Weekend Forecast for October 27-29, 2006

By Reagen Sulewski

October 27, 2006

Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are so mean.

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One of the most controversial films of the year debuts on 91 screens this weekend. Death of a President, the faux-documentary positing the potential after-effects of the assassination of George W. Bush, has driven up the ire just from its concept. It won the top award at the Toronto Film Festival. These 91 screens will mainly be in Canada, with many U.S. chains refusing to carry the film and several networks refusing to air ads for it. This seems much ado about nothing as far as the film's content goes, which by most accounts is rather neutral and interested only in ramifications. In fact, that's the kind of buzz the producers of the film are likely hoping for. It should come in with close to $1 million on these screens.

The Prestige was the winner of last weekend's box office chart with a modest $14 million, though it's a respectable total for the film's hype and starpower levels. It's likely to be passed in its second weekend by at least one returning film, with an off chance of two films passing it. The magic-themed thriller got average word-of-mouth, though with an excessively twisty plot, it may be able to hold some intrigue. Give it about $8.5 million this weekend.

The Departed should pass it into second spot, after showing great staying power through its first three weekends. It's already moved ahead in the weekday box office, and has passed the $80 million mark. It's on its way to becoming Martin Scorsese's highest grossing film, with The Aviator's $102 million definitely in jeopardy. It's one of the best reviewed major films this year, and stands out in a year that's been unimpressive so far. Look for about $10 million this weekend for The Departed.


Flags of Our Fathers' opening weekend was a relatively unimpressive $10 million, after it started on just 1,800 screens, good enough for third spot. However, Clint Eastwood's complex war drama has a chance to pick up viewers, and is getting a moderate expansion of a few hundred screens. If it can hold its per screen average, it's got a shot at moving into third spot this weekend, with about $9 million.

Open Season continues to impress, dropping just 26% in its fourth weekend. Its rate of decline has decreased in each successive weekend, and it's close to passing Barnyard as the fourth most popular animated film of the year. Its fifth weekend should add about $6 million to its total.

Running With Scissors makes a large expansion to 568 screens, after a successful launch on eight screens that earned it close to a quarter of a million dollars. Though critically panned, the dysfunctional family film based on Augusten Burrows's memoirs could still break out of that potential pitfall. It's a fairly well known and popular book, and the quirky style the film presents will hook the arthouse crowd; it would be easy to mistake it for a Wes Anderson film. Look for it to earn $4 million this weekend.

Forecast: Weekend of October 27-29, 2006
Number of
Changes in Sites
from Last
Gross ($)
1 Saw III 3,167 New 30.1
2 The Departed 2,951 -54 10.5
3 Flags of Our Fathers 2,190 +314 8.8
4 The Prestige 2,281 0 8.4
5 Open Season 3,059 -320 5.9
6 Catch a Fire 1,305 New 5.0
7 Flicka 2,877 0 4.4
8 Running With Scissors 586 +578 3.9
9 Man of the Year 2,826 +104 3.7
10 Marie Antoinette 859 0 2,8

Continued:       1       2



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