In a world full of movie stars named Chris, we here at Rotten Tomatoes thought it was time to decide who really is the Best Movie Chris. How, you may ask, did we come to our conclusion? We sat down with some very scientific data, plotted everything out on a chart and let the truth speak for itself.

Three new competitors were no match this weekend for the mighty action epic "300," which easily defended its box office crown to rule North American theaters for a second straight time. Sandra Bullock reached a new career high with the thriller "Premonition," which debuted in third place while the horror film "Dead Silence" and the Chris Rock comedy "I Think I Love My Wife" opened in the top five with mixed results. "300" grossed as much as all three new releases combined.

It was another decisive victory for Warner Bros. as "300" commanded the top spot with an estimated $31.2M in its second weekend dropping a sizable 56% from its record launch. Averaging a stellar $9,537 from 3,270 locations, the R-rated historical actioner raised its ten-day tally to a remarkable $127.5M making it the top-grossing film of 2007 in a short period of time.

300’s second weekend gross was even bigger than the opening weekends for recent R-rated spring actioners like "Sin City," "Constantine," and "V for Vendetta." Those films all dropped by more than half in their sophomore frames and collected 66-69% of their final grosses in the first ten days. 300 could follow in the same pattern and reach a colossal $180-190M domestically. That would be an impressive tally for a film with an estimated production cost of $60-65M.

Overseas, the Spartan sensation scored number one openings this weekend in South Korea, Turkey, Thailand, Hong Kong, and India and grossed an estimated $15.6M overall from over 1,300 screens in 13 markets. The international total stands at $24.6M with major invasions scheduled this week in Europe and the United Kingdom.

Buena Vista held steady in second place again with the motorcycle comedy "Wild Hogs," which dropped only 32% to an estimated $18.8M in its third weekend. The Tim AllenJohn Travolta hit crossed the $100M mark on Sunday in its 17th day of release pushing the cume to $104M. Despite dreadful reviews, "Wild Hogs" is holding up very well and could find its way to a sensational $150M domestically.

Sandra Bullock scared up the biggest opening of her career with the supernatural thriller "Premonition," which collected an estimated $18M to land in third place. The PG-13 film about a woman who relives a day in her life and tries to prevent the death of her husband averaged a solid $6,358 from 2,831 venues. Reviews were mostly negative for the Sony release. "Premonition," Bullock’s first spooky thriller, beat out her previous best opening weekend performance of $16.2M which was generated by both "Speed 2" in 1997 and "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" in 2002. Adult women as expected led the way for the $20M production with studio research showing that 66% of the audience was female and 61% were 25 or older.

Universal scared up a decent opening for its new horror entry "Dead Silence," which debuted in 1,805 theaters to an estimated $7.8M. Averaging a moderate $4,305 per location, the R-rated film about a ventriliquist’s dummy on a deadly rampage was marketed as being from the director of "Saw," James Wan. Reviews were not too bad for a fright flick not screened in advance for critics and actually scored the best marks of the weekend’s three new releases.

Chris Rock saw a mild opening for his new comedy "I Think I Love My Wife," which bowed to an estimated $5.7M from 1,776 locations for a $3,218 average. The Fox Searchlight release was written, directed, and produced by the former Oscar host who also played the lead, a mild-mannered husband tempted by a lovely young woman. Reviews were mostly negative. The opening for Wife failed to reach the heights of some of Rock’s other spring comedies like 2001’s "Down to Earth" ($17.3M, $6,850 average) or 2003’s "Head of State" ($13.5M, $6,278 average), which he also directed.

Disney’s "Bridge to Terabithia" enjoyed the smallest decline in the top ten dipping just 24% in its fifth weekend to an estimated $5.1M for a solid $74.9M cume. Sony actioner "Ghost Rider" fell 40% to an estimated $4M lifitng the domestic total to $110.2M. Worldwide, the Nicolas Cage film will surpass the $200M mark later this week.

Paramount’s acclaimed serial killer drama "Zodiac" continued to struggle with paying customers tumbling another 54% to an estimated $3.1M giving the David Fincher thriller a disappointing $28.9M in 17 days. The critically-panned Eddie Murphy comedy "Norbit," on the other hand, has been pleasing audiences and dropped 36% to an estimated $2.7M pushing the cume to $92.4M for the studio. Rounding out the top ten was the Hugh GrantDrew Barrymore comedy "Music and Lyrics" with an estimated $2.2M, down 41%, giving Warner Bros. $47.4M to date.

Three films dropped out of the top ten over the weekend. The slave trade drama "Amazing Grace" had strong legs once again and slipped just 17% to an estimated $2M. With $14.4M in the bank, the Samuel Goldwyn/Roadside Attractions release could end its run with $20M or more. Universal’s FBI thriller "Breach" has found success with its moderate release. The R-rated entry grossed an estimated $1.5M, off 42%, for a $31.3M total while playing in roughly 1,500 theaters during the past month. A $34M final seems likely. Jim Carrey‘s horror flick "The Number 23" has grossed $33.5M to date and should finish with a not-so-impressive $35M overall.

In limited release, the best per-theater average once again came from Fox Searchlight’s "The Namesake," which expanded from six to 41 theaters and grossed an estimated $692,000 for a strong $16,874 per location. The total for the well-reviewed Mira Nair film has reached $1.1M and the Indian-American drama will widen to over 100 theaters this Friday. Also doing well in limited play was the foreign language Oscar winner "The Lives of Others," which took in an estimated $839,000. The German film dipped only 2% with no extra theaters and Sony Classics has grossed $4.6M to date.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $98.6M which was up 10% from last year when "V for Vendetta" opened at number one with $25.6M; but off 4% from 2005 when "The Ring 2" debuted on top with $35.1M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Though a highly-paid and well-liked star, Sandra Bullock has never been a big pull on opening weekend for her films. Now the actress hopes to reach a career high with her new suspense thriller "Premonition."

The PG-13 chiller finds the acclaimed actress playing a woman who finds herself in a parallel existence where her husband has been killed in an accident. No other major stars are here so this is Bullock’s to make or break. Most of her major hits have opened only in the mid-teen millions. Surprisingly, the star’s biggest debut ever has been only $16.2M delivered by both "Speed 2" in 1997 and "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" in 2002.

"Premonition" should skew female and play to a mature crowd. Teen interest could be mild. Those who find "300" too gory and violent might choose this pic for their weekend thrills. And when it comes to marketing scary flicks, nobody does it better than Sony. But critics have not been too kind thus far and that may make older women hesitate. Plus "Wild Hogs" will provide some competition as Travolta and company have been drawing a solid female following. Creeping into 2,831 theaters, "Premonition" could open with around $17M this weekend.


Does the premonition say anything about a low box office?

Chris Rock takes on the roles of writer, director, star, and producer in his latest comedy "I Think I Love My Wife" playing a bored businessman and husband who is tempted by a curvy female friend. A remake of the 1972 French film "Chloe in the Afternoon," the R-rated pic co-stars Kerry Washington, Gina Torres, and Steve Buscemi. The Fox Searchlight release should play to a mature adult crowd given the theme and may struggle to connect with Rock’s single young male following. The African American audience will make up a significant portion of the overall turnout as the former Saturday Night Live star still has some pull at the box office. But reviews have been underwhelming which could affect older moviegoers. Rock has been out promoting "Wife" feverishly and is counting on his core fan base to show up. The previous spring comedies he headlined were 2003’s "Head of State" and 2001’s "Down to Earth" which bowed to $13.5M and $17.3M respectively. However, those more commercial pics were given wider releases. Stepping into 1,776 locations, "I Think I Love My Wife" could debut to about $9M.


Chris Rock tries the adult comedy genre in "I Think I Love My Wife."

Horror flicks have not exactly been on fire in 2007 and Universal’s new release "Dead Silence" is not about to change things. The R-rated film about a talking dummy that terrorizes victims comes from James Wan, writer-director of the first "Saw" film. That has become its only marketing tool as otherwise, "Dead" looks and feels like any generic fright flick. Even its title is blah. Typically there is always some audience for every slasher pic so a modest bow could result, especially if fans of Jigsaw who don’t want to wait seven months for another "Saw" installment come out to see what Wan has been up to. Young adults looking for violence this weekend are much more likely to see "300" which will be a hard film to battle. Opening in 1,802 theaters, "Dead Silence" might debut with a quiet $6M.


"Dead Silence," … I’m speechless already.

"300" reigned supreme over the box office last weekend leaving the competition in the dust with a colossal opening far bigger than anyone expected. The Spartan war tale has joined the year’s other biggest hits – "Ghost Rider," "Wild Hogs," and "Norbit" – as films lacking critical acclaim but still debuting far ahead of industry expectations. "300" is the best-reviewed of the lot and has generated the most buzz. A large drop is expected since last weekend’s tally included Thursday midnight shows and because of the intense upfront demand which drew so much of the total audience in the first week.

King Leonidas and company have kept the momentum going with strong midweek sales as Monday saw $7.6M and Tuesday dipped to $6.5M. These are huge numbers for this time of year and college students on spring break may certainly be a contributing factor. Competition from the new films will not be much of a factor, however the start of the NCAA college basketball tournament will take many young males out of the picture. A 55% fall for "300" would still give the Warner Bros. juggernaut a comfortable lead in first place with about $32M. The ten-day total would surge to a staggering $127M.

The motorcycle comedy "Wild Hogs" has been enjoying good legs with a 31% drop last weekend. The new crop of films should not pose too much of a threat and the Tim AllenJohn Travolta pic could retain its silver medal standing on the charts. A 30% decline to $19M should occur leaving Buena Vista with a terrific $103M after 17 days. That would give 2007 three $100M+ blockbusters by mid-March. A year ago, none had reached nine digits at this same point.

LAST YEAR: With a haircut that would later inspire Britney Spears, Natalie Portman debuted atop the charts with the sci-fi thriller "V For Vendetta" which opened to $25.6M. The Warner Bros. release went on to capture $70.5M domestically and $131M worldwide. Falling a notch each were the romantic comedy "Failure to Launch" with $15.6M and "The Shaggy Dog" with $13.4M. Paramount opened the teen girl comedy "She’s the Man" in fourth place with an estimated $10.7M on its way to $33.7M. "The Hills Have Eyes" rounded out the top five with $8M in its sophomore scare.

Source: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Studio head Samuel Goldwyn famously said, "Call Western Union if you want to send a message." For a movie to effectively espouse a political leaning, it must be effective and entertaining on its own terms. Richard Linklater’s "Fast Food Nation" and Davis Guggenheim’s "An Inconvenient Truth," a fiction film and a documentary, respectively, both largely succeed in this regard.

"Fast Food Nation" (based upon Eric Schlosser’s bestselling nonfiction book and playing in competition at Cannes) does for burger chains what "Traffic" did for drugs. It tells several somewhat interconnected stories in an attempt to address an issue from multiple perspectives. And while it may not be as successful as "Traffic," it has a more organic feel; this is a message movie that doesn’t feel the need to stay relentlessly on-message.

The film involves a burger chain marketing exec (Greg Kinnear) who created the campaign for Mickey’s (the film’s fictional burger chain) biggest selling product but is disgusted when he learns about the working conditions at the company’s main meat packing plant in Colorado. It’s a place that employs many illegal immigrants from Mexico (including Wilmer Valderrama and Catalina Sandina Moreno, as a young couple that has just crossed the border); while the wages may be good, the conditions are hazardous (and a slimy, leering manager doesn’t make things any easier). A little further into town, high school student Amber (Ashley Johnson) works hard at the local Mickey’s franchise, but then begins to take a closer look at how the company earns its profits; soon she’s joining forces with a group of campus radicals in a plot against her (now former) employer.

With help from a sharp cast playing well-drawn characters, these plot strands meld together well enough that they never feel overly contrived. In some cases (as with a brilliantly smarmy cameo by Bruce Willis, or with the students’ failed revolutionary tactics), there’s even a certain studied ambivalence. The plant may make a substandard product, but it also provides jobs for poor immigrants that are willing to do the work. You may want to start a revolution, but going to jail isn’t exactly an enticing alternative, and what if the very things you’re trying to free don’t know how to be liberated (you’ll understand when you watch the movie)?

It should be noted that the scenes within the meatpacking plant are hard to watch. I will refrain from recounting the details, but "Fast Food Nation" has more blood, guts, and gore than your typical teen slasher. To quote Upton Sinclair, author of "The Jungle," Sinclair’s muckraking turn-of-the-century expose about the meatpacking industry, "I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." If you love Big Macs, you might want to wait a while before having one; if you are a vegetarian, your preferences will seem profoundly justified.

Early in "An Inconvenient Truth," former Vice President Al Gore describes his efforts to inform the public on the issue of global warming: "I’ve been trying to tell this story for a long time, and I feel I’ve failed to get the message across." Some may find the idea of a feature-length documentary of Gore giving lectures a grueling prospect, but this is an issue that needs to be addressed, and as such, "Truth" is informative, entertaining, and quietly infuriating. Global warming is remarkable as a phenomenon that is indisputable to scientists, but not for many politicians, particularly conservatives. To them, it’s a theory, and anyway, it’s nothing that is an immediate concern for their constituency. (This film emphasizes that if there was ever a situation that epitomizes Stephen Colbert‘s assertion that "truth has a well-known liberal bias," this is it.)

Gore is a gentle polemist; in many cases, he simply shows images of places like Glacier National Park, or the Himalayans, covered in snow only a few decades ago, now showing clear evidence of melting. While much of the film paints a grim picture of how climate change will affect humanity (an increase in deadly storms, droughts and floods), Gore emphasizes that a shared commitment can reverse the tide. "Ultimately, this is not a political issue so much as a moral issue," Gore says. He is absolutely correct.

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