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Weekend Forecast for November 16-18, 2007

By Reagen Sulewski

November 16, 2007

Smile for the camera!

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Love in the Time of Cholera is the third new film of the weekend, opening at 852 venues. Based on the Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel, it's a classic of Spanish literature set in the 19th and early 20th centuries in Colombia. A tale of forbidden and unrequited love, it stars Javier Bardem as a man who carries a torch for over 50 years for a woman, although he passes the time sleeping with every woman from Bogota to Cali. Hey, everyone deals with grief in their own way.

Also starring Benjamin Bratt, John Leguizamo, Liev Schrieber and Italian actress Giovanna Mezzogiornoas as the object of lust, Cholera boasts a reasonably strong cast overall, though critics have been teeing off on it like they were John Daly. Their targets include the acting and the adjustments made to get the film down to two hours, with many having issues with the liberties taken by the script. It is a classic and well-known novel, so there is an audience for it, but it may be scared off by what appears to be a poorly done version. Look for a weekend of about $3 million.

With these movies as the competition, that gives Bee Movie a chance to keep the top spot at the box office. Despite a mediocre critical reception, audience word-of-mouth kept it afloat, and it moved up from second place to first, the first film in over two years to do so. It's the premiere family film out there right now, and if Beowulf doesn't catch on, could very well win another weekend. Another $17 million or so should bring close to $100 million, with the potential for big bucks through the holiday period.




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American Gangster slipped to second, but just barely, adding $24 million to its total and securing its place in the Oscar discussion. It's a sure bet to pass $100 million this weekend, revitalizing Russell Crowe's career and bumping Denzel Washington into a new stratosphere. It should stick around for at least third with $14 million.

Fred Claus was a huge disappointment in its opening weekend, opening to $18 million and third place. I still think it can recover to respectability, but it's really a terrible start for a film with Vince Vaughn headlining it and a family friendly and seasonally appropriate premise. It appears clear that families didn't trust Vaughn completely with entertaining their kids. A second weekend of about $12 million seems in order here.

Lions for Lambs was an out and out flop, earning just $6 million in its first weekend. It high powered cast was no help for a film that looked like a series of speeches on a subject the public is tired of, or at least doesn't view as entertainment, the war on terror. It's pound for pound the worst opening of Tom Cruise's career, although he's lucky in that it'll be gone so soon that few are going to remember it was out there. I see a really steep drop of over 50% to $3 million, and maybe $15 million total.


Forecast: Weekend of November 16-18, 2007
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Beowulf 3,153 New 19.4
2 Bee Movie 3,984 +40 17.5
3 American Gangster 3,111 +52 14.7
4 Fred Claus 3,603 0 12.5
5 Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium 3,164 New 11.2
6 Dan in Real Life 1,901 -40 4.3
7 Love in the Time of Cholera 852 New 3.6
8 Lions For Lambs 2,216 +1 3.2
9 Saw IV 2,907 -807 2.5
10 The Game Plan 1,374 -787 1.8

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