Weekend Forecast for September 12-14, 2008

By Reagen Sulewski

September 12, 2008

We're just happy someone besides Bates is getting naked.

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Jon Avnet (who recently tried to kill Pacino's career with the dreadful 88 Minutes) directs the pair as a couple of New York City cops (what a leap in casting!) who find that a series of murders might be related to an old case of theirs, and that a serial killer might still be on the loose.

It's about ten years past the point where teaming De Niro and Pacino (now 65- and 68-years-old respectively – you feel old now, right?) would still be a novelty, and both have spent that period making a bunch of thrillers that have done a great deal towards making us forget why we thought they were such legendary actors in the first place, with the occasional rep-destroying comedy thrown in for good measure. There's very little in this to elevate it beyond being generic, through I expect that we'll have a number of rubber-neckers out there for the pairing. I'll give it $10 million for its opening weekend.

The Women is Diane English's directorial debut after years of fame on TV. A remake of a 1939 film, it stars, literally, an all female cast (not a single male speaking role) in a story about contemporary female relationships. Starring Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Bette Midler... well, it goes on. Let's just say it's a deep cast. Sort of a Sex and the City without the bed hopping and raunchy sex talk, The Women seems to be going after that Women Power aesthetic about how women can be confident and sexy and world-beating ... at least if it wasn't for other women stabbing them in the back all the time.


If you thought Sex and the City had the heaviest concentration of women in its audience ever, wait for this film's audience, with most men not being caught dead within sight of a theater where it's playing (note: I'm not saying this is necessarily fair, considering the movies men drag women to, just reality. Don't shoot the messenger). This isn't helped by the fact that reviews are abysmal, with the sense that this film has been turned into a lengthy sitcom. And with no romantic possibilities (unless... you know), this has zero date movie potential. I see an out and out bomb of about $4 million for the opening weekend.

After one of the lowest total grossing weekends this decade, the returning slate isn't much to speak of. Bangkok Dangerous "won" the weekend with just $7.7 million and should be the second straight film with an Asian city in its title to fall off the face of the Earth in its second weekend, after Babylon A.D. Nic Cage's recent track record in movies that don't involve treasure remains pretty dismal. It'll end up with about $4 million, give or take a few hundred thousand.

That'll let Tropic Thunder slip ahead of it in the rankings with about $5 million, to bring its total to about $104 million, on the way to $120 million. The war/Hollywood satire has fared a lot better than other films about Tinseltown, which is to be commended, though it's tough to overlook that pricey nine-figure budget (for what, I ask?). The Dark Knight will pull in a little less than $4 million on the way to $530 million, and then we're about at the end of the line for significance. You might throw Mamma Mia! in there if you're being charitable, since its legs are driving it close to the $150 million mark, but it's only earning in dribs and drabs at this point. We just have to wait a few more weeks for the detritus of the summer to get entirely washed away.

Forecast: Weekend of September 12-14, 2008
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 The Family That Preys 2,070 New 18.8
2 Burn After Reading 2,651 New 13.3
3 Righteous Kill 3,152 New 9.9
4 Tropic Thunder 2,927 -519 5.0
5 Bangkok Dangerous 2,654 +4 4.8
6 The Women 2,962 New 4.2
7 The Dark Knight 2,191 -384 3.7
8 The House Bunny 2,763 +27 3.6
9 Traitor 2,014 -94 2.6
10 Mamma Mia! 1,495 -409 2.0

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