Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

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Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by BarcaRulz on Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:21 am

These are the predictions from BoxOfficeGuru:

G.I.Joe - $24m
District 9 - $23m
The Time Travelers Wife - $16m
Julie and Julia - $14
Bandslam - $6m
G-Force - $5.5m
Harry Potter - $5m
The Goods - $5m
Ponyo - $4m

THIS WEEKEND With summer almost out of gas, studios toss five more contenders into the ring in hopes of catching moviegoers that just haven't had their share of multiplex entertainment yet. Having the best shot at reaching the top spot is the new science fiction alien pic District 9 which will skew male. Targeting adult women is the romantic drama The Time Traveler's Wife while teen girls will be offered the high school comedy Bandslam. Young men looking for laughs get The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard and kids fed up with 3D toons get the old school animation saga Ponyo. Overall, the marketplace looks to match last year's levels and could even surge higher.

Gaining momentum since its Comic Con screening in late July (could there have been a better place and time?), Sony's sci-fi actioner District 9 invades cinemas on Friday taking aim at genre fans interested in a smart new story. The R-rated film takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa where aliens have been living for two decades in a slum monitored by humans. When a bureaucrat is assigned to relocate the alien population, the futures of both species are tested. No stars appear in this project so the studio is selling the pic on the name of producer Peter Jackson. That puts District 9 in the same position as last year's monster hit Cloverfield which also had no known actors, a shaky handheld camera feel, and was marketed on the name of its producer J.J. Abrams.

District 9 has not generated as much buzz and its rating will keep out younger teens so an opening close to Cloverfield's $40.1M is not likely. However, this new alien story has been showered with glowing reviews from critics which will help to convince those undecided sci-fi fans. Plus the Comic-Con screening three weeks ago was a brilliant strategic move on the part of the studio since it was the perfect audience for this subject matter and it was close enough to the release date to make sure buzz had time to spread to all those genre fans who didn't make the trip to San Diego. Pushing the Peter Jackson brand name adds extra insurance.

Wider mainstream appeal may allude D9. American moviegoers are not used to sitting through two hours of South African accents and there is no property with a built-in audience that the film is based upon. Sure, G.I. Joe seemed like a cheesy brand to make a film out of, but its PG-13 package of formulaic action appealed to millions and drove the opening to $54.7M. True sci-fi fans and those looking for some gory alien battles will make up the D9 crowd. Young men will lead the way while female interest is questionable. Landing in more than 2,900 theaters, District 9 could open to around $23M.

Warner Bros. inherited a handful of hits after absorbing New Line into its fold and the latest comes in the form of The Time Traveler's Wife. Based on the best-selling novel, the PG-13 fantasy romance stars Rachel McAdams as a woman trying to create a life with her true love (Eric Bana) who suffers from a genetic disorder that forces him to skip uncontrollably through time to different eras in his life. McAdams won over many fans in 2004 with The Notebook, another New Line romantic drama based on a popular book released in the summer. It bowed to $13.5M with a $5,847 average and went on to have terrific legs grossing six times that amount with a $81M final cume. Debuts for other recent mature romances include $14.8M for Australia, $13.6M for The Lake House, and $13.4M for Nights in Rodanthe.

Bana has had a banner summer playing the villain in the hugely successful Star Trek, the jealous husband in the Adam Sandler comedy Funny People, and now shows up for the third time as a romantic lead, something he's not known for. Fans of the novel will probably make it out, though weak reviews will make some hesitate. McAdams is back in a safe zone which is good. After Notebook and Wedding Crashers made her a big name, she spent three years barely having a presence in the industry as her few roles came in small pictures. Wife should play as a one-quadrant film as few outside of adult women will come out. Plus the second weekend of Julie & Julia will provide some direct competition. But romantic dramas have been few and far between this summer so a good turnout is likely. Landing in 2,988 theaters, The Time Traveler's Wife could bow to about $16M.

Summit is hoping that teen girls come out for its high school tale Bandslam starring High School Musical's Vanessa Hudgens and is taking no chances by attaching a new trailer for The Twilight Saga: New Moon which vampire fans will certainly want to see. The PG-rated pic about students in a battle of the bands contest is not likely to appeal to anyone outside of their teen years and females should outnumber the boys. There's some good starpower here for the target demographic, but outsiders will not be buying any tickets. The current lack of content for young females will work in the film's favor, but don't expect a late summer Bring It On-type breakout hit here. Rocking into 2,000 sites, Bandslam might collect roughly $6M this weekend.

Jeremy Piven anchors the R-rated comedy The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard playing a fast-talking used car salesman hired to save a local dealership from bankruptcy. The Paramount release also stars Ving Rhames, James Brolin, and The Hangover's Ed Helms. Moviegoers have had their fair share of good and bad comedies this summer so there's no real need for another one right now. There is a small opportunity for Goods to connect since there are no major comedies aimed at young adult men right now, especially with Funny People fading fast. But action titles G.I. Joe and District 9 will steal away $40-50M this weekend so the demo will not have too much extra to spare. Kudos to Piven for hitting the pavement selling his latest product aggressively, but it may not translate into too much more at the box office. Plus trailers and commercials don't look too funny. Hitting over 1,500 locations, The Goods may take in about $5M this weekend.

More than a year after legendary animation director Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo opened in his native Japan, American audiences finally get their first (legal) look at the filmmaker's latest creation. His past films Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle were released by Buena Vista in limited play to strong averages thanks to loyal fans. This time, Pixar guru John Lasseter is on board as an executive producer for the English version trying to give Ponyo wider appeal along with voice actors Liam Neeson, Tina Fey, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchett. The distributor hopes the gamble works as it will invade 927 locations on Friday in a risky test of Miyazaki's U.S. appeal. The G-rated film will pull in the director's core crowd but kids and families should come too. A weekend bow of around $4M could result.

Five new soldiers march into the multiplexes, but Paramount's pricey actioner G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra hopes to still have the most firepower and hold onto its number one spot this weekend. Effects-heavy tentpoles tend to attract the bulk of their business upfront so a large decline is likely. Plus audience buzz has just been average so no smaller-than-usual drop is likely. Joe has taken in some strong numbers midweek with $6.4M on Monday and $6M on Tuesday and looks to end its first full week with roughly $77M. A 55% fall could be in store this time giving the real American heroes about $24M over three days boosting the ten-day total to $101M.

Sony's Julie & Julia is connecting with adult women and getting great word-of-mouth so its sophomore decline should not be too high. However, it will face direct competition from Eric and Rachel who hope to lure women away with their love story. A 40% fall could result giving the Meryl Streep pic about $12M for the frame lifting the sum to $42M after ten days.

Disney's guinea pig hit G-Force will come within striking distance of the $100M mark this weekend. A 45% decline to $5.5M should occur pushing the total to $97M. Warner Bros. is likely to see a 45% drop for its top performer of the year Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The wizard sequel would bank $5M, upping the cume to $287M, and will fly past Up a few days later to become the second biggest blockbuster of the year after the Transformers sequel.

I personally disagree with the D9 and GIJ numbers. I think GIJ will drop harder and do around 21.5m and D9 will hopefully break out and do around 28m. The rest seems there or thereabouts for me. Will be an interesting weekend.

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by geezer9687 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:36 am

Just saw District 9 in a pretty packed theater that is NEVER packed on a Friday afternoon. I was shocked to see so many people there. And it was an outstanding movie.

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by Buscemi on Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:39 am

I'll put District 9 at $33 million. And the legs should be much higher than Cloverfield's.

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by W on Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:52 am

D9 = between $30 and 35 M.

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by BarcaRulz on Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:02 am

Apparently first numbers are suggesting high 20s-to-low-30s for D9. Low 20s for TTW. High singles for BS, and possibly 10m for The Goods.

Also, it looks like GIJ will barely break the 20m this week. Surprised

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by J-Man on Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:32 am

Numbers extracted from a Deadline Hollywood Daily article:

District 9 - 3,046 Theaters / 10M Friday / High 20s to 30M +
The Time Traverler's Wife - 2,988 Theaters / Low 20s to 25M
GI Joe - High Teens to 25M
Bandslam - 2,121 Theaters / Mid Single Digit Range
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard - 6M to surprise 10M

Plus I saw District 9 this afternoon and it was pretty damn great. One of the best summer movies, up there with Drag Me to Hell, Bruno and The Hurt Locker.

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by Buscemi on Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:34 am

I am extremely surprised about The Time Traveler's Wife's performance. Is this the year in which long-delayed films actually make money (first Taken, now this)?

And it's really looking like that Ponyo is going to be a flop. It's sad that Miyazaki will never get the recognition that he gets in Japan over here in the US, even with the support of Pixar and some of Spielberg's frequent collaborators.

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by W on Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:28 am

J-Man wrote:Numbers extracted from a Deadline Hollywood Daily article:

District 9 - 3,046 Theaters / 10M Friday / High 20s to 30M +
The Time Traverler's Wife - 2,988 Theaters / Low 20s to 25M
GI Joe - High Teens to 25M
Bandslam - 2,121 Theaters / Mid Single Digit Range
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard - 6M to surprise 10M

Plus I saw District 9 this afternoon and it was pretty damn great. One of the best summer movies, up there with Drag Me to Hell, Bruno and The Hurt Locker.

I read that article, but didn't post it because A) it was at noon and how can you tell how many people are going to be there with exactly zero real data, and B) the numbers are what the companies are expecting (for instance, D9's studio said high 20s and its rivals said 30M +). It may very well be true, but I'm not trusting it until its something from after some people actually walk through the turnstiles. I'm really thinking $35 or so for D9.

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by Shrykespeare on Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:07 pm

At least this weekend has some better options than this time last year, when the theaters had Mummy 3, Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder.

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by W on Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:21 pm

But wasn't Tropic Thunder supposed to be the greatest thing since sliced cheese? I didn't care for it at all...

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by geezer9687 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:39 pm

Tropic Thunder was the greatest thing since sliced cheese. And Pineapple Express was pretty good too. At least last year had a couple of good comedies. I'm almost talking myself into seeing The Goods because I'm so desperate for a really good comedy this year, because I haven't seen one, in my opinion at least.

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by transformers2 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:22 pm

IMO The Hangover and I Love You Man were both great. Last year had a lot Zack and Miri,Step Brothers,Sex Drive, Harold and KumarGet Smart. Tropic Thunder and Pineapple Express were good but not great.
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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by Shrykespeare on Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:29 pm

I know I'm in the minority, but I HATED Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder. A complete waste of my time. I'm almost ashamed that Death Race was my favorite August movie.

Will see District 9 today.

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by undeadmonkey on Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:24 pm

I hated tropic thunder as well. i thought pinapple express was ok and step brothers was hilarious.
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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by W on Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:16 pm

I thought Richard Jenkins was the funniest guy in Step Brothers. "Don't lose your dinosaur."

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by BanksIsDaFuture on Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:23 pm

The Hangover is the funniest movie since Superbad IMO.
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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by Buscemi on Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:26 pm

And you can't forget....

POW!

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by W on Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:33 pm

The Hangover is the funniest movie since Anchorman IMO.

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by W on Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:42 pm

Saturday AM update on DHD

D9 $14.2/35 M
TTW $7.7/23 M
Joe $7/22.5 M
J&J 3.6/12
G-Force 2/7.5
Goods 2/5.5
HP6 1.4/5
Ugly Truth 1.4/4.3
Ponyo 1.2/4.3
Bandslam 1/3

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by geezer9687 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:57 pm

Different people find different things funny. It makes sense that you people loved the Hangover where i thought it was merely ok, and I thought Tropic Thunder was absolutely hilarious in every way.

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by undeadmonkey on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:26 am

IM so glad i have District 9 on every slate and i'll be even happier if it has great legs.
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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by geezer9687 on Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:04 am

I'm glad I have both District 9 and Time Traveler's Wife on ever slate. Both exceeding expectations!

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by Buscemi on Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:35 am

Wow, Bandslam flopped royally! I guess that is what happens you make a film with Vanessa Hudgens and don't give her the lead role or make her the main protagonist.

And it looks like Ponyo is actually doing well. I went to a showing today and it was three-fourths full with families, teenagers and adults watching it (anime tends to do well around here and a lot of people around here buy and read manga). I expect very good legs on it since most of the audience really enjoyed it.

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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by BanksIsDaFuture on Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:08 pm

District 9 is at a 9.0 on IMDb with over 3,000 votes! It's currently 78 on the Top 250.

It totally deserves it though.
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Re: Weekend Box Office (August 14 - 16, 2009)

Post by W on Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:09 pm

First one since I posted that IMDB top 250 question on the pickem.

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