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Weekend Forecast for February 3-5, 2012

By Reagen Sulewski

February 3, 2012

I'm going to kill the wabbit!

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The relies mostly on jumps and shocks for its scares, which is something, I suppose, in contrast to the gorno movement, or the umpteen number of exorcist stories we've been getting lately. Reviews are decent but not spectacular, which leads up to two main questions – is this a bit too staid idea of a horror film for today's jaded audiences, and do they really care about Radcliffe in a non-Potter role?

When the Potter series started, you probably could have been forgiven for thinking that he'd eventually end up like Jake Lloyd or Haley Joel Osment in the dustbin of child star history. Through the course of ten years, Radcliffe has developed into a decent actor and has worked hard at staying relevant and stretching himself (for instance – he's 22 and playing much older in this film, and plausibly so). The transition away from a plum franchise role is never an easy one for any actor, but as far as proving he can handle grown-up roles, this isn't a bad step. I'd look for around $12 for it this weekend.

Amidst these films, Big Miracle is hoping to be the family film option. Based on a true story about gray whales trapped in ice in Alaska (and not, as it turns out, about Tom Hanks magically wishing himself onto the 1980 US Men's Olympic Hockey team), it stars Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski as the coordinators of the rescue effort by the small Alaskan town near where this happened. Scientifically designed in a lab to make you go “awww”, this isn't so much a movie as it is an exercise in earnestness, which to be fair is what people are looking for from family films. Universal is obviously hoping for something like a Dolphin Tale performance, though that was in 3D, had a better lineup of stars and didn't look ridiculously hokey. Barrymore has struggled as a solo lead in the last few years, and I don't see this film turning the tide. We should see about $5 million for the whales this weekend.




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Although Taken was one of the big surprises of 2009 in how leggy it was, last year's Unknown wasn't able to continue the trend, and performed more or less normally. Now that we know Liam Neeson can be a credible action star, there's not a lot of surprise factor left to audiences. We're still seeing his films, but it's not a “guess who's awesome? No, really, you'll never guess” situation. Opening to just under $20 million last weekend, The Grey should continue in Unknown's footsteps as a moderate hit, dropping to around $12 million this weekend.

Following that, we have a collection of films that seem to be in a race as to who can be out on DVD first. Underworld: Awakening fell over 50% in its second weekend, which is actually not all that bad for the franchise. One For the Money became the symbol for all that's gone wrong in Katherine Heigl's career (besides Katherine Heigl happening to it), while Red Tails and Man on a Ledge underwhelm with both audiences and at the box office. None of these films should surpass $6 million this weekend, and in Man on a Ledge's case, probably not even $4 million.

Some Oscar expansions did make a bit of noise last weekend, in particular The Descandants and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which both earned around $6 million thanks to additional screens. These tend to be temporary bumps, and both films should come down to around $4 million this frame.


Forecast: Weekend of February 3-5, 2012
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Chronicle 2,907 New 16.5
2 The Woman in Black 2,855 New 12.4
3 The Grey 3,208 +23 12.0
4 Underworld: Awakening 2,636 -442 6.1
5 Big Miracle 2,128 New 5.7
6 Red Tails 2,347 -226 5.4
7 One For the Money 2,737 0 5.1
8 Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 2,505 -125 4.8
9 The Descendants 2,038 +37 4.5
10 Man on a Ledge 2,998 0 4.0

Continued:       1       2

     


 
 

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