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Weekend Forecast for December 21-23, 2007 Part 1

By Reagen Sulewski

December 21, 2006

No, I don't want to make you squeal like a pig.

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P.S. I Love You is the big romantic option for the weekend, although your interpretation of romantic would probably have to include "morbid" in the mix. Hilary Swank stars as a widow who discovers that her husband (Gerard Butler), knowing that he was going to die, left her ten messages giving her quests to ease her pain. It's like Chicken Soul For the Afterlife's Soul!

Reviews have teed off on this, with the words cloying, treacle and trite entering the discussion at various points. This appears to be that annual chick-flick that really is solely for chicks. In addition to the two leads, the film also stars Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon, James Marsters, Kathy Bates and Harry Connick, Jr., who are all fine actors (at least in theory) but not really the kind of actors to bring people into theaters. Butler rocketed into at least name recognition this year with 300, but there are far too few people impaled with spears in this film for that to really matter. I look for this one to be the odd film out of the new releases on Friday, opening to just $6 million.

I Am Legend surprised just about everyone by opening to a December record of $77.2 million in its debut, further adding to Will Smith's box office legend. An apocalyptic "zombie" film, it stars Smith as the last man on Earth, working to find a cure for a plague that has killed everyone but him. A moody thriller, it obviously captivated the imaginations of audiences with its premise - now the question is whether it can hold those.

I don't consider it much of a candidate for legs, but neither do I see it dropping through the charts precipitiously. Smith's bombs have usually been readily apparent (Wild Wild West, Men in Black II) and this one looks to be at the very least an I, Robot - competent but inoffensive. Its second weekend should be in the neighborhood of about $45 million, bringing its two-week total over $150 million.




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The other big surprise was the performance of Alvin and the Chipmunks, which surely foretold some sort of imminent danger to the culture by earning $44 million in its opening weekend. Why three talking rodents eating turds was equal to two times a Garfield movie is a mystery for the ages, but that's the world we live in now. Sadly, I think this thing's going to have legs, as it's achieved the kind of critical mass necessary for a big run. Stupid, non-discerning kids. It should see about $29 million this weekend.

It's lucky for the new films that there's not much out else out there threatening in terms of returning films. The Golden Compass is in free fall after losing nearly two-thirds of its opening weekend box office last frame, Enchanted is almost done its run, and No Country For Old Men is making an extended run but is yet to crack $5 million in a weekend. It's just about the right time for a full-court-press.

Stay tuned later this week for Part II of the Christmas Week releases.


Forecast: Weekend of December 21-23, 2007
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 National Treasure: Book of Secrets 3,832 New 53.1
2 I Am Legend 3,620 +14 44.3
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks 3,499 +24 29.7
4 Walk Hard: The Legend of Dewey Cox 2,650 New 21.3
5 Charlie Wilson's War 2,574 New 14.7
6 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 1,249 New 10.4
7 P.S. I Love You 2,454 New 6.6
8 The Golden Compass 2,953 -575 4.3
9 Enchanted 2,752 -314 3.2
10 Atonement 297 +180 2.0

Continued:       1       2       3

     


 
 

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