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Weekend Forecast for September 17-19, 2010

By Reagen Sulewski

September 17, 2010

Discipline at All Saints has gotten *strict*

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Easy A is another example of the “high school anthropology” genre, which includes films like Mean Girls, Saved! and 10 Things I Hate About You, which use their premise more as way of investigating teenage social politics than anything. This film plays with sexual politics in particular, with Emma Stone playing a virginal teenager who agrees to serve as a surrogate girlfriend for a gay friend (Dan Byrd from Cougar Town) for her high school, in order to throw the jocks off his trail.

The plot works a little too well, and suddenly Stone's character is the school slut, whose “services” are suddenly in demand by all the school's misfits. Meanwhile, a group of religious students (led by Amanda Bynes) decide that she's an evil presence that must be stopped.

Borrowing liberally and literally from The Scarlet Letter, Easy A is as close to a star-making film for Emma Stone as it's going to get (Zombieland certainly helped but wasn't on her to sell it). That it looks to be a smart, funny film on its own doesn't hurt, and its strong supporting cast (in addition to those mentioned above, there's also Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Lisa Kudrow, Thomas Haden Church, Penn Badgely and Alyson Michalka) give that veneer of respectability.

Box office wise, the best performer of this kind of movie is Mean Girls, which opened to $24 million. However, that's a bit of an aberration, as Lindsay Lohan already had a fair bit of fame at the time. More typical is the $10 million of Clueless or the $8 million of 10 Things I Hate About You. I think Easy A can manage a bit better than that but we're likely looking at something in the area of $12 million.




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Lastly, we have the requisite family film, an animated comedy called Alpha and Omega. Hayden Panettiere and Justin Long voice the title characters, two wolves relocated from Alberta to Idaho with the idea of, well, making more wolves (are we sure this is a family film?). As Panettiere is a high status Alpha wolf and Long is an Omega... well, that's not going to happen, apparently, and they set out to find their way back home. Hijinks ensue, lessons are learned, yada yada yada.

The animation on this is, quite frankly, embarrassing for 2010, with the phrase “video game cut scene” coming to mind. I'm reminded of films like Fly Me to the Moon and Doogal, animated films that took down production companies. Thankfully, ads have been minimal for this and you're unlikely to be subjected to this as a parent. Expect this one to vanish without a trace at just $3 million opening weekend.

Last weekend's box office chart was incredibly top heavy, with Resident Evil: Afterlife representing about 40% of it. The fourth film based on the video game series, it had its best ever opening weekend with $26.6 million, possibly on the back of being the first of the series in 3D. Other recent 3D outings for films have met with resounding “meh”s though, so this improvement definitely represents some health in the franchise. That's not to suggest that it means legs for the film, as it's always suffered severe drop offs in its second weekend. The opening weekend is enough to satisfy Sony, though, and we'll continue to see Milla Jovovich as Alice as long as these continue to break $20 million on opening weekend. For this second weekend, look for it to tumble to around $11 million.


Forecast: Weekend of September 17-19, 2010
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 The Town 2,861 New 18.7
2 Devil 2,810 New 15.8
3 Easy A 2,856 New 12.3
4 Resident Evil: Afterlife 3,209 +6 11.4
5 Alpha and Omega 2,625 New 3.4
6 Takers 2,139 -52 2.8
7 The American 2,457 -376 2.6
8 Going the Distance 2,007 -1,023 1.9
9 Machete 1,705 -974 1.6
10 The Other Guys 1,827 -419 1.6

Continued:       1       2

     


 
 

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