The box office takes a “Step Up” this weekend

Curious about what’s opening at the box office this weekend? Wondering how the stock market is doing? Welcome to the Weekend Preview, our exclusive online newsletter that gives you a quick synopsis on how the stock market is doing, plus a look at the movies opening this weekend.

The federal reserve decided not to raise interest rates, leaving the rate alone for the first time since June 2004. Since that date, the interest rate has risen from 1 percent to 5.25%. The Fed said that economic growth was slowing, but there is still some risk of inflation, meaning that the Fed may raise the rate when they meet again in September. However, if the rate goes too high, the economy might go into a recession. That’s part of the normal economic cycle, granted, but investors aren’t too psyched about that possibility. At the sound of Wednesday’s closing bell, the Dow Jones had 11,076.18 points. The NASDAQ had 2060.28, while the S&P 500 had 1,265.95. THIS JUST IN: There are no computer-animated family-friendly movies based on animals being released this weekend! Take the time now to call your friends and tell them the joyous news. 

Pulse – The premise of this elimination/horror film is that wireless technology has been able to connect to a world beyond our own. Such technology is used as a doorway into our own world, and that connection can’t be shut down. So whenever you use technology, they’ll take you into their world and take your life away. Starring “Veronica Mars” herself, Kristen Bell, former “Lost” castmember Ian Somerhalder, and some other people. Judging by the commercials and production stills, the studio folks were able to save money on filming by using the color blue almost exclusively. 

Step Up – Meet Tyler, a rebel from the “wrong side of Baltimore’s tracks,” and a privledged ballet dancer named Nora. When Tyler is serving out his community service sentence at an ultra-elite Maryland dance school, Nora taps him to be her dancing partner. (?) He’s the angry outsider who is a “gifted street dancer”. Nora, the rich one, can do ballet beautifully. Working with Nora, now Tyler can fulfill his dreams of becoming a great dancer. Exciting! Though I must question the wardrobe stylist… Since when did baggy clothing become in again? Whatever… Starring Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan, Rachel Griffiths and Mario. (No, not Mario Lopez. Or Nintendo’s Mario. The other one.)

World Trade Center – This film is director Oliver Stone’s theatrical take on the true story of Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin, two Port Authority police officers who rushed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 to help rescue people, but were trapped under the rubble after the towers collapsed. Starring Nicolas Cage, Michael Pena, Maggie Gyllenhall and Stephen Dorff. According to this reviewer, this film isn’t exactly what you’d expect from Oliver Stone. It’s appropriately dramatic, and in the end, very patriotic. 

Zoom – It’s a family-friendly Tim Allen film dealing with superheros. What, you still need a description? Okay… Tim Allen’s character is a former superhero who is called back into work to “transform an unlikely group of ragtag kids into new heroes at a private academy.” And like any good superhero film, there’s a slightly acopalyptic plotline going on as well. Otherwise, it’d just be a buddy comedy! Starring the aforementioned Tim Allen, Courtney Cox Arquette, and Chevy Chase.

Are we well-informed predictors or just wannabe psychics? It’s time to put our prediction skills to the test by predicting the top five films at the box office. Then, on the Weekend Update, we match these predictions with reality to find out just how right – or wrong – we are. Here are the results of this week’s office pool:

1. Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby, $30-$35 million, AGAIN. Why? Because it’s Well Ferrall, and when the man makes a funny face, teenagers come out in droves to see it. (Arguably, the face he makes when impersonating our current President, George W. Bush, is pretty funny.)

2. Step Up, $25-$30 million. For real. We think Step Up will be this successful.. It had broad appeal, these types of dance movies do pretty well, and it’s more appealing as a date movie than World Trade Center.

3. World Trade Center, $20-$25 million. This film will attract more of an older crowd, the kind that doesn’t go out to see movies to often, except for “these kinds of films.”

4. Pirates 2, $20-$25 million. Let’s face it: It’s going to take a lot to knock Jack Sparrow off the top five.

5. Zoom, $15-$20 million. This is the perfect family film: it has bright, colorful images for children, and parents can reminisce about when Chevy Chase used to get really good movie roles. When Will Ferrall is dethroned as the king of box office comedy in a decade or two, we hope that he doesn’t manage to make another paycheck by making Zoom 2.

This is the part where I advertise The Weekend Update, which goes live late this weekend. But I don’t need to do that this week, do I? You all know that you can get another brief stock market update, plus a sneak peek at the box office totals, all right here. Right? Okay. Though there is one thing we want to tease: the box office scoreboard is getting a brand new look. We’re working out the kinks right now, and it should hopefully be ready to go live this weekend. Until then, stay safe and play well!


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