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New Movies to Crave: Can John Carter Conquer the Box Office?

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By Chris Kavan - 03/09/12 at 10:01 AM CT

It seems a bit early for a huge blockbuster to be opening but mark March 9, 2012 as the first official big-budget film of the year.

1) Things are looking a bit grim for Disney's John Carter. Suffering from a very muddled marketing effort, going up against a hugely successful animated film, the $250 million film is tracking for only about a $20 - $40 million opening - far less than the $75 million films with that kind of budget shoot for. It doesn't help that it is currently hovering around a 50% metacritic rating - even though early signs looked promising, the fan-boy appeal is wearing down. That doesn't mean I'm still not going to watch this. For all the spectacular missteps along the way, this still looks like a lot of fun. Even if it does degenerate into a generic sci-fi action/adventure - I'm sure it will still entertain even if it doesn't spawn a franchise.

2) After she knocked people out in Martha Marcy May Marlene, Elizabeth Olsen is back and bringing the scares in Silent House. A remake of the Spanish film of the same name (La casa muda) it is essentially one woman's decent into madness as she finds herself trapped inside a house with no way to contact the outside world and as things go from strange to dangerous. I always thought this premise sounded intriguing - but I want to see the original before I check out the remake (kind of like REC vs. Quarantine). Still, Olsen is coming off a hot performance, so I hope she keeps that streak going (and I'm pulling for her to get the co-lead in Spike Lee's Oldboy remake - despite the fact I don't think the movie needs a remake at all).

3) Finally, Eddie Murphy is going to shut up once and for all. Well, only because if he doesn't, it would make for a very short film. A Thousand Words has Murphy being told he will die after speaking those few, final words, so he learns a valuable lesson about what really counts when it comes to communicating. This movie has been on the shelf for a quite a long time, so forgive me if I have little to no interest (or hope) that this film will be any better than, say, Norbit or Meet Dave.

Of course, The Lorax still looks to clean house at the box office following its monster $70 million opening. It will be interesting to see just where John Carter lands and if it will be the first disaster of the year or if it can rise above it all and actually open with decent numbers. Stay tuned Sunday for all the gory details.

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