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Weekend Forecast for July 31-Aug. 2, 2009

By Reagen Sulewski

July 31, 2009

C'mon, Jason, can't you get us into a Wes Anderson movie?

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Similarly unceremoniously dumped is The Collector, a horror crime thriller directed by a writer of some of the Saw films, and the result of Project Greenlight 3. Starring no one you've particularly heard of, it tells the story of an ex-con who pulls a heist at a country home, only to find that a more sinister and evil criminal has already targeted this job, and has tried to eliminate an competition through some elaborate and deadly traps (hmm, I say hmm). While horror is often a license to print money, especially if it's done on the cheap, this seems like a one of the rare situations where the genre is going to let people down. Virtually no ads and little buzz combined with a release slate of about 1,300 screens put this at about a $5 million weekend.

G-Force surprised a few people last weekend by winning the box office race with $31 million, although with a Disney pedigree and 3-D effects, it's not that hard to see why even a film about action hero guinea pigs could succeed. Ordinarily, kids' films are pretty immune to word-of-mouth, but it's been bad enough on this one that it might make an impact, 3-D or no 3-D. Give it $17 million for the weekend.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince finally gets to move to IMAX three weeks into its run, thanks to a contractual hold by Transformers. It's probably too late to make much of a difference, as those that were mostly likely to pay the extra for an IMAX showing already rushed out and saw the film its first weekend. Still, it won't hurt, and it should be able to come up with about $18 million this weekend, rushing past the $250 million mark.




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The Ugly Truth was third despite a $27 million opening weekend, an unusually deep one. In doing so, the romantic comedy confirmed that Katherine Heigl is a legitimate box office draw akin to a Sandra Bullock, or perhaps even higher. I don't see legs on this like The Proposal, however, as it's received some rather terrible reviews (the hexes are working, people! Try harder!). Look for just $14 million this frame, down almost half.

Wrapping up notable films in the top ten is Orphan, the "evil kid" thriller with an absurd twist ending that's beyond all sense, taste and logic. This presents a bit of a wild card scenario, as its absurdity might generate a bit of a cult following, but probably will just inspire derision. Give it a little under $6 million this weekend.

Expanding significantly but remaining outside the top ten will be (500) Days of Summer and The Hurt Locker, two smaller indie films that are slowly building and audience and could still find their way into the top ten later this summer. For now, both should earn about $2 million.


Forecast: Weekend of July 31-Aug 2, 2009
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Funny People 3,008 New 41.3
2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 4,393 +68 18.5
3 G-Force 3,697 0 17.2
4 The Ugly Truth 2,882 0 14.6
5 Orphan 2,750 0 5.8
6 Aliens in the Attic 3,106 New 5.3
7 The Collector 1,325 New 5.1
8 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 2,626 -611 4.7
9 Ice Ace: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 2,757 -543 4.4
10 The Hangover 2,071 -214 4.3

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