Weekend Forecast for November 11-13, 2011

By Reagen Sulewski

November 10, 2011

Hollywood parties are weird.

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Audiences seem to be tiring of these all-out visual assaults (c.f. Sucker Punch), however, and without any particular names (Frieda Pinto, John Hurt and Isabel Lucas are a few other actors from this you might recognize, which tells you something right there) to put up on the marquee there's not much to save it. Of course, you can point to Clash of the Titans and Sam Worthington, but that was a film at the start of the 3D renaissance, and which is a part of the reason why audiences are getting fatigued by visuals. Reviews are poor, so there's no help there. I'd look for a $17 million start here.

A 2011 Oscar season that's been yearning for a leading contender may have to keep looking despite this weekend's release of J. Edgar, Clint Eastwood's biography of J. Edgar Hoover, the four-decade head of the FBI renowned for his secrecy (and possibly cross-dressing). Leo DiCaprio is trolling for Oscars here in his portrayal of him from the '20s to the '70s, complete with shaky age-makeup. It's not the first time he's taken on a role like this, with Howard Hughes in The Aviator having a lot of thematic similarities to this (though perhaps with more of a sense of lust for power here). The problem: Eastwood seems to have botched it, perhaps undercut by the secrecy he's trying to reveal, as well as the time frame he's covering – there's just too much here for this movie to be anything but a surface treatment.

Also starring Naomi Watts as his long-time secretary and confident and Armie Hammer as his long time “#2” (wink wink, nudge nudge, knawhatImean), it's mostly trading on Leo's fame (which has definitely worked well in years past) and an inherent curiosity about its central figure, which is a dodgier prospect. Eastwood's relative bulletproof record as a director is also no longer in place, thanks to last year's Hereafter, which landed with a giant thud. Ads for this aren't particularly helping, as there seem to be dozens of them, all focusing on a different, out-of-context vignette from the film, which do little to entice anyone into knowing what the film's actually going to be like. Opening on just 1,900 screens, it should start with just $11 million.


This means that Puss in Boots could very well win the box office for a third straight weekend. With a nearly non-existent drop from weekend one, predicting when and where it'll fall off is close to impossible. What's clear is that Paramount has legitimate fall hit on its hands and if it continues on with weekends like this, $200 million or more isn't out of the question. I'll be conservative and predict a 10 per cent drop off to about $30 million this weekend, with nothing to really challenge it.

It owes its weekend win in part to the failure of Tower Heist to perform, opening to just $24 million despite the presence of Ben Stiller and a resurgent Eddie Murphy (Surprisingly, this would turn out to be just the second worst thing to happen to director Brett Ratner last weekend). Reviews hail it mostly as competent and not exceptional, so I don't anticipate legs here, with a $14 million second weekend.

Harold and Kumar 3D is remarkable for even existing, so it's hard to find too much fault with a $13 million opening weekend for it. However, there can be little doubt that pretty much its entire accumulated fanbase came out last weekend to see it. Look for $5 million in its second weekend as a best-case scenario.

Forecast: Weekend of November 11-13, 2011
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 Puss in Boots 3,903 -60 30.1
2 Jack & Jill 3,438 New 20.4
3 Immortals 3,112 New 16.8
4 Tower Heist 3,370 +3 14.4
5 J. Edgar 1,910 New 11.3
6 A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas 3D 2,875 0 5.6
7 In Time N/A N/A 4.9
8 Paranormal Activity 3 2,776 -510 4.4
9 Footloose 2,215 -596 3.1
10 Real Steel 1,758 -680 2.1

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