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2010: What Flicks May Come
by Christopher Stone

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2010: Here's hoping the B.O. Year is more successful than this 1984 flick.

2010: Here's hoping the B.O. Year is more successful than this 1984 flick.
At the box-office, 2010, came in like a lion. How about that AVATAR? It's now five consecutive weeks as America (and the world's) Number One Box-office Attraction. With more than $1.67 billion gross worldwide in just one month, it's in striking distance of sinking TITANIC's long-standing record as the biggest-grossing flick in the history of motion pictures. AVATAR also walked away with two of the Golden Globe's biggest prizes: Best Motion Picture (Drama) and Best Director.

Earlier this week, the Chinese government removed AVATAR from its country's screens, excepting the IMAX and 3D versions. Apparently James Cameron's landmark achievement was taking too much business away from Chinese films.

In truth, I can't remember the last year that I eagerly awaited January's box-office releases. Perhaps I never have. 2010, in general, however, is a different story. That's the story this column explores.

2010: THE YEAR WE MAKE CONTACT, directed by Peter Hyams, was a mildly successful late 1984 motion picture release. It was also a sequel to 1968's vastly superior 2001: A
Will IRON MAN's steely legs propel him through Box-Office Summer?

Will IRON MAN's steely "legs" propel him through Box-Office Summer?
SPACE ODYSSEY, legendary director Stanley Kurbrick's acclaimed and hugely popular sci-fi masterpiece (the AVATAR of its day).

This time, I'm singling out some of the 2010 releases upon which I believe Match-Flickers and the box-office will smile. There's no order of preference, or release date, here.

I'm betting that IRON MAN 2 will be a smashing box-office success with steely legs that will keep it on multiplex screens for several highly profitable months beyond its May 7 debut. I was anticipating this sequel about 20 minutes into the original, and, I bet, many of you were, too. Robert Downey returns to thwart new, nastier nemeses. Downey is aided and abetted by Scarlett Johanson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle and Gwyneth Paltrow. What box-office super hero, or Match-Flicker, could ask for anything more?

In under two months of release, THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON sold nearly $700 million's worth of box-office tickets worldwide. That's why THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE is definitely among 2010's most eagerly-awaited motion
ALICE re-visits WONDERLAND with Depp and Bonham-Carter.

ALICE re-visits WONDERLAND with Depp and Bonham-Carter.
pictures. It doesn't take a psychic to predict that when ECLIPSE opens on Wednesday June 30, it will ECLIPSE all of its Fourth of July Weekend competitors. The fan base for THE TWILIGHT SAGA is obsessively devoted and massive. All of the usual suspects return, including Taylor Lautner and his eight-pack abs.

It seems that almost everyone is looking forward to March 5, and the release of Disney/Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND. This time, she's not animated, nor is she a little girl. This Alice is a 19-year-old (Mia Wasikowska), returning to Wonderland, not only in living color, but in IMAX 3D. Once again, Burton's stars are his muse, Johnny Depp, and his Mrs., Helena Bonham Carter.

Another familiar silver screen pair re-teaming re-tells another classic. GLADIATOR director Ridley Scott and his muscled star Russell Crow have a go at Sherwood Forest in ROBIN HOOD. Cate Blanchette is aboard as Lady Marion. Scott's lavish ROBIN HOOD is the oft-told tale of how an expert archer in the service of King Richard the Lionheart is transformed into the famous archer and beloved
Fey doesn't do Palin on her DATE NIGHT with Carell.

Fey doesn't do Palin on her DATE NIGHT with Carell.
outlaw Robin Hood, of English Folklore.

The last time Scott and Crowe were coupled on screen, GLADIATOR (2000), their rewards were a huge box-office haul, as well as five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Crowe). Will Match-Flicking lightning strike twice? That answer awaits ROBIN HOOD's May 14 release.

Hollywood is already abuzz about the teaming of comic supernovas Steve Carell and Tina Fey in DATE NIGHT. Carell and Fey portray a married couple (no, not the Palins), out on what should be a routine date night. But nothing's routine after they meet up with quirky co-stars Mark Wahlberg, James Franco and Taraji Henson. When they finally get home, the babysitter will never believe their story. 20th Century-Fox hopes you'll never stop laughing. Friday, April 9 is DATE NIGHT everywhere.

Some of this year's other most eagerly-awaited motion pictures include: THE A-TEAM, THE EXPENDABLES, THE THREE STOOGES, THE LAST AIRBENDER, THE BOOK OF ELI and HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 1.

What are the 2010 flicks that you can't wait to see? Write and let me know.

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The Business of Show
Every other Friday

Does advertising, public taste, or overindulged stars determine a movie's box office fate? Christoper Stone explores what's going on behind the box office.


Other Columns
Other columns by Christopher Stone:

The Cautionary Box-Office

Box-Office Holiday Season Heads Up. Part Two

Box-Office Holiday Season Heads Up, Part 1

Quality Is Independent

Oh, the Horror!

All Columns


Christopher Stone
Christopher Stone is the author of the international best seller Re-Creating Your Self. With Mary Sheldon, he co-authored three highly successful hardcover books of guided meditations.

He is a member of the Writers Guild of America, West.


Contact
If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Christopher Stone by clicking here.


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