Weekend Forecast for May 9-11, 2008

By Reagen Sulewski

May 9, 2008

Strange, he doesn't *look* like a demon on wheels.

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Expanding into wide release is Redbelt, which jumps to 1,300 plus screens from a debut in six. An MMA-themed film from David Mamet – apparently he's into ju-jitsu himself, so it's not that incongruous – it stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as a instructor coerced into a prize fight that he discovered is fixed. In typical Mametian fashion, twists and turns multiply like rabbits, and unnatural speech patterns abound. While MMA is one of the hottest things out there in the sporting world, making it pretty obvious how he got the funds to make this film, Ejiofor isn't what you'd call a top name, though he's a perfectly fine actor. On its six screens last week, it earned just $63,000, which is a pretty pathetic amount per theater. I'd say we're looking at an opening weekend of just around $4 million here.

These numbers leave it wide open for Iron Man to take the top spot once again. Earning $102 million including the Thursday night previews, Iron Man had the third highest non-sequel opening weekend ever, and the tenth highest overall - a pretty remarkable feat for what is essentially a B-List comic character. It's a triumph of both film making and marketing, and a director knowing the strength of the title character and his lead actor, Robert Downey, Jr. Word-of-mouth is pretty rapturous, and while it's hard to imagine any film opening to this much having a good second weekend comparatively, if any film can do it, it's probably this one. And don't forget, Spider-Man followed up its $114 million weekend with a $71 million one. I'm not looking for that here, but $60 million seems possible.


The train of comedies follows these films, starting with Made of Honor, which opened to just under $15 million. Hands up, everyone who thought Patrick Dempsey would be a movie star again – not so fast, Patrick. Anyway, we'll see if he has any particular staying power if he tries something other than a romantic comedy, but for now he's back. Let's say around $9 million for its second weekend.

Baby Mama had decent holdover, earning $10 million in its second weekend, as it sits at just over $30 million so far. That's about average for a gross-out pregnancy comedy these days (oh, it's a genre now), and this looks headed for about $60 million total, with another $6 million coming this week. Following it will be Forgetting Sarah Marshall, with around $3 million in its fourth week, a pretty respectable total for a Jason Segel film, while stoners pretty much forgot about Harold and Kumar after its excellent opening weekend. Give that a little under $3 million as well.

Forecast: Weekend of May 9-11, 2008
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 Iron Man 4,111 +6 59.9
2 Speed Racer 3,606 New 35.0
3 What Happens in Vegas 3,215 New 24.1
4 Made of Honor 2,734 +5 9.7
5 Baby Mama 2,627 +79 6.2
6 Redbelt 1,301 +1,295 3.9
7 Forgetting Sarah Marshall 2,379 -493 3.2
8 Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay 2,264 -281 2.9
9 The Fordbidden Kingdom 1,724 -1,236 1.8
10 Nim's Island 1,601 -877 1.7

Continued:       1       2



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