Weekend Forecast for Aug. 7-9, 2009

By Reagen Sulewski

August 7, 2009

Why so serious? (No, really. Why?)

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Directed by Nora Ephron, she of feel-good romantic comedies like Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, it's got a unique hook for a film, but one with little inherent drama, like a Devil Wears Prada without the demonic boss character. Still, this is a pretty strong pedigree for a female-centric film, with Streep currently in a bit of a resurgence and Amy Adams in a death-battle with Isla Fisher to replace Nicole Kidman on the "most prominent porcelain-skinned red-haired actress" throne. I don't see anyone being in a huge rush to see this immediately and it should open with a weekend of about $12 million.

Also opening is an odd little duck of a horror/thriller, A Perfect Getaway. Directed by David Twohy (whose films seem cursed to be ignored or fall under the radar), it stars Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez as two couples on vacation in Hawaii who find themselves in the middle of a tourist-targetting serial killer. The two couples then must team up to survive but not really knowing if they can, or should, trust each other.

One of those late-summer films that just sort of seems to pop out of nowhere on the schedule, A Perfect Getaway isn't the kind of horror film that comes in with buzz, nor is its 30-something cast (even though as a group, they are particularly awesome) going to appeal to the main horror demographic of teenagers and early 20-somethings. Oh, but if Jessica Alba and Paul Walker were in it, then they'd go, right? Stupid teenagers. Where was I? Oh right. Opening on a little over 2,000 venues, this should see an opening weekend of about $6 million.

Funny People captured top spot last weekend amidst a sleepy group of returning films, and underperformed in doing so, opening to just over $22 million. Serious Adam Sandler just isn't a concept that people are ready to embrace, despite the Judd Apatow Midas Touch over the project. As it's not a raucous and screwball comedy like some of Apatow's other films, being far more sentimental, this has little chance of taking off after this slow start, a la The Hangover. A second weekend of about $13 million should be in store here.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince moved into third place overall for 2009 box office midweek, getting past the aforementioned The Hangover and Star Trek in the same week. With first place well out of reach, the probable $290 million total for Up is what's next for it in terms of milestones. Its first three weekends have been a tad schizophrenic in terms of their weekend drops, moving from over 60% to under 40%, making the true audience reception tough to judge. It does appear that Potter-mania has reached, if not a new peak, at least a new plateau, though that may just account for the sizable second-weekend drop. This weekend should bring it another $10 million, making its four week total $275 million in all.

G-Force continues to present a modest level of competition in the family film market, earning $17 million itself last weekend, largely on the backs of 3-D screens. It should be able to ride that novelty for about one more weekend before falling to the wayside. Add another $9 million here on the way to a $100 million total.

The Ugly Truth took a bit of spill in its second weekend, making Katherine Heigl into a bit of a one-weekend wonder. While her romantic pairing with Gerard Butler marks her with some box office power, she'd be well considered to make the next film actually be, you know, good. Look for this to earn about $6 million and come in around $80 million total.

Another, quirkier romantic comedy expands to a huge degree this weekend. (500) Days of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, jumps to over 800 venues after spending almost a month building up buzz for its look at a one-sided fling between a guy who believes in true love and a girl that doesn't. Filled with time jumps and copious fantasy sequences, this has become the must-see indie of the summer. Look for it to make a splash with about $5 million here.

Forecast: Weekend of Aug. 7-9, 2009
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 4,007 New 38.6
2 Funny People 3,008 +1 13.7
3 Julie & Julia 2,975 New 12.4
4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 3,455 -938 10.3
5 G-Force 3,482 -215 9.6
6 A Perfect Getaway 2,159 New 6.7
7 The Ugly Truth 2,975 +93 6.4
8 (500) Days of Summer 817 +551 5.3
9 Orphan 2,270 -480 3.9
10 The Hangover 1,690 -381 3.9

Continued:       1       2



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