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Weekend Forecast for November 9-11, 2007

By Reagen Sulewski

November 9, 2007

Santa should never have tagged along with Vince on his journeys through the seedy underworld.

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This one's got "pretentious flop" written all over it, to be frank, and the ads aren't doing a great job of selling it. Mostly it looks like a bunch of people performing speeches at each other, which doesn't make for great drama. Cruise's presence is what gives this film a shot, but this really isn't the kind of movie that people rush out to see him in anyway. Releasing on just over 2,200 screens, this one should come in with about $12 million.

The final new movie of the weekend in wide release, P2, features one of the strangest setups and worst titles for a horror movie that I can recall. It stars Rachel Nicholls, who you may or may not recognize from Alias, as a businesswoman who has been stalked for several years by a parking attendant played by Wes Bentley. If you'll recall, he played the voyeur love-interest in American Beauty, so at least we know he can do creepy. I wonder if he even knew they were filming a movie.

For there on, it's your typical-looking damsel-in-distress thriller, with maybe a touch of style. It's actually the best reviewed movie of the weekend, for what that says. However, premiering in about 2,100 venues, and with no actual stars means this one's not going to make an impact. Think High Tension, which actually has a connection to this film – P2's director was an actor in that film. Give this about $3 million in it's debut.

That American Gangster won last weekend's box office isn't so much of a surprise as how much it won it by. Bringing in $43 million, Gangster was well over anything that either of its stars, Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, have ever seen for opening weekends, especially for a recently down-on-his luck Crowe. Credit a lot of this to a brilliant campaign that focused on the tête-à-tête between Crowe's detective and Washington's Harlem drug lord, and the notably used Jay-Z soundtrack to perfect effect. With a tremendous opening like this, I expect it to slide back some this weekend to around $25 million, although we're aiming well above $100 million for a final total for this film, and maybe some Oscars to boot.




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Thus, Gangster usurped Bee Movie's spot in the box office charts, which earned "only" $38 million on the weekend. Jerry Seinfeld's animated debut came in almost exactly where it was expected, in line with some of the other second-tier animated projects like Shark Tale and Robots. Response to this was pretty tepid, so look for about $19 million this frame, with Fred Claus chipping away a couple million in business.

Saw IV crated in its second weekend, shedding over two-thirds of its opening weekend total. As it's already grossed over $50 million on a $10 million or so budget, there's no chance of this hurting Saw V's greenlight, so no break there. This should be out of the top ten by next week, though, and let's say about $4 million this week.

Dan in Real Life will be the only other film to crack $5 million this weekend in a top-heavy box office chart. It held pretty decently in its second weekend, losing only a third of its opening weekend number, and looks headed for about a $50 million final total.

Limited release sees one of the year's potential heavyweights enter the marketplace as The Coen Brothers' No Country For Old Men starts out in 28 theaters on the weekend. This highly anticipated thriller could get close to $1 million in these few screens.


Forecast: Weekend of November 9-11, 2007
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Fred Claus 3,604 New 30.9
2 American Gangster 3,059 +5 25.4
3 Bee Movie 3,944 +16 18.9
4 Lions For Lambs 2,215 New 12.4
5 Dan in Real Life 1,941 +16 5.5
6 Saw IV 2,904 -279 4.4
7 P2 2,131 New 3.4
8 The Game Plan 2,161 -683 2.7
9 30 Days of Night 1,696 -931 2.3
10 Martian Child 2,020 0 2.3

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