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Weekend Forecast for July 11-13, 2008

By Reagen Sulewski

July 11, 2008

Hey, even a Hellboy wants to look his best.

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Crucially, Meet Dave is aiming squarely at the children's market, which is the one real place that Murphy's been consistent of late. The poop jokes of Daddy Day Care took him to over $100 million, remember, though I don't think there are any of those in this one. I think we're looking at about $15 million here for its opening weekend. They probably should have added some poop jokes.

Also firing away at the kids market is Journey to the Center of the Earth. Starring Brendan Fraser in a telling of the Jules Verne novel, it's mostly notable for the way it was filmed, in a potentially revolutionary 3-D process. There's kind of a problem there though, as it's pretty difficult to get that across on TV, and the story the effects are in service of isn't that inspiring.

As it rips off just about every action-adventure movie from the last 25 years, Journey takes Fraser, an unorthodox scientist, and his young family deep into the bowels of a secret and fantastic world filled with strange creature, who presumably do a lot of popping out towards things. 3-D!

It's possibly quite a decent adventure film, and will do nicely with young boys, but the wow factor that Walden Media and Warner Bros. is hoping will come through just isn't there. Combine that with the fact that this looks pretty toxic to most adults without kids, and you've got the recipe for an expensive failure. I look for an opening weekend of just $13 million.

The slightly unconventional superhero film Hancock won the July 4th weekend with $62 million on the weekend proper, and $103 million in its extended five and a half day opening run. That's a solid if not spectacular figure, although less than some recent holiday blockbusters. It does seem to be getting to the point that the only huge mega openings are either sequels or adaptations of something, and Hancock may have been made to pay for its originality.




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There's also a sense I have that the film's opening slipped a little away from Sony, to the tune of $30 or 40 million over this opening period. They seemed a little confused about how to market the film, switching from the comedy to the action at the last moment and mixing the message. In any event, I don't see tremendous legs here, with a second weekend of about $31 million.

Wall-E took a troubling drop in its second weekend, from $63 million to $33 million, something that hasn't traditionally happened for Pixar films. It seems as though they're finally starting to fall pray to the fanboy rush, although there's an additional factor of the calendar configuration to consider. July 4ths that fall on the Friday are usually bad for business and may have sliced a few million off its total. In any event, I expect it to have a slightly better weekend in terms of holdover this time around, with about $19 million.

Wanted fell off a cliff in its second frame, falling from $50 to $20 million, and I appreciate the nice easy round numbers. There's no mystery about why this happened – it was inherently a bit of a front-loaded film, and then it wasn't that good. That it didn't fall worse is a bit of a victory, albeit a bit of a backwards one. Even Angelina Jolie getting out of a bath couldn't save this film. Give it just $8 million this weekend.

Wanted will have crossed the $100 million plateau by the end of the weekend, a mark that Get Smart hit mid-week. It'll be down to about $6 million this weekend, though that's a pretty solid result for the Steve Carell-led comedy.

In other milestone news, Kung Fu Panda is just a dumpling or two away from the $200 million mark, while Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is inching ever closer to the top mark for the summer, trying to maneuver past Iron Man's $311 (and counting, but not much) million, currently sitting at $306 million. It'll probably happen by the end of July, but if not by that time, then probably not at all.


Forecast: Weekend of July 11-18, 2008
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Hancock 3,965 0 31.7
2 Hellboy II: The Golden Army 3,206 New 31.1
3 Wall-E 3,849 -143 19.2
4 Meet Dave 3,011 New 15.4
5 Journey to the Center of the Earth 2,811 New 13.3
6 Wanted 3,159 -26 8.5
7 Get Smart 3,086 -488 6.4
8 Kung Fu Panda 2,704 -643 4.5
9 The Incredible Hulk 1,949 -1,094 2.5
10 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 1,664 -528 2.4

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