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Weekend Forecast for June 20-22, 2008

By Reagen Sulewski

June 20, 2008

Ew, a commercial for The Love Guru!

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Myers has about worn out his welcome (Shrek films notwithstanding), and The Love Guru isn't about to renew it. Justin Timberlake, hamming it up as a French-Canadian goalie, seems to be the biggest bright spot in the film, which says something significant. Critics are thrashing this one, but that doesn't always mean something – see You Don't Mess With the Zohan. That said, I think with direct comedy competition, this one's going to suffer, with about a $19 million opening.

Chalk up another success for Marvel with the reboot of Hulk franchise – The Incredible Hulk won last weekend's box office with the substantial figure of $55 million. It's remarkable, since it's almost equal to the opening weekend of the 2003 version, which then took a monumental critical drubbing and limped to $132 million total. That a property viewed as damaged goods could be rehabilitated so quickly is an almost miraculous achievement for Universal. I don't expect conventional legs for The Incredible Hulk, but we certainly won't see the disaster of 70% drops. Look for around $30 million this weekend.

Kung Fu Panda took a slightly surprising drop of 44% to $33 million after winning its debut weekend – surprising because it was a critically well-received family film, which is usually a license to print money. It's not in trouble by any means, you just expect more. Panda should recover slightly and earn about $20 million this weekend.




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A surprise in the other direction was The Happening, which defied its critical drubbing to earn $30 million last weekend. The culmination (I hope) of M. Night Shyamalan's ego wresting control of his body and managing to produce a film, The Happening is an epically bad film, quite definitely in the "so bad it must be seen in order to mock it" category. So why did it earn so much? Maybe there were enough people with the mindset to make it earn that much last weekend, although I doubt it. Shyamalan must still have had some goodwill to burn through to convince people that he can still make an effective thriller, but I suspect that's all gone now. His last two films, The Village and Lady in the Water, have seen massive second week drops, and I see this one continuing the pattern, with about two-thirds of it disappearing this weekend, or a second-week total of around $11 million.

Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull remains a factor in its fifth weekend after earning around $15 million. It's in throwing distance of that magical $300 million mark, something Iron Man just crossed, and is sure to hit it within two or three weeks. The race for top spot of the summer is still on. Look for about $9 million this weekend.


Forecast: Weekend of June 20-22, 2008
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Get Smart 3,911 New 38.2
2 The Incredible Hulk 3,508 +3 29.7
3 Kung Fu Panda 4,053 -83 20.5
4 The Love Guru 3,012 New 18.9
5 The Happening 2,986 0 10.5
6 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 3,171 -633 9.4
7 You Don't Mess With the Zohan 3,278 -188 8.8
8 Sex and the City 2,442 -713 4.8
9 Iron Man 1,912 -491 3.8
10 Prince Caspian 1,462 -846 1.9

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