be movie gold. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events was considered a box office disappointment, and that book series was arguably more popular than any that spawned this year’s adaptations.

Assuming that every children’s book series will be as popular as Harry Potter could mean that it will be a cold winter for the studios.

2. The Heartbreak Kid (3,000 Theaters, Rated R): Peter Hammond of Maxim calls this film “the most explosively funny movie Ben Stiller and the Farrelly Brothers have made since “There’s Something About Mary“.” Faint praise, considering this was the only movie Stiller and the Farrelly Brothers made together since Mary.

This movie also is a remake of the 1972 movie of the same name. That version was written Bruce Jay Friedman and Neil Simon and directed by Elaine May. This version has 2.5 times the writers and 2 times the directors. Man, inflation is a harsh mistress.

The story remains essentially the same. Stiller plays a man who finds the love of his life–while on his honeymoon with wife he realizes he never really knew.

Of course, it being the Farrelly Brothers, the raunch content is amped up quite considerably. But this will give comic fans an opportunity to observe the acting skills of Malin Akerman, who will be playing the Silk Specter in the film version of Watchmen.

3. Feel the Noise (1,000 Theaters, Rated PG-13): When the biggest selling point for movie is that it is produced by Jennifer Lopez, that movie is in trouble.

The plot is rather formulaic. A wannabe rapper gets in trouble with some local thugs and flees to Puerto Rico. There he discovers Reggaeton, a mix of reggae, hip-hop and Latin beats. He realizes that Reggaeton is his road to fame and fortune, along the way learning the value of family and friendship.

So, in other words, 8 Mile meets Dirty Dancing meets Lambada:The Forbidden Dance meets Saturday Night Fever meets every other inspirational movie where the underdog prevails against overwhelming odds.

Perhaps there is something not seen in any trailer or preview that sets this flick apart from any other movie of it’s ilk. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Of course, I could stand corrected if American Idol starts having “Reggaeton” nights. I’m sure Blake Lewis would love to come back for that show.

Now the predictions. This is how I though last week’s box office would look like:

  1. The Kingdom
  2. The Game Plan
  3. Resident Evil: Extinction
  4. The Brave One
  5. 3:10 to Yuma

This is how it turned out:

  1. The Game Plan
  2. The Kingdom
  3. Resident Evil: Extinction
  4. Good Luck Chuck
  5. 3:10 to Yuma

I underestimated the appeal of a kid-friendly Rock. The result? 2 for 5, making me 25 for 40 after 8 weeks, with an average of 62%.

What about this week?

  1. The Heartbreak Kid
  2. The Seeker: The Dark is Rising
  3. The Game Plan
  4. The Kingdom
  5. Resident Evil: Extinction

What do you think?

Bill

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About William Gatevackes 1929 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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