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Weekend Forecast for February 10-12, 2012

By Reagen Sulewski

February 10, 2012

Wow, that hat *does* make you look like a douche (moreso).

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Oh right, the movie. Anyway, Safe House has Washington play a Jason Bourne-type renegade black ops agent who comes in from the cold to an American embassy with his enemies in hot pursuit. Washington does his usual scary intimidating thing a la Training Day and Man on Fire, while CIA agents Ryan Reynolds and Vera Farmiga are tasked with protecting him and figuring out just what the hell he's up to, and if he's even on their side.

Washington's films seem to hang on the premise for their box office, though as we've seen, there's not a whole lot of variation even in that. I'd say this is slightly better than the average premise for him, and spy thrillers are en vogue right now, so I'd give this about $26 million to start.

That murmuring you hear is the sound of angry nerds upset that I haven't brought up the Star Wars 3D re-release this weekend. Then again, it's The Phantom Menace 3D, so that could just be anger at the prequels themselves bubbling back up to the surface. If there's anyone who's proven better at getting people to pay again and again for the same product than George Lucas, I'd like to meet him, and maybe borrow some money. While Episode I did earn over $400 million the first go round, there's been an obvious reassessment of the film in the last ten years. So while you can count on Star Wars nerds to keep coming back for another round of abuse, there's nothing like the anticipation for this as there was with the re-releases in 1997. On the other hand, 3D Star Wars does sound like a gimmick matched in heaven. Then again, 3D isn't going to fix the dialogue or remove Jar Jar. This should outdo the Beauty and the Beast re-release from earlier this year, but Lion King numbers are probably out of the question. Give it $21 million.

Finally, we have the awkwardly titled Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, the sequel to 2008's Journey to the Center of the Earth, which I will totally forgive you for if you don't remember it, or the fact that it made $101 million domestically (no, really!). Kind of the first film in the current 3D craze, it had a heavy founder factor in that figure as the novelty hadn't worn off yet.




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Apparently aware of the idea they weren't going to get that easy ride this time, Brendan Fraser has been substituted out for Dwayne Johnson, but in terms of adventure films, that's probably a lateral move. Josh Hutcherson returns as the common thread with the first film, Michael Caine is added in full Jaws: The Revenge mode, and Vanessa Hudgens for the tweeners. I know, don't all rush in at once.

I'm struggling a bit to figure out just who thought it was a good idea to throw this movie up against Star Wars, which, as much as I slag on it, is still the 500-pound gorilla of adventure action, and is honing in on this film's 3D aspect as well. Okay, okay, it's the new film of the pair, but it's not like the first film was held up as any sort of classic of cinema, and the too-clever-by-half title almost ensures that people aren't going to connect it anyway. I'd expect this to be in a significant downturn from the original with a $14 million start.

We drop all four of these films into the mix with last week's Chronicle and The Woman in Black, which both earned over $20 million in a pair of mild upsets. The found-footage Chronicle received some surprisingly strong reviews, though its genre is not one that is conducive to legs even with positive word of mouth. I'd expect a $12 million follow up.

Meanwhile, Daniel Radcliffe proved he has a post-Harry Potter career with his horror film starting out far stronger than it had a real right to. Again, horror is not a genre known for longetivity in theaters, but it should be a solid $60-70 million earner, with $11 million this weekend.


Forecast: Weekend of February 10-12, 2012
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 The Vow 2,958 New 35.2
2 Safe House 3,118 New 26.3
3 Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 3D 2,655 New 20.8
4 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island 3,470 New 14.3
5 Chronicle 2,908 +1 12.2
6 The Woman in Black 2,856 +1 11.3
7 The Grey 2,801 -407 4.5
8 Big Miracle 2,133 +4 4.1
9 The Descendants 1,581 -457 3.3
10 One For the Money 2,056 -681 2.8

Continued:       1       2

     


 
 

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