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Happy Thanksgiving from the Reject Report to all of you, and a big hello again to all you Writers Guild of America people who plan to spend Turkey Day on the picket line. We’ve got a big week of movies ahead. Five new flicks go wide on Wednesday all over America: Enchanted, The Mist, This Christmas, Hitman and August Rush. So what movies will theatergoers rush to this holiday weekend? Good question.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap.

Enchanted is a musical/fantasy movie in the same vein as Cinderella and Mary Poppins and those types of traditional Disney movies. Except that Princess Giselle (Amy Adams), living in her cartoon world Andalasia, finds herself thrown through a magic portal by her evil stepmother, and she finds herself landing in evil, real-life New York City. She falls for this divorce attorney Rob (Patrick Dempsey), which causes problems because she’s already engaged to Prince Edward back in the fantasy world she’s left. So she had to choose between these two, and between the world of fantasy and reality.

Anyway, Carrie Underwood sings one of the songs, and this film is going to be a big hit. For some really weird reason, this flick is rated PG, so maybe it doesn’t do such great business with a rating like that. Or maybe it does. I say $45 mil for the weekend and maybe $70 mil for the whole five days beginning Wednesday. It’s in 3,500 theaters so I am expecting good business.

The Mist is a horror thriller based on the Stephen King novella from 1980. It’s about this mist that invades a town, and traps these people in this supermarket. From there it’s bugs, and big creatures and scary stuff attacking people. Fun stuff. I think this is going to get a fair chunk of the horror-movie crowd out to see it, but I doubt it will be a huge money-maker; this seems to be more likely to attract a cult audience of Stephen King fans. It’s directed by Frank Darabont.

Hitman is the 2007 film adaptation of the video game series that is also entitled Hitman. It stars Timothy Olyphant as Agent 47, who is a hitman for hire. This movie looks like a James Bond-ish type of thing with a lot of action and guns, and women. Expect plenty of action and European settings here, but not much else by way of box office. Maybe $10 mil, the video game crowd will probably go see it.

August Rush is something the music crowd will be interested in. It’s about this kid who has this thing for guitars, and his quest to find the parents who he never knew. This kid would wind up performing on the streets of New York and cared for by Wizard, played by Robin Williams, who renames him August Rush. This kid’s belief is that he can reach out to his parents through his music. Interesting. Freddie Highmore plays August Rush and Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are also in it.

The last of my new movies on this list is This Christmas, which is produced by Preston A. Whitfield II. It’s basically about the Whitfields reuniting at Christmas for the first time in four years. But of course, they also are bringing back all their secrets and skeletons-in-the-closet with them, such as the secret marriage and secret pregnancy and so on and so forth. Ho ho ho. I think this will be way down there as far as box office is concerned.

Finally, I should note that No Country for Old Men will be going even wider this Thanksgiving weekend, into about 800 theaters. This movie actually made the Top Ten even though it was in 148 theaters! I have no doubt it will do better than that this week. It’s a thriller from Joel and Ethan Coen, about a drug deal gone wrong in the American Southwest. It’s about this guy Llewelyn Moss, played by Josh Brolin, who finds this ton of cash in the back of a pickup truck, and he decides to make off with it and all heck breaks loose. Tommy Lee Jones is in it, as the sheriff. Javier Bardem is also in this flick; so is Woody Harrelson.This is pegged as an Oscar contender so I expect good box office this week now that it’s in a lot more theaters.

Anyhow, that’s the lineup of movies opening across America this Wednesday. And here’s what I expect the weekend totals are going to be like from Friday until Sunday:

Release Predicted Gross
Enchanted $45,000,000
Beowulf $15,000,000
The Mist $10,000,000
Hitman $10,000,000
Bee Movie $7,500,000
American Gangster $6,200,000
No Country for Old Men $5,500,000
This Christmas $5,300,000
Fred Claus $5,200,000
August Rush $5,100,000

And if you are wondering, I have Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium nosed out for the Top Ten, in 11th place. We’ll see if that indeed happens.

As I say, I think Enchanted may take in $70 mil for the five days. But we’ll see. I am expecting quite good business across the board this holiday weekend.

Of course, for me the movies are going to be competing with football all this week. Such is life. Enjoy Turkey Day, football and movie fans. Back at weekend’s end with the wrapup of the week’s box office totals.


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