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Weekend Forecast for August 21-23, 2009

By Reagen Sulewski

August 21, 2009

Wanna be in an Eli Roth movie?

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There's also a surprisingly high level of cast among the adults (the kids, of course, are almost total newcomers), including Kat Dennings, Leslie Mann, Jon Cryer, Bill Macy, and James Spader, among others. Of course, Rodriguez is the guy who got George Clooney to cameo three times in the Spy Kids series. All those names aside, the target audience isn't really about to recognize most of them, unless they're huge Pretty in Pink and/or Fargo fans (and why not, I ask?). Reviews haven't been great to this film, though I don't foresee too many kids reading reviews about this – what matters is whether it looks funny and/or action-filled. I suspect it does to them, though adults will probably find it pretty dire. Look for about $14 million for this on the weekend.

Post Grad stars Alexis Bleidel of Gilmore Girls as a woman who after graduating from college, finds herself having to move back in with her parents (Michael Keaton and Jane Lynch). On the road to figuring out what she's going to do with her life now that the comfortable bubble of college has popped, she finds herself torn between the exotic neighbour and her childhood best friend (played by Friday Night Lights' Zach Gilford), whom she's never seen "that way" and has always relied on. I'll give you two guesses how this one plays out.

Reviews have been shockingly unkind to this film, considering that it's largely an unassuming semi-romantic comedy aimed at teenagers and the early-20s set. Most have hammered it as a pointless and feeble comedy filled with unlikeable characters in a plot filled with contrivances. Well sure, if you're going to judge based on those criteria... As The Continuing Adventures of Rory Gilmore, it had the potential of finding an audience, but those reviews are basically going to sink it. Look for just $4 million on its 1,958 screens this weekend.

Appropriately enough, X Games 3D: The Movie feels like a bit of a stunt. Opening in 1,399 theaters, it's a one-week event featuring footage from the 2008 XGames, and tries to utilize the new 3-D technology. Promotion has been next to invisible for this, and while 3-D is the hot new thing, this is basically an ESPN special writ large. If this makes even $2 million it's doing well.

District 9 took the cinema world by storm last weekend, opening to $37 million with its tale of alien rebellion set in Johannesburg. Marking the arrival of a new talent in Neill Blomkamp, the unusual sci-fi actioner took advantage of a brilliant viral ad campaign and, relatively speaking for its budget, mind-blowing special effects.




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A near universal positive response certainly bodes well for legs on this, but although the temptation is there to call it the next Sixth Sense or something, I'm feeling tempered in that assessment. It's still a late-summer action film, and it's still entirely possible that the viral campaign got out most of the people who were interested already. Take a look at Cloverfield, for instance, which didn't make it to twice its opening weekend. I think a very positive outcome here would be something around the neighborhood of $20 million for its second weekend.

G.I. Joe has basically spat in the face of most of what's good and holy by reaching the $100 million plateau shortly after its second weekend of release. This filmed explosion demo reel and toy commercial fell off about 60% in its second weekend, which is pretty close to acceptable, though it's still not 100%. While competition doesn't play that much of a role at this point, look for action junkies to get their fill with Tarantino this weekend. Give this another $9 million.

The Time Traveler's Wife salvaged the best of a bad situation with an $18 million opening weekend, even as Warners seemed to do their best to destroy it with a botched ad campaign that started far too late in the day. With a bit of an older and female skewing audience that will often take its time to get to theaters, this might be in okay shape and should see a second weekend of about $11 milllion.

That's kind of the situation we saw with Julie & Julia, which held onto $12 million of its $20 million opening weekend last frame. While it's a bit premature to start talking Oscars, this does star Meryl Streep. Look for another $7 million this weekend, bringing it over the $50 million mark.


Forecast: Weekend of August 21-23, 2009
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Inglourious Basterds 3,165 New 29.1
2 District 9 3,050 +1 20.5
3 Shorts 3,105 New 14.4
4 The Time Traveler's Wife 2,988 0 10.9
5 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 3,953 -54 8.5
6 Julie & Julia 2,463 +109 7.4
7 G-Force 2,561 -504 4.2
8 Post Grad 1,958 New 3.3
9 The Ugly Truth 1,971 -762 3.0
10 Harry Potter and the Half=Blood Prince 1,936 -835 3.0

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