Holiday Movie Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

November 19, 2010

All I want for Christmas is not you. It's this bike.

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11. Love and Other Drugs (November 24th)

The Thanksgiving weekend, as always, packs a lot of quantity, so what does Love and Other Drugs bring to the table? It's got Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway frolicking in nubility (that's a real word), it's sort of about the invention of Viagra (!), it contains a plot twist (?) that's not been much advertised in trailers, and it tags along that masterful character actor, Oliver Platt - who is a major box office draw, I assure you, or at the very least ought to be one. All in all, it really doesn't look like your garden-variety Ed Zwick picture (no historical battle scenes or impassioned speeches), but the stars should give it some pull, especially if it gets a good review or two - and the film may well have the momentum to stick around a little into December, even if it won't go all the way to the new year.

Opening weekend: $24 million (5-day) / Total gross: $61 million

12. True Grit (December 22nd)

The Coens are back in serious mode, remaking a classic (unseen by me...) and bringing along a line-up of decidedly awards-friendly thespians: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and the inimitable Josh Brolin. The trailers have just the right tone, playing this up as a slightly droll if potentially violent western, and Bridges is put to good use in what looks like another effectively off-kilter characterization. Since the reviews are likely to be unavoidably gushy, True Grit ought to end up among the Coens' higher grossers (not that they care about such things). That may also be good news for Damon, who's been extremely consistent on that $30 to $39 million front lately, a four-film trend that this one will likely break. Not that he cares about such things, I'm sure.

Total gross: $57 million


13. Burlesque (November 24th)

At last, it is time for Christina Aguilera's big-screen debut, and the first cinematic role for Cher in years, with some choice supporting players (Stanley Tucci, Kristen Bell, Cam Gigandet) and what sounds like a decent soundtrack. Oscar aspirations are probably a little unrealistic, and the naughty edge will cut into income from the younger demographic - so this one's a little different from some of the big musicals we've run through these last few years. And will Burlesque be a little too niche-y? Probably. But with good reviews, it can ride that niche into a sizeable fortune. If it's bad, though, comparisons to The Producers and Rent might be a little too founded for comfort.

Opening weekend: $19 million (5-day) / Total gross: $53 million

14. Faster (November 24th)

We arrive once again upon the case file of one Dwayne Johnson, an actor who has travailed back-and-forth between action films and kid stuff - and it looks like this one's more of the former. Faster doesn't seem to have much of a clear hook, but The Rock should never be counted out. Indeed, there's been a recent tradition of releasing B genre movies on Thanksgiving (Hitman, Transporter 3, and Ninja Assassin come immediately to mind). Those films topped out about $40 million a pop, and Faster will probably beat up on some of those numbers, if not resoundingly so. There's a box office reason, after all, why appearing in kid stuff instead can seem like such a good idea at the time.

Opening weekend: $21 million (5-day) / Total gross: $48 million

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