Weekend Forecast for May 28-31, 2010

By Reagen Sulewski

May 28, 2010

Sex and the City 2 decided to take over the Prince of Persia set.

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Jake Gyllenhaal, who perhaps has the least Persian name in history, stars in the title role, which seems to consist of him making goo-goo eyes at the female lead Gemma Arterton (best known from the last James Bond film as one of Bond’s conquests that’s tossed aside) and yell “Give me the dagger!” about 486 times. While the setting isn’t without potential, the results look rather brown and tedious. If there’s a single visually exciting moment in the commercials for this film, I haven’t seen it (and the ad guys are criminally incompetent if there is one and they haven’t shown it).

Gyllenhaal probably isn’t the worst choice for an action star, as he definitely has the boyish charm thing down, and has appropriately buffed himself up for the role. Unfortunately, a new action star can’t sell a mediocre looking movie like this, and it’s going to find itself kneecapped from the opening weekend. Really, in a time travel movie, they should have seen this coming. Look for a four-day total of around $39 million.

These disappointing films come on the heels of the clubhouse leader for unfulfilled expectations, Shrek Forever After, which opened with “just” $70 million. While the idea that a film that earns that much probably should be considered a bomb isn’t without merit, a franchise can’t survive having its opening weekends cut in half indefinitely, or perhaps even once. It’s got to be especially worrying that this is with 3-D ticket inflation.

While we saw another animated film recover from a poor opening earlier this year, in How to Train Your Dragon, there’s no rescue from word-of-mouth here. About its only solace is that Memorial Day Weekend remains a great weekend for family films, and gives the opportunity for people to see multiple films. I’d say we’re looking at a major drop to about $41 million over four days.


Iron Man 2 is another film that’s underperforming while still throwing up a huge number – it’s reached the $250 million mark domestically, but essentially a week behind schedule after its huge opening weekend. There’s no reason to declare the death of the Marvel super-hero as a viable franchise, or even extrapolate out to other films (like The Avengers), but it is a sign that audiences aren’t going to accept just anything as long as you put a hero in a costume. This weekend should bring Iron Man 2 about $17 million over four days, or close to the $275 million mark.

This summer’s whipping boy for budgetary excess, Robin Hood, had the about-as-expected second weekend, cut in half from its debut. That might not be a problem for an ordinary summer blockbuster except that we’re dealing with a film with a $200 million-plus budget and which started sub-$40 million. International numbers are saving its bacon but that’s mostly illusory for its North American reputation. It’ll add another $11 million this weekend, but it’s ultimately going to struggle with the $100 million plateau.

Letters to Juliet is the best of a bad lot in terms of summer legs this weekend, with the Italian-set romance possibly being able to match the three-day total of $9 million in the four days of the holiday. I wouldn’t quite bank on it, but something out there has to make people enthusiastic, and it might as well be this film.

The less said about MacGruber the better, but let’s just say that Tim Meadows now points and laughs at Will Forte.

Forecast: Weekend of May 28-31, 2010
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 Sex and the City 2 3,445 New 50.0
2 Shrek Forever After 4,367 +8 41.2
3 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time 3,646 New 38.6
4 Iron Man 2 3,804 -373 17.7
5 Robin Hood 3,373 -132 11.4
6 Letters to Juliet 2,825 -150 8.0
7 Just Wright 1,195 -636 2.6
8 Date Night 1,126 -743 2.4
9 MacGruber 2,546 -5 1.7
10 How to Train Your Dragon 825 -926 1.2

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