Blade: Trinity Bites Into Theaters

New Line Cinema hopes to suck moviegoers dry of cash with today’s release of Blade: Trinity, the third installment in the Marvel comic-to-screen vampire saga. The live-action effects fest stars Wesley Snipes, Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds, as well as digital magic by Giant Killer Robots, CafeFX, Digital Dimension and Pixel Magic.

Snipes reprises the role of Blade, a vampire hunter who is himself half vampire. Wanted by the FBI, the half-breed warrior must join forces with the Nightstalkers to take on the most powerful bloodsucker of all, Dracula. Kris Kristofferson returns as Blade’s pal, Abraham Whistler, in this latest entry, which has been getting mixed reviews. If nothing else, the flick should deliver some cool visuals.

Blade: Trinity was co-written by Marv Wolfman, who has made a solid career of writing for animated TV series. His credits include Teen Titans, The Legend of Tarzan, Transformers, G.I. Joe and Batman: The Animated Series. The film is directed by David S. Goyer, who also co-wrote the script. Goyer penned the first two Blade installments, as well as next year’s Batman Begins feature.

Also opening in wide release this weekend is Warner Bros.’ Ocean’s Twelve, director Steven Soderberg’s sequel to his 2001 hit remake, Ocean’s Eleven. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle and the rest of the cast from the first film returns for more heist action in Europe.

Opening in limited release in New York and Los Angeles is The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the latest from acclaimed director Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tennenbaums.) The live-action dramedy features stop-motion animation effects directed by The Nightmare Before Christmas helmer Henry Selick.

Buoyed by its star power and the success of its predecessor, Ocean’s 12 should easily float to the top of the charts this weekend. Blade: Trinity is also predicted to do well, as is Warner Bros.’ computer-animated holiday pic, The Polar Express. The Robert Zemeckis-directed Tom Hanks vehicle will chug across the $100 million mark as the Disney/Pixar hit, The Incredibles, continues to dominate the box office overseas.