I have no interest in “Flight of the Phoenix” or “Lemony Snicket” and I’ve already seen “Spanglish,” so basically I’m waiting to get to Toronto to see some of the movies in limited release!! Yeah, Toronto!!

Jim Carrey Pic Set to Take Over at Box Office
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Will the star power of Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler be enough to lure frenzied Christmas shoppers away from the mall this weekend?
That’s the hope of Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures, which will release, respectively, “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” and “Spanglish” Friday. And 20th Century Fox counters with its action-adventure remake “Flight of the Phoenix,” starring Dennis Quaid.
Insiders predict “Lemony Snicket” will pull in $30 million-plus for the weekend, with “Spanglish” opening in the mid- to high-teen millions. “Phoenix” is looking more troubled, and observers aren’t expecting it to reach into double-digit millions. Last weekend’s champ, “Ocean’s Twelve” bowed to $39.2 million, about $1 million more than its 2001 predecessor, which went on to dip 42 percent in its second weekend.
Set to open in 3,620 theaters, “Lemony Snicket,” a co-production with DreamWorks Pictures, reimagines the first three books of the wildly popular series by Daniel Handler. The dark, fantastical adventure showcases Carrey as the evil Count Olaf, who is charged with the care of three children after their parents die in a fire.
The film from director Brad Silberling (“Moonlight Mile,” “City of Angels”) saw a slew of musical chairs before it was locked last year. Director Barry Sonnenfeld and producer Scott Rudin initially were on board but left because of budget cuts. DreamWorks then joined, bringing along Silberling. Co-starring Meryl Streep and Jude Law, the PG-rated “Lemony” should do a wide range of business, bringing in young children and their families.
Sony Pictures will open the James Brooks film “Spanglish” in 2,438 theaters. Starring Sandler, Tea Leoni and Cloris Leachman, the film has been gaining in awareness during the past week. The story revolves around the cultures that collide when a beautiful Mexican woman (Paz Vega) becomes the housekeeper for an affluent Los Angeles family.
Sandler’s most recent turn in a dramatic role was Sony’s 2002 black comedy “Punch-Drunk Love,” which opened to a limited audience and wound up earning $17.8 million domestically.
Brooks’ films are notorious for opening in the teen millions but going on to reap significant boxoffice dollars. “As Good as It Gets” bowed to $12 million in 1997 before going on to earn $148.4 million. Similarly, “Jerry Maguire,” which Brooks produced, bowed to $17 million in 1996 on its way to $153.6 million.
“Flight of the Phoenix,” a remake of the 1965 thriller starring James Stewart, boasts a striking initial crash scene but ultimately is a film that takes place in the desert. Unfortunately, that is not resonating well with audiences. What may help is that as the only action-adventure film of the season, “Phoenix” could hold on through the Christmas holidays, when moviegoers are apt to show up for more than one flick. Dennis Quaid and Giovanni Ribisi lead the ensemble cast. John Moore (“Behind Enemy Lines”) directs.
Opening in limited release is the much-anticipated “The Aviator” from Martin Scorsese. Opening in 40 venues in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the PG-13 biopic has received much advance kudos and got six Golden Globe nominations this week. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes, “Aviator’s” primary drawback is its nearly three-hour running time. Co-stars include Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale and Gwen Stefani.
On Wednesday, Warner Bros. Pictures bowed the widely praised “Million Dollar Baby” on eight screens in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Toronto. “Baby” stars Hilary Swank as a boxer, with Clint Eastwood playing her manager. Eastwood also directs. The film received five Golden Globe nominations.
Lions Gate will open the Bobby Darin biopic “Beyond the Sea” from multihyphenate Kevin Spacey on six screens Friday in New York and Los Angeles. The film will expand Dec. 29.
“The Sea Inside,” starring Javier Bardem, bows in Los Angeles and New York. The Spanish drama from Fine Line Features has received many kudos on the festival circuit and got Golden Globe nominations for Bardem and best foreign-language film. It expands early next month.