December 2006 Forecast
By Michael Bentley
December 1, 2006
Opening weekend: $13 million.
10) We Are Marshall
As this great college football season winds down it is easy to forget about some of the more tragic moments from college sport's past. One of the absolute worst occurred in 1970 when a plane carrying members of the Marshall University football team crashed, killing everyone on board. Thirty-seven players on the team, eight coaches, and others affiliated with the program were all among the casualties.
We Are Marshall, from director McG, chronicles the school's attempt to rebuild the football program the following season. Matthew McConaughey is the coach, Jack Lengyel, and Lost's Matthew Fox and Deadwood's Ian McShane also star. The movie should be able to score moderate box office, and will undoubtedly turn a profit, but could be held back slightly since it is opening during a very competitive season.
Opening weekend: $12 million.
Also in the Running
With December being such a key month for Hollywood, there are a wide variety of major releases. From the blockbusters to the chick flicks, sports films, family fare and awards bait, there seems to be something for almost everyone this year. Some of those other wide releases films that I don't expect to make the top 10 for the month include: Apocalypto (could be big, but Gibson's recent behavior combined with the story will likely hold it back), Dreamgirls (the '60s era musical will definitely find an audience, but not quite enough screens to start with), Children of Men (too many other films ahead of it), Black Christmas (the horror remake is opening too late), Turistas (Hostel-wannabe will have to hope for video sales), Unaccompanied Minors (if it hits with preteen and teen boys it may be able to sniff the top 10), and National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj (too stupid).
Just Under the Radar
The Good German
BOP's number three pick for Most Anticipated Holiday Movie this year, The Good German reteams director Steven Soderbergh with two-time Sexiest Man George Clooney. It is a black & white retro film set in Post-WWII Berlin that is reminiscent of classics such as The Third Man.
It's always a good idea to have the latest David Lynch film on your radar screen. Inland Empire stars Laura Dern as an actress who begins to confuse her real life with the role that she is playing. And much confusion for the audience will probably occur as well.
Peter O'Toole (Lawrence of Arabia) is earning some serious raves for his work in this film, about a couple seniors whose lives are impacted (in a good way) by a teenage girl.
* Please note that all opening weekend estimates are preliminary and do not account for final screen counts.