I think we can almost officially rule out a correlation between view counts of certain online movie trailers with the kind of money we can expect them to make.  For instance, last week’s movies, which went on to blow away all expectations, all had different levels of view counts.  Safe House had far and away the most, but it was The Vow winning the weekend.  It was buoyed by Valentine’s, obviously, but it did unusually great business.  And among similar view counts (around 8 million at the time of release): Safe House, Chronicle, and Contraband have performed slightly different from each other.

This weekend sees the return of Nicolas Cage as the Ghost Rider, and in 3D no less.  We get a new adaptation of The Borrowers, and many of you have already seen a sneak preview of the action/romantic comedy This Means War, opening for real on Friday.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Brings Us Off-Kilter Nicolas Cage Action

Classic Hollywood is to see a movie over-perform projections on its opening weekend, and completely ignore that the movie was pretty reviled even by average moviegoers.  However, when you have a property like Ghost Rider, you can always improve upon the original and try to sell it again, and many times that works despite the awful reception of the first one.  The original Ghost Rider made $115 million after a $45 million opening weekend.  I don’t know too many people who like it, but here’s the sequel, with the 3D premium attached.

This is also directed by love-em-or-hate-em duo Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who brought us the two Crank movies and Gamer.  This duo is a perfect match for Nic Cage.

It does look better than the first one:

That trailer’s combined views are in 3-4 million range, which shows there’s some interest…at least in seeing Nicolas Cage be his usual self.  The original teaser trailer, introduced by Neveldine/Taylor on iTunes, also clocks in around 4 million:

Including fiery destruction:

Love it or hate it, this will be competing for the top spot this weekend.

The Secret World Of Arrietty: The Borrowers Gets A New Look

The Secret World of Arrietty is adapted from the Mary Norton novel The Borrowers, which last got the movie treatment in 1997 starring John Goodman.  Co-writer Hayao Miyazaki is a legendary animation director with these credits: Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Ponyo, just to name a few.

Official trailer:

It has a low view count, in the low hundred-thousands, but as we saw with Journey 2 last week, family movies don’t tend to chalk up high view counts and it won’t matter for overall box office.

This is the directorial debut of Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who worked on many of Miyazaki’s films in the animation department.  Like many anime titles that find their way over to the US, the movie has been Americanized with more familiar voices such as Amy Poehler and Will Arnett.

There are quite a few clips, including the introduction of the small-sized Arrietty to one of the bigger humans:

And what are Borrowers, anyway?

Disney has released a music video for the voice of Arrietty, Bridgit Mendler, and her song, “Summertime” for the movie:

It’s somehow more magical in its original Japanese.  Maybe it’s the song:

This Means War Is Mr. And Mrs. Smith Meets Spy Versus Spy

I don’t know what to think about This Means War.  Part of me says, “This will be terrible.”  Another part says, “I really like these actors.  Could they possibly do a movie together that will be terrible?”  Well, the answer to the second question can always be, “Yes,” but it doesn’t stop me from hoping.  But it’s directed by McG (Charlie’s Angels, Terminator: Salvation), so take that for what you will.

The official trailer:


Chris Pine and Tom Hardy fight over Reese Witherspoon in the classic, “We’re buddies but we didn’t know we were dating the same woman” scenario.

This Means War provides this clip of Tom Hardy hilariously going overboard in a game of paintball.  Then there’s the usual romantic comedy nonsense.  I’m conflicted:

That clip came courtesy of the YouTube channel Social Paintball, and it looks like a cross-promotion thing, but Social Paintball is calling this scene out for getting the safety measures wrong.  I’m cynical enough to believe it’s still a cross-promotion.

And a restaurant fight gets out of hand while Witherspoon psyches herself up in the bathroom:

This Means War has a very low view count across the board, less than The Vow from last week, and no Valentine’s Day to kick-start it.  I still see this being a hit over the weekend, though.  The trailer is fast and fun and even if it looks stupid to a lot of us, it will be right in others’ wheelhouse.

The Take For The Weekend

Much like last week, we have guy movie versus date movie challenging for the top spot.  I think Ghost Rider will win it, with challenges from This Means War and even last week’s top 2 films.