The results of our Box Office Poll are a forgone conclusion this week, but let's do one anyway, if only for laughs. James Cameron's sci-fi epic "Avatar" is going to crush it, no question. Box office dominance for Cameron's long-in-development film -- and his long-awaited return to directing, the first feature-length effort since "Titanic," in 1997 -- is as certain as it was for "New Moon" during its opening week.
People want to see this movie. Even if "Avatar" is an unholy mess, it's going to sell tickets. Fortunately for Cameron and his partners at 20th Century Fox, the movie is not an unholy mess. Far from it, in fact. We'll delve into that later today; for now, let us consider the other options available to moviegoers for the coming weekend.
The couples-friendly counterpoint to "Avatar" is the Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker-starring rom-com "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" The duo play a dysfunctional married couple who are forced to face their issues when the government relocates them after they witness a murder. This puts a little bit of a twist on the "big city couple finds trouble when they move to a more rural setting" setup.
Limited releases comprise the rest of what's opening. The biggest of the three options is probably "Nine," the Rob Marshall-directed musical inspired (if you follow the connections all the way back) by Federico Fellini's classic film, "8 1/2." There's also the Jeff Bridges-starring drama "Crazy Heart," in which The Dude plays an aging country singer who tries to turn his life around with help from a journalist played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Rounding out the smaller openings is "The Young Victora," a period drama running through the early years of Victoria (Emily Blunt), future queen of England.
Let's be honest with ourselves here though. "Avatar" is coming. With all the talk of it being a "game-changer" for Hollywood, are you really going to skip the chance to finally see what all the fuss is about?