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Weekend Forecast for February 14-18, 2007

By Reagen Sulewski

February 14, 2008

Sam loves Whacking Day.

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Another recent trend filled with a bunch of low-rent imitators searching for gold is the children's fantasy film. Everyone's hoping to catch lightning in a bottle and find the next Harry Potter franchise, or more realistically, something they can at least crank a couple movies out of. The Spiderwick Chronicles is the latest of these, based on an (apparently) popular series of books.

It's the typical child-finds-secret-portal-to-another-world wish fulfillment story, which I don't mean to dismiss, but we have seen this about a thousand times before. Freddie Highmore plays the lead character, landing in about his fourth potential franchise (though each of those has missed its mark).

This one looks a bit better than most in the fantasy genre, which admittedly isn't saying much when things like Eragon get wide releases. However, it actually looks like there's a bit of an edge to it, with some PG-rated scares. Opening on a massive 3,800-plus screens, it should be due for about $20 million over the holiday

Finally, we have the one new film that's being marketed purely to the Valentine's Day market - Definitely, Maybe. Ryan Reynolds stars in this romantic comedy as a single dad telling his daughter (Abigail Breslin) the story of how he met her mother (and CBS's legal team perks up...) but disguising the identity among his three serious relationships. As a plot device, it's, well, a bit sitcom-y, but it's not without potential with the right cast.

For the cast, in addition to Reynolds, who produces charisma like a bodily function, there's Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz and Isla Fisher as Reynolds' potential paramours. And since we're dealing with the father of a 10-year-old kid, we get to relive the '90s all over again!




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This seems like a fairly winning and charming premise, and review have been decently positive, so why am I discussing this so late in the column? Well, it's only being released in a head-scratchingly small 2,200 venues, which severely hamstrings its at the box office. I suppose studios are still a bit gunshy about Reynolds, who's had some flops (Waiting, the unjustly ignored Just Friends). Definitely, Maybe should outperform the expectations of this moderate release, especially with the favorable release date. Look for a five-day total of $15 million.

It'll have a bit of contention in the romantic comedy category from last week's box office champ Fool's Gold, which opened with $21 million. Goofy action-adventure sells a little better, obviously, especially when Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey are playing to type. No surprises in our entertainment, please! Over the holiday period, it should bring in an additional $14 million.

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins earned a tepid $16 million in its debut, although it's probably enough to keep Martin Lawrence making awful comedies, possibly involving fat suits. This kind of uncomplicated comedy does have its place, and that's on end of year Worst lists, though the Meet the Spartans people certainly make Lawrence look like an amateur at making bad movies. Give this another $10 million this weekend.

That's essentially it for films that will make significant amounts this weekend – the Hannah Montana concert film should bring in another $6 million or so, but it's rapidly using up its audience – though it's at least a slate that gives some variety. Juno might sneak in for a $5 million result, and There Will Be Blood might manage $4 million, but after that we're dealing with films that are just running out the clock.


Forecast: Weekend of February 14-18, 2007
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Jumper 3,402 New 39.8
2 Step Up 2 the Streets 2,470 New 23.4
3 The Spiderwick Chronicles 3,847 New 19.9
4 Definitely, Maybe 2,203 New 15.0
5 Fool's Gold 3,125 0 13.7
6 Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins 2,387 0 10.2
7 Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour 685 -2 6.2
8 Juno 1,862 -459 4.8
9 The Bucket List 2,307 -446 4.2
10 There Will Be Blood 1,410 -210 3.9

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