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Weekend Forecast for July 24-26, 2009

By Reagen Sulewski

July 24, 2009

They can't believe there's a movie about talking guinea pigs, either.

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The third wide release of the weekend is Orphan, a horror film that seems to combine parts of The Omen and The Good Son, but changing genders. Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard play a young couple who adopt an orphan girl who appears to filled with char, despite her penchant for dressing in monochromatic clothing that is just anachronistic enough to be creepy. After all manner of odd occurrences start to happen, with the little girl seemingly trying harm her new family and people around them, her new mother starts to suspect there's something wrong with her – hence the ultra creepy tagline "There's Something Wrong With Esther".

While the creepy kid movie has been done about to death, Orphan is one that looks like it might be legitimately unsettling. That's not really the style of horror that's particularly popular these days, with a notable lack of slashers and gore, but done effectively, this kind of film can still attract an audience. Opening at about 2,800 theaters, Orphan should be able to start with about $15 million.

This brings us to our returning films. Last week's champion, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, will remain at the top spot for another week barring a stunning turn of events. Opening to $77 million, almost identical to the Order of the Phoenix but with about $18 million more in initial business, Half-Blood Prince renewed the Potter-head fanbase's enthusiasm for the series. Initial reviews were among the best in the series, and although word-of-mouth slipped slightly as the opening period went on, it's still found a welcoming home. I foresee a slightly stronger hold than Phoenix, with about $36 million for its second frame.




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The film that will suffer the most from competition this weekend is Ice Age, for a very practical reason – G-Force will be stealing its 3-D screens. More or less the only reason to see this film is for the 3-D effect, leaving it rather in trouble as the Disney film enters the market. It's already earned $150 million plus to date, so no crying for it is necessary, but we should see a drop to about $8 million this weekend for it.

Transformers: MORE EXPLOSIONS! will enter the all-time top ten this weekend with even a terrible performance in the box office. It'll leapfrog Passion of the Christ, Spider-Man 2 and The Return of the King with about $8 million this weekend, and might get past Revenge of the Sith mid-week. Spider-Man's eighth spot will be tough to get, but the Transformers sequel is almost certainly headed towards being 2009's box office champ.

Elsewhere, we have The Proposal and The Hangover, which just won't go away, Bruno, which is leaving smoke trails for how fast it's getting run out of theatres, and Public Enemies, which has been met with a collective meh.


Forecast: Weekend of July 24-26, 2009
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 4,325 0 36.4
2 G-Force 3,697 New 33.1
3 The Ugly Truth 2,882 New 28.5
4 Orphan 2,750 New 14.8
5 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 3,300 517 8.6
6 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 3,237 -620 8.1
7 The Hangover 2,285 -382 6.0
8 The Proposal 2,779 -264 5.7
9 Public Enemies 2,288 -830 4.6
10 Bruno 1,890 -869 3.4

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