He's Not The DJ, He's The Star - Week 7 | Happy Feet | Casino Royale | The Pursuit of Happyness

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He's Not The DJ, He's The Star - Week 7

Happy Feet
Casino Royale
The Pursuit of Happyness
Borat
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
Charlotte's Web
Eragon
Flushed Away
There are actors, celebrities and stars. It's possible to have hit movies with actors and celebrities, but stars always bring home the bacon. This week was another example of how Will Smith is a star with the opening of The Pursuit of Happyness.

Take a regular, feel good, trial over circumstances movie that can be seen on the Hallmark channel three times a day, insert Will Smith, and presto: a $26.5 million opening. It's true that Hollywood hasn't created any "new" stars in awhile and Smith is probably the youngest of the current crop in his late 30's, but that just makes them all the more valuable.

When you can't get a star, you turn to special effects and source material. That worked wonders for Harry Potter and Narnia and it seems to have worked to a lesser extent for Eragon. A $23.2 million debut for a film that's only name might be Avril Lavigne doing the title song? Not too shabby.

On the "holy crap" level, Paramount moved the release of Charlotte's Web up from the 20th to this weekend and it looks like they didn't tell anyone. Seriously, until I saw the opening weekend numbers, I was like "but it's not out yet, how could anyone be seeing it?" A very soft $11.5 million opening for a star-studded voice cast and source material even more popular than Harry Potter and Narnia.

This is a catastrophe of epic proportions… How could this film open when no one knew it was coming and do so poorly?! Don't they know I picked this film as my #1 flick in the pool?! This was going get me back in the running after missing the boat with Borat! Bah Humbug, indeed…

The Top Five if Today was MLK Day…

#1. Happy Feet - $149.2 million
#2. Casino Royale - $137.5 million
#3. Borat - $122.8 million
#4. Santa Clause 3 - $79.9 million
#5. Flushed Away - $61.6 million

This Week
Rocky Balboa climbs into the ring one more time, which is already one more time than he stepped into the ring in Rocky V. Has the Italian Stallone finally run his last race or is there one more dance on his card. My head keeps saying no, but as soon as my heart hears the "da dah da dah da dah duh da da dah" it starts saying yes.

Ben Stiller hopes to keep his sub star status with Night At The Museum. It seems like the original title was Jumangi at the Museum, yet since the first film wasn't that big a hit, it was wise to go another route. Does this become the Christmas family smash Charlotte's Web was supposed to be (and the role the Cheaper By The Dozen films have filled previously) or is it more of the big-budget, cameo-filled bomb ala Around the World in 80 Days?

There's been a huge increase in the sports films made in the last few years. They all pretty much have the exact same formula, yet none of them have begun with the death of an entire team like We Are Marshall. Does that make this one more interesting or more depressing? Only the box-office will tell.

A who's who of actors fill the lengthy CIA drama The Good Shepherd. Films that appeal to adults have also done well around the Christmas time, whether dramas like Shindler's List or dramedies like Something's Gotta Give. Is Matt Damon as a non-Jason Bourne spy what they're looking for?

by Matt Neuenburg on 12/18/2006

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Borat, Casino Royale, Charlotte's Web, Eragon, Flushed Away, Happy Feet, The Pursuit of Happyness, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
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