After two weeks at the top of the box office charts, the Paramount/DreamWorks thriller Disturbia has to contend with a new threat in the form of Paramount’s vfx-heavy Nicholas Cage vehicle, Next. Also opening in wide-release today are Lionsgate’s action extravaganza The Condemned, Buena Vista’s supernatural thriller The Invisible and Yari Film Group’s Jamie Kennedy dance comedy Kickin’ It Old Skool.
In Next, Cage stars as a man with the uncanny ability to see a few minutes into the future. After being poked and prodded by the medical establishment and the military as a child, he hides out in Las Vegas and makes a living as a showroom magician until he’s called upon to help prevent a cataclysmic terrorist attack. The film is directed by Lee Tamahori (XXX: State of the Union, The Edge) and features visual effects by Comen VFX, Pixel Magic, Digital Dream VFX, Tweak Films, Digiscope, LOOK! Effects and Cinema Production Services Inc.
The Condemned stars professional wrestling sensation ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin as a Death Row inmate purchased by a wealthy television producer who casts him in a twisted reality show where he must combat other condemned killers on a deserted island. Visual effects for the film were created by FUEL and FUEL International.
Visual effects are also employed to tell the story of a young man (Justin Chatwin) who has the ultimate out-of-body experience and must solve his own murder and lead authorities to the location of his body before he actually dies. Directed by Davis S. Goyer, who helmed Blade: Trinity and scripted Batman Begins and Ghost Writer, the movie features vfx work by Gray Matter FX.
All of this week’s openers will scrap to make as much money as they can before Spider-Man 3 arrives next weekend to dominate the box office. The Columbia Pictures release bows on May 4 to kick off the blockbuster summer movie season. DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek the Third is close behind with a May 18 bow and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End will follow on May 25. Also being released on May 25 is Satoshi Kon’s latest animated feature Paprika, which should get some love from anime fans despite being overshadowed by the third Pirates pic.