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New in Theaters December 07: Playing for Keeps, Hyde Park on the Hudson

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By Chris Kavan - 12/06/12 at 10:28 AM CT

In what's sure to be good news for the top five (or so) films from the last two weekends, it's looking like the one new wide-releases won't pose much of a threat to the box office. Not that I have anything against romantic comedies, but considering the time of year, I don't think there's going to be that big of an audience - those who prefer this kind of movie should seek out The Silver Linings Playbook (if it's playing anywhere near them). As for the Oscar race, another limited release film about a president throws its hat into the ring, though it may be too little too late.

PLAYING FOR KEEPS Gerard Butler - you know the guy who famously shouted "THIS IS SPARTA" and also kills lots of people in Gamer andRocknRolla, also has a softer side - one that comes out in such films as The Bounty Hunter, The Ugly Truth and P.S. I Love you. And, he has a surprisingly decent track record when it comes to the romcoms - with grosses topping the $50 million mark. However, there are a few strikes with Playing for Keeps - one, the release date is questionable. Two, it's going up against the critically successful Silver Linings Playbook and I would think anyone who had the option would go for this film over the other. Three - director Gabriele Muccino is not known to be subtle in his films - both Seven Pounds and The Pursuit of Happyness - while not bad films, weren't exactly light on the subtext. Finally, the film is about soccer moms going after a soccer dad - and former sports star - oh, and they're all incredibly attractive, of course. It's like a single David Beckham coaching his kid's soccer team and finding out all the mothers of the other kids are actually Victoria Secrets models. I predict this movie is going to fail - if it breaks the top five I will be surprised.


HYDE PARK ON THE HUDSON Although this is only playing in limited release, this film still deserves recognition. Earlier in the year, this film was getting a lot of buzz for potential Oscar awards. However, it turns out that Bill Murray playing FDR and Laura Linney playing his cousin entertaining royalty (Samuel West and Olivia Colman) left critics a little cold. With such a lukewarm response (at best) the awards talk has pretty much exited the picture - but that doesn't mean the film is a complete wash. Murray is a notoriously fickle actor - so when he chooses a project, it's worth noting. Although this biopic appears to pale in comparison to Lincoln, I have a feeling it's going to find an audience - probably an older one as well - but whether it can attract that audience away from Lincoln - it's a stretch. I think it will play well for the audience it's trying to attract, but probably won't make a big splash to the general crowd.


I'm predicting another slow weekend - Playing for Keep isn't likely to shake much up and the holdovers should once again enjoy a decent week. I'll be back Sunday to see if we can make it another week in a row for the top five to repeat.

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