Weekend Forecast for July 27-29, 2007

By Reagen Sulewski

July 27, 2007

That monkey really should have stayed away from her blocks.

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With all that said, I don't actually expect the film to challenge many records. Few TV series that have made the leap to the big screen intact (in other words, not as an adaptation) have been huge hits – of course we have the Star Trek series, and The X-Files, and to some extent the Rugrats, but then we also have South Park and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Opening on 3,922 screens, I look for an opening weekend of around $54 million, a solid, but not spectacular opening.

Though history may not record this fact, there are other movies opening this weekend. Highest profile among them is No Reservations, the second film about cooking this summer, though this one isn't animated (I maintain, however, that Catherine Zeta-Jones is 75% CGI at this point).

A remake of a German film called Mostly Martha, this stars Zeta-Jones as an uptight chef who is saddled with the responsibility of her niece (Abigail Breslin) after the death of her sister. Horror of horrors, the kid is a picky eater! Also, I think there might be some grief issues in there somewhere, but... you know, the food! In walks Aaron Eckhart as a chef who plays by his own rules and upsets her neatly ordered world, and kitchen. As judged by the film's poster, fun and romance will be had, and lessons will be learned. Oh yes they will, and don't you even try to avoid it. Your heart will be warmed, or else, dammit!


We've seen something fairly similar to this recently, with Raising Helen, starring Kate Hudson, which opened to $14 million. I continue to wonder who the real audience for these films is, as there are better romantic comedies out there, and single women can't love the implication that they're not whole people without a kid and a man. Zeta-Jones has seen better days as a box office draw and has actually rarely been a lead on her own. Eckhart had a bit of a breakthrough with Thank You For Smoking last year, but that took a long time to earn just $25 million. His role in The Dark Knight next summer will do a lot more for his career than either that film or the one released this weekend. Opening on 2,400 or so screens, I expect No Reservations to come in with $8 million in its bow.

The two other films debuting in wide release practically define "train wreck". I Know Who Killed Me stars Lindsay Lohan, who you may have heard some news about this week. Lohan stars as a woman who is abducted and tortured, and who may or may not have escaped, or may just have someone who looks incredibly like her and works as a stripper (Note to Lindsay's legal team: this probably won't work in court).

Even if the movie didn't have a terrible title, come from a director of Skinemax films or just look plain awful, I couldn't see audiences embracing the film. Lohan bashing has hit Gigli-esque heights, and this latest escapade with the DUI and the coke has all but certainly ground her career to a screeching halt, at least for now. Honestly, in a way, you owe it to Lindsay not to see her film so that she can truly hit rock bottom. All right, I'm not sure I actually believe that, but you don't want to spend the time here anyway. Sony has effectively dumped this film, releasing it on just 1,320 screens. If this film manages $2 million this weekend, I'll be surprised.

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