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Weekend Forecast for February 29 - March 2, 2007

By Reagen Sulewski

February 29, 2008

Ron Burgundy experiments with a new look.

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Portman and Johansson are the show here, though there's significant star power in Eric Bana as Henry VIII. It has a relatively high profile for a costume drama debuting on just over 1,000 screens, a lot of that due to the two leads' attention-grabbing interviews and behavior leading up to it (boob-grabbing? I'm on to you, Natalie). About the best you can expect for a film like this, especially with mediocre reviews, is in the $5 million neighborhood.

The third of the new wide release films is Penelope, yet another entry in the modern-fairy-tale genre. It stars Christina Ricci as an aristocratic girl cursed with a pig nose until she can find the man who will love her as she is. With that honker, it's not that easy, and all her potential suitors have the tendency to leap out windows (um, the door's right there...). One, played by James McAvoy, has potential, but he might have some not so noble goals for himself. What's a poor-snouted girl to do? Make her own way in the big city, apparently.

Also in the cast is Reese Witherspoon, who plays the person who becomes Ricci's best friend after she leaves the friendly confines of her mansion. She's kind of an unusual choice for the second banana role relative to Ricci, but then I imagine she didn't want to wear the pig nose makeup.

It's an odd looking film, and I'm not just making a cruel joke about the nose here. It seems to be going for that magical-realism bent that almost never works, unless you're Disney. And yes, it seems a lot to ask for viewers to look at a character that is supposedly renowned for her ugliness for two hours. Opening on a little more than 1,000 screens, this should come in with about $3 million.




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Of returning films, Vantage Point did quite well, with $22.8 million and enough for first place overall. It managed this feat despite a firmly mid-tier cast, of whom Dennis Quaid can probably be considered the biggest name, although Matthew Fox could give a run for his money in appeal these days. What propelled it to top spot was the film's twisty premise, which told the plot from seven different viewpoints of the characters in the film. A decently action-packed trailer didn't hurt either. That said, I don't see this sticking around too long, and its second weekend should be in the area of $12 million.

The Spiderwick Chronicles managed to hold on to second place overall, with $13 million. With these kinds of figures, it's obviously attracting a little beyond its supposed base as a children's film, similar to Bridge to Terabitha last year. Look for it to earn another $9 million this weekend, on its way to about $80 million total.

It slipped by Jumper, which dropped more than 50% in its second weekend to just under $13 million. It's still in solid shape overall, and should be a tremendous rental hit, but the sci-fi film isn't quite living up to hopes in terms of staying power. Look for about $7 million this frame.

With Oscars handed out last weekend, a few films are set to reap rewards. Chief among them is Best Picture winner No Country For Old Men, which nearly doubles its screen count in returning to prominence. Winning several Oscars is worth a pretty significant boost, and it should be able to turn that into about $5 million this weekend. Juno and There Will Be Blood are also films that stand to gain well from last Sunday's awards, although both lose a small number of screens. Give Juno about $5 million as well, and Blood around $3 million.


Forecast: Weekend of February 29-March 2, 2008
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Semi-Pro 3,121 New 35.6
2 Vantage Point 3,150 +1 12.7
3 The Spiderwick Chronicles 3,654 -193 9.4
4 Jumper 3,128 -302 7.4
5 The Other Boleyn Girl 1,166 New 5.5
6 No Country For Old Men 2,037 +936 5.2
7 Juno 1,631 -96 5.0
8 Step Up 2 The Streets 2,528 +48 4.8
9 Fool's Gold 2,845 -230 3.7
10 There Will Be Blood 1,248 -154 3.2

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