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Weekend Forecast for June 29 - July 1, 2007

By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis

June 28, 2007

Some people are horrified by the love that dare not speak its name.

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The third new entrant this week is Sicko, Michael Moore's expose on the state of health care in our country. A lightning rod for criticism, Moore has become the punching bag for the Fox News crowd, who assail his credibility at every turn. Meanwhile, his latest offering has already shown signs of alienating a portion of the fan base that passionately supported his unprecedented box office hit documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11. The movie targets no less than Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton for her campaign's financial support from the health care industry. Simultaneously, some of the political bigwigs he targeted with his last documentary are using a key sequence from Sicko, Moore's visit to Cuba for healthcare comparisons, as the impetus for revenge. He is under investigation by the Treasury Department for violating this country's long standing embargo of the Castro regime through the actions documented in Sicko. All of this means another batch of inflammatory rhetoric about the movie, its author, and anyone else who comes within ten feet of this thing. This also indicates a great deal of free publicity will be given to the product, making it almost certain to become one of the top five grossing documentaries of all time. For our own part, BOP looks forward to another six weeks of feedback from politically motivated readers who want us to either lionize or demonize the work of the documentarian. BOP can save you all a lot of trouble by saying that all we care about is the box office, and Sicko appears likely to make about $10.8 million this weekend from only 441 venues. This would be a striking per-venue average if it happens as expected.

Also opening this weekend is Evening, with a decent venue count of 977. The film is notable in that it is based on a novel by Susan Minot. She adapted the screenplay with Michael Cunningham, which was enough to attract all kinds of talent to the project. Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Meryl Streep, Vanessa Redgrave and Natasha Richardson (Redgrave's real-life daughter) are all featured. Two of those five are Academy Award winners (Streep and Redgrave), and another is a past nominee (Collette). Even with the talent involved, though, it's a movie with fairly limited appeal and marketing. Look for around $3.6 million on the weekend, though just a touch more might be enough to break it into the top ten.




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With regards to holdovers this weekend, the big stories are whether Evan Almighty will start to behave like a family film and whether 1408's buzz translates to box office legs. Under any circumstance, all of the titles in release should experience very good box office over the next ten days as consumers enjoy the benefits of the July 4th holiday calendar configuration this year. A lot of vacation days will be used over this period, and that always means a significant increase in box office for all titles in release.


Forecast: Weekend of June 28 - July 1, 2007
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Ratatouille 3,940 New 56.0
2 Live Free or Die Hard 3,408 New 34.1
3 Evan Almighty 3,636 +34 16.2
4 1408 2,733 +55 13.4
5 Sicko 441 New 10.8
6 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer 3,424 -539 9.6
7 Knocked Up 2,686 -286 8.1
8 Ocean's Thirteen 2,903 -547 7.0
9 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest 2,162 -640 4.5
10 Surf's Up 2,503 -806 4.0

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