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article imageTurkey, sci-fi on the movie menu but 'Catching Fire' is hot topic

By Tim O'Brien     Oct 31, 2013 in Entertainment
It is a tale of "Free Birds" and more sci-fi as the box office looks to enter November in style, and perhaps, look ahead a couple of weeks.
That's right, despite the new films, all eyes may already be focused on "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." According to The Wrap, the film is poised to open big. Not only have the pre-sales been big, the anticipation is rising. But, they note, not having a 3D opportunity may hinder it being even more successful at the outset.
If it opens as expected in the $180-185 million range, that would make it the biggest of the year. Yes, beating "Iron Man 3," which opened at $174 million.
But, that is later. A Thanksgiving treat is offered up now as "Free Birds" take flight. Or for that matter, attempt to get the turkey off of the Thanksgiving menu. Aimed at kids, this may be a turkey, for the wrong reason. The premise may be cute but wanted to get the favorite meal off of the menu as families prepare for the holiday may leave a bad taste in one's mouth.
So, get ready for the fun phrases as this turkey gets rolled out. Let's jump in. "Free Birds" should get stuffed, or not enough trimmings holds back "Free Birds." With two turkeys as main foils in this film, let the imagination run wild with words like "flight," "fall flat," "stuffed" and "gobble." And because of that special ingredient in a turkey, on with the sleep jokes. Enough if it wins, the use of the phrases are still warranted.
1. "Free Birds" - 3,736 theaters
2. "Ender's Game" - 3,407 theaters
3. "Last Vegas" - 3,065 theaters
4. "About Time" - 175 theaters
5. "Diana" - 38 theaters
6. "Dallas Buyers Club" - 6 theaters
One more thing, having a turkey as the main plot line is risky. After all, "a turkey" took its name from vaudeville shows that were staged on or near Thanksgiving. People were generally stuffed themselves and often never reacted during performances. So, from this experience, the show was "a turkey" was born.
With "Ender's Game," it looks like a potential box office winner but can the glut of special effects laced films feel like "been there, done that"? Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley hope there is still some interest and for this weekend, there most likely is.
But, can the same be said for the growing tired formula of a film like "Last Vegas." Taking a page from Adam Sandler and even Sylvester Stallone of late, let's get the gang together and make a movie. From "Grown Ups," to "Red," and even "Oceans 11," it may seem like a good idea, but it is nothing more than playing to egos.
The film is packed with Oscar winners Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Robert Kline and Mary Steenburgen. That alone puts it in a trivia discussion from here on out, but the odds are not in its favor.
A film that is in slow award season roll out is "Dallas Buyers Club." It stars Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner. Both Leto and McConaughey are grabbing Oscar buzz. It has everything Oscar voters love so look for a strong campaign as we move ahead. It is the story of Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof, who was diagnosed HIV-positive back in the 1980s.
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