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Weekend Forecast for July 23-25, 2010

By Reagen Sulewski

July 23, 2010

Pics don't come any more Freudian than this. Oops, I said come, didn't I?

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Ramona and Beezus is a Walden Media production, a studio that’s had a wildly inconsistent performance in bringing classic kid’s lit to the big screen, with successes like The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Charlotte’s Web and Holes, and major misses in How to Eat Fried Worms, City of Ember and Prince Caspian. I’d put this closer to Charlotte’s Web in potential than anything, though with the major female focus of the books, you’re not going to find a lot of boys urging their parents to take them to this. I’d expect about a $12 million weekend.

Inception set off a bit of a firestorm in the movie world last weekend by actually being original and stuff, something we’re not used to in the summer, when sequels and adaptations are the rule. If only we could have Chris Nolan save every summer. At any rate, an original premise and critical acclaim aren’t always enough to guarantee a big opening weekend or strong legs for a movie, although $62 million for Inception is a very solid start and it may hit the $100 million mark by close of business Thursday, Friday for sure.

If nothing else, people are curious about this film now, which could inspire some lookiloos, in the same way but not to the same degree as Avatar, the last big budget epic to truly promise something different. This won’t translate into a repeat at the top unless Salt misses wildly, but around $39 million for a second weekend isn’t anything to shake a stick at here.

Despicable Me held onto the second spot with $32 million, a solid if unspectacular holdover. It should still remain the top family option this weekend despite the entry of Ramona and Beezus, particularly because of its crossover appeal to both boys and adults (sorry, Cleary fans, that’s the way it is). I’d even go so far as to predict a slight turnaround in its fortunes, dropping to only $22 million this weekend.




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That’s in part due to the fact that The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is no longer a shiny object competing for family film eyes. Not that it did so very effectively in the first place, with an under $18 million debut, an unmitigated disaster with the film’s $150 million budget, and a blitz of advertising.

It’s a rare crazy-looking Nic Cage film that audiences actually avoided, as opposed to embracing for some crazy reason (I’m looking at you, Ghost Rider), and as unfair as this potentially is, I’d lay a lot of the blame at Jay Baruchel’s feet, who is perhaps too nerdy to even take seriously as a nerd. Disney’s attempt to force a new Harry Potterish franchise wasn’t well thought out either, and this ended more like an Eragon, except with big name salaries to pay. Give it $10 million for its encore.

Twlight: Eclipse continued its rapid exit from box office relevance with an almost 60% drop last weekend. It still has over $260 million in the bank, but at this rate, the $296 million of New Moon may already be out of reach. It’s a franchise that’s still wildly (and bafflingly) profitable and a fixed end to it helps, but it’s a phenomenon that has seemingly peaked. It should see about $5 million this weekend.

It seems unlikely at this point that Toy Story 3 will be caught as the highest grossing film of 2010 – anything’s possible of course, but with a probable final total just north of $400 million, there’s no obvious contender to overtake it (the highest grossing Harry Potter film, for example, would be almost $100 million shy). It’s a credit once again to Pixar’s amazing unbroken streak of excellence in both quality and earning power, that’s basically umatched in the film world. For this weekend, Toy Story 3 remains relevant with about $7 million.


Forecast: Weekend of July 23-25, 2010
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Salt 3,612 New 52.4
2 Inception 3,792 0 38.8
3 Despicable Me 3,600 +99 22.3
4 Ramona and Beezus 2,719 New 12.5
5 The Sorcerer's Apprentice 3,504 0 10.4
6 Toy Story 3 2,766 -411 7.5
7 The Twlight Sage: Eclipse 3,121 -880 5.3
8 Grown Ups 2,859 -215 5.3
9 The Last Airbender 2,127 -678 3.2
10 Knight and Day 1,265 -660 2.1

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