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Weekend Forecast for October 26-28, 2007

By Reagen Sulewski

October 26, 2007

It is nearly impossible to find Saw pictures that aren't completely disgusting.

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Widening to national release is The Darjeeling Limited, the latest from Wes Anderson. Four weeks have given it about $4 million, including a solid $1.2 million last weekend, though this one is trailing significantly behind Anderson's previous films, even the disappointing performer The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman as brothers attempting to reconnect on a train journey through India, Darjeeling has proven to be a difficult pill to swallow, even for Anderson fans. Still, the film continues to build in venue count and Anderson's reputation and the solid cast will give it a fighting shot. Awards attention will probably be necessary to get big bucks, but look for about $3 million this weekend.

Saw IV isn't the only choice for horror this weekend, though the odds of 30 Days of Night being able to compete against it are pretty slight. Opening to a little under $16 million last weekend, the vampire flick set in a sunless Alaskan winter was a mild disappointment despite topping the box office.

Although the film fit in quite naturally with the new style of horror that is making the rounds – heavy on gore, with an ultra-stylized look – it just didn't connect strongly with horror audiences, who have become more used to gunplay in their vampire/zombie flicks. Look for a steep drop this weekend to $8 million.

Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married dropped to second place in its second weekend of release, adding another $12 million to its total, for about $40 million total to date. Like all of the releases in Perry's oeuvre, it has had a quick start and just as quick a fade – especially for a romantic comedy. A $21 million start will give way to a $70 million or so finish – although this is still a pretty phenomenal return on its tiny budget. If only he could bring in a film with any staying power.




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For an example of staying power, look no further than The Game Plan, which has earned $70 million in four weeks and is still adding handfuls of screens. Disney's family magic continues, at least in their ability to sell it. It should bring in another $6 million or so this weekend, and might make it up to around the $90 million mark when all is said and done.

Michael Clayton showed a little sign of life in its second weekend, dropping just 35% to $6.7 million. Its slow start means it's never going to be a big hit, but it is catching on somewhat. Without awards help, it could hit $45 million, and with awards attention, which it almost certainly will get, it could reach much loftier goals. That audience support early will go a long way towards making sure people pay attention at the end of the year.

Gone Baby Gone is in eager need of that kind of support, opening to just $5.5 million despite rapturous reviews. Ben Affleck's directorial debut, based on a Dennis Lehane novel, defied all logic and prophecy to actually be a pretty good film, though not so many people noticed. It might pull in $3 million this weekend, but this is a film that's really going to need awards support to give it a respectable box office total.


Forecast: Weekend of October 26-28, 2007
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Saw IV 3,183 New 27.8
2 Dan in Real Life 1,921 New 12.1
3 30 Days of Night 2,859 +4 8.4
4 The Game Plan 3,342 +41 5.8
5 Why Did I Get Married? 1,897 -137 5.7
6 Michael Clayton 2,585 0 4.4
7 Gone Baby Gone 1,713 0 3.4
8 Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 564 0 3.3
9 The Darjeeling Limited 698 +497 3.0
10 We Own the Night 2,402 +40 3.0

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