Weekend Forecast for November 2-4, 2007

By Reagen Sulewski

November 2, 2007

You're trying to threaten me? With that hair and that mustache?

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The final new film of the weekend is Martian Child, starring John Cusack. He plays a writer who adopts a troubled six-year-old to attempt to deal with the death of his wife. That's just a step above Homer abusing the Bigger Brother Foundation to get back at Bart, but I digress. The title of the film comes from the kid's specific problem, in that he believes he comes from Mars, and acts in bizarre ways because of it.

As the film progresses, Cusack's character finds himself becoming more and more attached to the strange little kid, perhaps to the detriment of his career but to the benefit of himself as a person. This seems quite a bit schmaltzier than we're used to from Cusack, though he did star in romantic comedies with Diane Lane and Kate Beckensale recently. Lloyd Dobler's gotta eat.

I don't see anything particularly special about this movie that distinguishes it from something like Raising Helen, and without a hip female lead, it falls short of quasi-family films like that in several ways. This will fall well short of the box office leaders this weekend with about $5 million in business.

The fourth installment of the Saw franchise maintained that series's remarkable consistency, being the third straight to open just above $30 million. Based on that opening and the ultra-cheap (by modern standards) production budget, we should prepare for another one of these films ever Halloween until one of them fails entirely, which may not be for a while.


While the opening weekends remain strong for Saw, the second weekends have seen a continual increase in box office bleed, with Saw III shedding over half its first weekend total. I see no reason to expect that to change for Saw IV, and I think we'll see a $13 million take for the weekend.

Although it didn't approach the lofty heights of 40-Year-Old Virgin, Dan in Real Life's $11.8 million opening weekend was another solid check mark for Steve Carell's career as a leading man. The slightly sappy family drama was a big departure from the broad comedy he's made his name with, although it builds on his "serious" acting credibility that he gained in Little Miss Sunshine. I figure on this film to have decent word-of-mouth, which will allow it to bring in another $8 million or so this weekend.

The remainder of the weekend's films will come in below $5 million, though in the case of The Game Plan, that's not the fairest assessment, considering it's now in its sixth weekend of release. It's been the early fall's strongest performer by far, crossing the $75 million mark last weekend. There's little else to say about this film and The Rock's role (sorry) in bringing it this far, except don't take any calls from Vin Diesel.

Forecast: Weekend of November 2-4, 2007
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 Bee Movie 3,928 New 39.4
2 American Gangster 3,054 New 30.1
3 Saw IV 3,183 0 13.5
4 Dan in Real Life 1,925 +4 8.3
5 Martian Child 2,020 New 5.4
6 The Game Plan 2,844 -498 4.2
7 Michael Clayton 2,107 -478 3.4
8 30 Days of Night 2,627 -232 3.2
9 Gone Baby Gone 1,617 -96 2.8
10 Why Did I Get Married 1,403 -493 2.5

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