Happy February, movie fans. As the days get longer, the movies are supposed to get better ... or that's the theory, anyway. Of course, it's still early February -- and a Super Bowl weekend, at that -- so I wouldn't put too much faith in that maxim. On the other hand, after Epic Movie, there's pretty much nowhere to go but up, right?
Because I Said So: Why should you go see this movie? Because Universal said so, that's why. Oh, I'm kidding. You should -- or rather, many of you will -- see this movie because it's a romantic comedy, stars Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore as mother and daughter, and has the added bonus of co-starring Lauren Graham (who really needs to win an Emmy one of these days for her work on Gilmore Girls) and Piper Perabo wearing very little clothing. It's also getting a big marketing push from the studio, so with all the able-bodied men holed up in their Super Bowl bunkers this weekend, lots of the womenfolk are gonna leave them there to go revel in the chick flick. (Note: Yes, I know many women love football. I happen to be one of them. Just trying to think like a studio, is all.)
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The Messengers: Kristen Stewart stars in the American feature film debut by the Pang brothers, the Hong Kong directing duo (they're twins) best known for their frightfest The Eye. And Stewart, if you don't recognize the name, appeared in Panic Room as Jodie Foster's daughter. She's all grown up now (well, 16) and headlining a horror flick about a girl who discovers that both she and her 3-year-old brother can see things -- dead things, presumably -- that her parents can't. How will it do? The Hitcher opened to disappointing returns a couple weekends ago, and Stewart's not a big star; also, the Pang brothers aren't known by name here in the U.S. But with Night at the Museum and Stomp the Yard finally losing steam and Epic Movie getting horrendous word of mouth, it's a weak competitive field ... and people do like a good scare.
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Also of Note: Pan's Labyrinth expands to over 1,000 screens this weekend. Please go see it. Because ... well, because I said so, OK? And also because it's awesome.
I'm even less certain about the box office top five this week than I was last week, so I'm looking forward to everyone showing me up. Let's make the deadline Saturday at 3 p.m. Eastern, which means you have 24 hours. Hit it.