Happy Oscar weekend, everybody! There's still time to finalize your Oscar picks -- if you need help, check out Moviefone's Oscar predictions (but don't blame us if you don't win, because free will is a powerful thing). And if you still haven't entered an Oscar pool, wander on over to our Movie Madness pick 'em game; judging by how good some of you box office predictors are, one of you is bound to win the 42-inch plasma TV. I can't win, because I'm not eligible, and no, I'm not bitter about that AT ALL. And now, on to the weekend's box office:
The Number 23: It's more than just Michael Jordan's number -- there's a whole school of thought surrounding 23, which apparently shows up everywhere if you know where to look: It's the number of chromosomes each parent contributes to a child's DNA, the number of times Julius Caesar was stabbed, etc. Jim Carrey stars as a guy who reads a thriller about the phenomenon and becomes obsessed with it, spending all his time not only imagining himself as the novel's protagonist and worrying he might be capable of murder, but also doing lots of math. Though it's certainly not your typical Carrey comedy, the man's always a big draw, and this seems like the film to give Ghost Rider a run for its money.
Get showtimes & tix | Watch the trailer | Count down Carrey's best
Reno 911!: Miami: The dunderheaded cops of Comedy Central's hit TV show (well, it's not about to rival American Idol, but it's a hit according to cable TV standards) storm the big screen in a comedy in which they have to save a convention center from terrorists. Jack Bauer they are not. I wasn't able to see this film, but my colleagues did, and they thought it was the bee's kneees. (Translation: hilarious.) It'll play well to young adults and teens, the same folks who made Borat -- which was also based on a cable TV show -- a success, so watch out. This may be the biggest thing to happen to Reno since the Great Reno Balloon Race.
Get showtimes & tix | Watch the trailer | Watch a clip
The Astronaut Farmer: Admit it, when you were a little kid, you wanted to be an astronaut -- because, as John Cusack points out in The Sure Thing, you get "all the Tang you can drink." In this feel-good film, Billy Bob Thornton plays a guy who never outgrew that dream; but when a crisis forces him to drop out of the Air Force, he starts building a rocket in his backyard. It's no lawn chair and balloons, but this crazy kid might be onto something. Astronaut Farmer is rated PG, and technically it's a family film, so in theory it should take some of Bridge to Terabithia's audience; but there hasn't been a ton of marketing for this film, and despite some positive reviews it may have a hard time taking off. (Sorry.)
Get showtimes & tix | Watch the trailer | See photos
Also Opening Wide:The Abandoned, a horror movie set on a remote farm in Russia. It could surprise, given that horror tends to do well; but there aren't any big names in this one, so I'm guessing it'll hover just under the top five.
Here we go. Earlier this week my colleague Tommy said I told him I planned to "dominate" this weekend, which I would like to say here and now is a total lie and a big, fat jinx. Thanks, man. So come all ye faithful box office predictors, it's all you this weekend. Deadline: Saturday at 2pm. And have fun watching the Oscars!