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Weekend Forecast for June 5-7, 2009

By Reagen Sulewski

June 5, 2009

It's a good thing that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

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One side-effect of this approach is that the audience for The Hangover will be extremely weighted towards men, somewhat hamstringing its initial box office potential. There's lots of chance for legs here and this ought to be the breakout comedy for Summer '09. Watch it to follow in the footsteps of Old School and 40 Year-Old-Virgin and Knocked Up, and start with a $31 million opening weekend.

With action comedy and buddy comedy covered, that leaves romantic comedy for the third film, My Life in Ruins. A quasi-sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, it stars Nia Vardalos as a travel agent who goes to Greece with a tour group as a kiss-off to her job, only to find her spirits revitalized by the motherland and a big Greek bohunk.

While MBFGW was the shock of 2002 with its unheard of legs, Vardalos was one of the quickest passing fancies, as we collectively realized we spent $200 million-plus on tickets to what was essentially a big budget sitcom. Anyone hoping for that process to repeat itself with My Life in Ruins should probably brace themselves right now – it's probably not going to make a tenth of that. Also, the Tooth Fairy isn't real. Opening on 1,164 screens this weekend, it should start with about $7 million.

The door is open then, for Pixar's Up to hold on to the top spot for a second straight weekend, if it can manage any kind of legs. Its $68 million puts it in the upper end of Pixar opening weekends, which goes along with the de-rigueur-at-this-point critical fawning. Of course, as much as this has been consistent throughout the years for this company, it's also kind of taken for granted. Very few people are taking a wait-and-see attitude with Pixar at this point, so all their films kind of run true at the box office. Look for a drop to about $35 million this weekend, and a shot at grabbing the top spot if either of the two big comedies this weekend fails to break through.

Were Night at the Smithsonian 2 not already free falling, Land of the Lost would probably be a death blow for its box office. The Ben Stiller action-comedy sequel just hasn't connected with audiences like the first film did, and while it may have been a flaw to put it in the summer season, I tend to think that it's more a case of a thin premise running out of ideas. Still, it's going to end up close to $175 million when it's all said and done, so perhaps I'm being too harsh. Look for $13 million from it this weekend.




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It's harder to be kind to Terminator Salvation, for which the adjective "apocalyptic" describes both its setting and its box office. One of the expected tentpoles of summer, it's now going to be lucky to see $125 million total and may have effectively closed off the franchise for good. Apparently Fox knew what they were doing in canceling the TV series. It'll have a third weekend of just $7 million or so.

Despite some of the best reviews for a horror film in some time, Drag Me To Hell failed to distinguish itself box-office-wise amongst them, opening to just under $16 million. Sam Raimi's return to horror grabbed the attention of his not-inconsiderable fanbase, but didn't branch out very far from there. And given the comedic tone of the film, certainly different from what today's splatter-porn audiences have been conditioned to expect from this genre, it may see a pretty steep fall this weekend. It should manage just $7 million this weekend as well.

Star Trek hopes to pad its lead as the highest grossing film of 2009 this weekend (holding on until Transformers 2 blows it out of the water) and should see about $7 million as well in this frame. It looks headed for about $250 million at this point and has definitely raised expectations for a sequel.

Angels & Demons is our other significant film in the box office charts right now, with a running total of just under $110 million so far – which is nothing to really sneeze at, even for a Tom Hanks-led film, but still leaves a bit to be desired relative to The Da Vinci Code. While foreign box office will continue to tell the story for profitability for this film and any chance for another in the series, we're looking to tap out at around $130 million for this one.


Forecast: Weekend of June 5-7, 2009
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Land of the Lost 3,521 New 38.5
2 Up 3,818 +52 35.4
3 The Hangover 3,269 New 30.9
4 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 3,807 -294 13.2
5 Terminator Salvation 3,304 -298 7.6
6 Star Trek 3,202 -305 7.3
7 My Life in Ruins 1,164 New 7.2
8 Drag Me to Hell 2,510 +2 6.8
9 Angels & Demons 2,925 -539 5.7
10 Dance Flick 1,707 -752 2.5

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