Welcome back to Defamer Attractions, our new weekly guide sizing up the latest at the movies. After last week's mixed bag of releases, we have a look at the more competitive box-office environment facing Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Forbidden Kingdom and other high-profile openers. We'll also predict the weekend's biggest bomb, choose one smaller standout buried in the pack and lay out a few notable new DVD's for the shut-ins among you. As alluded to last week, our opinions are our own, but they're also right, so you're in luck!
WHAT'S NEW: Chockablock with tropical raunch and waaaay more of Jason Segel than you ever wanted to see, Forgetting Sarah Marshall has Variety suggesting that the film's "R" rating could push it down to a opening weekend "in the low- to mid-teens." Not half-bad for a studio comedy budgeted at $30 million, but probably not enough to surpass the PG-13 Jet Li-Jackie Chan action-fantasy The Forbidden Kingdom, which is predicted to top out around $18 million on roughly 3,100 screens. Also opening: Morgan Spurlock's gonzo War-on-Terror doc Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?; the portentous Uma Thurman-Evan Rachel Wood drama The Life Before Her Eyes; the Ben Stein entry Expelled; and the throwaway MGM thriller Pathology.
THE BIG LOSER: Prom Night stands to drop as much as 70% from last week's No. 1 spot, but really, we're just waiting to see what kind of audience revolt ensues at screenings of 88 Minutes. Already recognized among the decade's most reviled films, the Al Pacino suspenser will likely draw about $30 million in masochistic lookie-loos, with $25 million being returned shortly thereafter in angry box-office mutinies around the country.
THE UNDERDOG: We haven't even seen the Jenna Jameson crossover vehicle Zombie Strippers, but that's no reason for us to withhold our zeal. Plus, let's face it: The world needs a Robert Englund comeback in the worst way.
FOR SHUT-INS: New on the DVD shelf this week are special editions of the essentially interchangable Juno and Alien vs. Predator - Requiem; other titles include the Sidney Lumet drama Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Ryan Gosling's sex-doll romance Lars and the Real Girl and the long-long-awaited complete fourth season of Melrose Place.
Take a few minutes and call your own shot for the weekend — can male full-frontal knock Jackie Chan out of the multiplex? Are you getting your pitchfork and/or torch ready for 88 Minutes?