Weekend Forecast for May 21-23, 2010

By Reagen Sulewski

May 21, 2010

Proof that there really is someone for everyone.

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Also starring Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillippe as part of MacGruber’s team, it’s an unusual cast for an early summer comedy with delusions of blockbusterhood. It’s also shockingly well reviewed for an SNL film, with the vast majority of critics giving it at least a qualified thumbs-up. I know, I’m scared too.

No SNL film has truly been successful since Wayne’s World, which is a frightening amount of time ago now. MacGruber is hoping to break that streak of losing, trying to avoid becoming another Night at the Roxbury. The character isn’t that well known, and the humor to mine from it seems slight. The writers, director and producers apparently seem to agree, what with the addition of a more general parody of action movies, and the raunchy material. While I still don’t think this will make a gigantic difference, it’s at least given itself a chance to break out. Comparisons to Beverly Hills Cop and The Hangover seem reallllly optimistic, though, and a more realistic definition of breakout for this film is around the $14 million mark.

Shrek will end Iron Man 2’s two-week reign at the top of the box office, which is certainly no shock, but it’s perhaps a little surprising at just how quickly it’s fallen off the pace. Shedding almost 60% of its initial weekend total, it’s in real danger of falling behind the weekend pace of the first film already, which would spell trouble for any intentions it might have of surpassing Iron Man’s $318 million.


It’s impossible to not call this a hit by any rational measure, as this is probably what we’d have expected for an Iron Man sequel without the knowledge of what the first one did. A little correction from that steep drop in the second weekend should be in order, with around $25 million this weekend.

Robin Hood landed squarely in mediocrity land for its opening weekend, with $36 million, a little over $200 million short of what it needs to break even. I don’t expect any rescue from word-of-mouth, although a big drop would surprise me as well, as this doesn’t have the feel of a front-loaded film. A second weekend of $18 million wouldn’t exactly be a victory, per se, but it would at least stem some of the bleeding from the bad press over the film’s budget.

Last weekend’s two romances ended up with fairly unremarkable numbers, in both senses. Letters to Juliet landed right in the average spot for a romance with decent matinee talent – its $13.5 million is solid and should lead to a $50 million final total, while Just Wright managed $8 million and ought to end up with around $25 million. Neither failures nor runaway successes, this is about the last time you’ll hear about these films until you’ve run out of options on a Friday night several months from now and you see these pop up on cable.

Forecast: Weekend of May 21-23, 2010
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 Shrek Forever After 4,359 New 95.6
2 Iron Man 2 4,177 -213 24.8
3 Robin Hood 3,505 +2 18.6
4 MacGruber 2,551 New 14.3
5 Letters to Juliet 2,975 +8 8.3
6 Just Wright 1,841 0 4.0
7 How to Train Your Dragon 1,751 -869 3.4
8 Date Night 1,869 -612 2.9
9 A Nightmare on Elm Street 2,125 -950 2.4
10 Furry Vengeance 1,369 -1,326 1.3

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