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Weekend Forecast for May 11-13, 2007

By Reagen Sulewski

May 11, 2007

That zombie didn't like it when I tried to con him!

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The sequel, 28 Weeks Later, expands on the social commentary of the first film, a trait it shares with most zombie flicks. The "rage virus" of the first movie has depopulated the UK, but has mostly died out. As the title suggests, this film picks up about seven months later, with an attempt to resettle the UK with survivors. Of course it wouldn't be much of a movie if the virus didn't peek its head up again, with all hell breaking loose.

Notably, Boyle is not directing this film, but did produce it. The helming duties fall to Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who brought us the well received indie film Intacto a few years ago. The "star" of the film, beyond the action, is Robert Carlyle of Trainspotting fame, though a couple of other familiar performers are involved, including Catherine McCormack and Harold Perrineau. This doesn't have the makings of a breakout hit, although it should expand on the $10 million the first film opened to in medium release. On about 2,300 screens, this should see an opening weekend of about $16 million.

Georgia Rule is the latest project from saccharine-peddler director Garry Marshall, and stars Lindsay Lohan, Jane Fonda and Felicity Huffman in a film about multi-generational female angst. Lohan is playing way against type as a rebellious SoCal brat transplanted to Idaho to spend a summer with her feisty grandmother, played by Fonda, whose character is named Georgia, thus providing the wacky joke of the title. As Georgia lays down the law (her "rules"), Lohan develops into a proper, caring young lady. The producers of this film would appreciate it if you didn't point out the irony.

Marshall has a pretty good history with this kind of sappy film, most recently with Raising Helen, a $14 million opener on the back of Kate Hudson. What might hamstring this movie is the terrible reviews, and the recent notoriety of Lohan, who has crossed over from the "aw, lookit the little diva" kind of tabloid behaviour into "holy hell, she's flipped her nut" activity. These kind of things have a way of keeping people out of theaters, and unless you're Tom Cruise, it's difficult for your movie to survive. I think this one comes out just moderately scathed, with a bow of $10 million.

Moving from the unappealing to the genuinely offensive, we have Delta Farce. The latest "vehicle" for Larry The Cable Guy (an increasingly awkward stage name), it attempts to answer the unasked question, "What if Stripes had more gay and ethnic jokes?"




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Larry (real name: Dan Whitney), fellow Blue Collar Comedy Tour member Bill Engvall and DJ Qualls play hapless Army recruits who are accidentally dropped in Mexico on the way to Iraq. Thinking they've been dropped into battle, they immediately start "fighting terrorists". Because Mexicans and Iraqis are both brown, and look alike! Ha haw!

Larry the Cable Guy's last film, the nonsensically titled Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, had a mercifully short run after an opening weekend of $7 million. His star as the standard bearer of trailer-park comedy seems to be rapidly failing, which is extremely encouraging for society. This looks to be a bit more cohesive of a movie than Health Inspector, but the bloom is off the rose, so to speak, and this looks truly awful on several levels. It's also been held from preview screenings, in the hopes that the inevitable awful reviews don't hurt business. Good luck with that. Look for a start of about $5 million.

It's entirely possible that a Zach Braff comedy might throw under Delta Farce this weekend, mostly due to a lack of support by its studio. The Ex stars Braff as a layabout forced to go back to work when his executive wife (Amanda Peet) goes on maternity leave. There, he runs into the usual office politics, along with his wife's ex, played by Jason Bateman, who isn't quite ready to give up the chase. For added sympathy, he's in a wheelchair. And thus, wacky hijinks, as they say, ensue.

Braff is of course well known from his TV series Scrubs, which has seen better days in the ratings, but he's also got a burgeoning film career, starting with Garden State, which was set back by the flop of The Last Kiss last fall. The Ex is put out by The Weinstein Group, which is still finding its footing as a studio, and cannot seem to command a great deal of screens for just anything yet. On just over 1,000 screens, The Ex should probably bring in only $3 million this weekend.


Forecast: Weekend of May 11-13, 2007
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Spider-Man 3 4,252 0 63.4
2 28 Weeks Later 2,303 New 16.4
3 Georgia Rule 2,523 New 9.8
4 Delta Farce 1,931 New 5.1
5 Disturbia 3,106 -26 3.4
6 The Ex 1,009 New 3.2
7 Fracture 2,202 -163 2.0
8 The Invisible 1,943 -76 1.8
9 Meet the Robinsons 1,640 -467 1.6
10 Next 2,017 -716 1.5

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