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2008 Preview: December

December 1st, 2008

We end the year with a winning streak, one that will hopefully continue right through the New Year holiday. It seems nearly every film released this month is either an Oscar contender or a potential $100 million hit. Sometimes both. If all six films with box office potentials of $100 million or more reach that milestone, and Bolt and Four Christmases have the legs to make it there as well, we could set the record for most $100 million released in a single year. (It is currently at 29 films set in 2003.)

Interested in discussing these predictions? The join us in the forums.

Name: Bedtime Stories
Distributor: Disney
Official Site: Disney.Go.com/DisneyPictures/BedtimeStories
Release Date: December 25, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG for some mild rude humor and mild language
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Comedy
Keywords: Wishgranters
Production Budget: Unknown - predicted at more than $100 million
Box Office Potential: $200 million
Notes: This should be the family film for the holiday season. Granted, there are a couple other family films opening before this one, but neither has the same level of box office potential as this film. Bedtime Stories stars Adam Sandler as Skeeter, a man who is taking care of his sister's two kids while she is off trying to get a job. One night he tells a bedtime story to the kids, and the next day part of it comes true, the part the kids came up with. It looks like it is going after the same audience as Night at the Museum, which is not a bad audience to go after considering that film made nearly $600 million worldwide. I don't think this film will make quite as much money at the box office, especially internationally where Adam Sandler has almost no drawing power. But even with a likely hefty production budget, it should earn a sizable profit. In fact, given the target audience and the release date, it should become the biggest hit of Adam Sandler's career setting a few Christmas Day records along the way.

Name: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Distributor: Miramax
Official Site: BoyInTheStripedPajamas.com
Release Date: November 7, 2008 (limited)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some mature thematic material involving the Holocaust
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Drama
Keywords: World War II
Production Budget: Unknown - Predicted at $20 to $30 million
Box Office Potential: $15 million
Notes: This film has already opened in limited release and it expanded into more than 400 theaters on the 21st of November, and it has done rather well. It has certainly done better than most limited releases have managed to do this year. That said, its per theater average dropped to just over $4000 during its first expansion, and down to just under $3000 over the Thanksgiving long weekend, so its chance of further expansion are rather limited. Because of this, I'm unwilling to increase its box office potential above where I had it last month, unless it can grab some Oscar buzz before it starts to shed theaters.

Name: The Brothers Bloom
Distributor: Summit Entertainment
Official Site: TheBrothersBloom.com
Release Date: December 19, 2008 (exclusive)
Release Date: January 16, 2009 (expansion to wide release)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, some sensuality and brief strong language
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Black Comedy
Keywords: Con Men, Narration, Heist, and more
Production Budget: Estimated at $20 million
Box Office Potential: $15 million
Notes: Just a quick note about this film, while it is opening in December, it doesn't expand wide till January, so I will deal with it more in-depth then. This Con Man movie was written and directed by Rian Johnson, who previous made Brick. Already I'm interested. In the film Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo play Bloom and Stephen, two Con Men who are living the highlife and are now looking to for one last con job so Bloom can retire. There mark is Penelope, a rich heiress who is looking for a little more excitement in her life. So far the reviews are good, but not great. Its Tomatometer score is no lower than the 78% positive earned by Brick. However, while that film never expanded wide, this one feels more commercial. (And I mean that as a compliment.) That said, I'm not 100% sure it will expand wide, and the low pox office potential above takes into account the possibility that is will never reach 2000 theaters, or even 100. If it does expand wide, it should more than double the above prediction.

Name: Cadillac Records
Distributor: Sony
Official Site: CadillacrRcordsMovie.com
Release Date: December 5, 2008
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language and some sexuality
Source: Based on Real Life Events
Major Genre: Drama
Keywords: Biography, Music Business, and more
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $30 to $50 million
Box Office Potential: $15 million
Notes: One look at this movie and I think most people would consider it Oscar Bait, so why is it being released during the slowest weekend of Awards Season? And why is it only opening in 600 or so theaters? Granted, this is only writer / director Darnell Martin's third theatrical release, and her first since 2001, so there's not a huge track record to help convince the studio to put in the resources for a saturation level release. Additionally, the early reviews are merely mixed, which doesn't inspire confidence, either at the box office or with Awards Season voters. And without Oscar buzz, I don't think it will be able to expand significantly past its opening theater count.

Name: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Distributor: Paramount
Official Site: BenjaminButton.com
Release Date: December 25, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief war violence, sexual content, language and smoking
Source: Based on a Short Story
Major Genre: Drama
Keywords: Non-Chronological, in more than one sense
Production Budget: Reported at $150 to $170 million
Box Office Potential: $100 million
Notes: This film has a $150 million to $170 million production budget? Dear lord. I'm amazed any studio would give that much money to David Fincher; regardless of the quality of his films, and many are simply amazing, his track record at the box office is a lot weaker. Most of his films did not earn that much worldwide. This film will have to break his box office record to have a shot at earning a profit any time soon. Don't get me wrong, David Fincher is an excellent director and I'm looking forward to this movie (as are many others). So far it is earning top notch reviews and as a shot at becoming a player during Awards Season. That said, its financial future is a lot murkier, unless it becomes the major player during Awards Season. Good news, that role hasn't been taken by any film so far, so there is a chance that will happen.

Name: The Day the Earth Stood Still
Distributor: Fox
Official Site: DTESSMovie.com
Release Date: December 12, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sci-fi disaster images and violence
Source: Remake
Major Genre: Action
Keywords: Alien Invasion, Visual Effects, and more
Production Budget: Unknown - Reported at $80 million but that seems low for a visual effects laden blockbuster
Box Office Potential: $125 million
Notes: A remake of the classic science fiction film from 1951. This seems like a bad idea to me. It is unlikely that the script will be as smart as the original, while the trailer makes it look like a rather generic alien invasion action movie that is filled with visual effects but that lacks the message of the first film. I hope I'm pleasantly surprised, but I doubt it. As for the film's box office chances, it should reach $100 million with relative ease given the release date and if the reported production budget is correct, that will be enough to show a sizeable profit by the time it reaches the home market. On the other hand, it could cost twice the amount above and I wouldn’t be shocked. If that is true, profitability will be more difficult to reach, but not so difficult that it won't be able to get there by its initial push into the home market. It's the biggest action film of the holiday season, and that will help its bottom line immensely.

Name: Defiance
Distributor: Paramount Vantage
Official Site: DefianceMovie.com
Release Date: December 31, 2008 (Oscar qualifying run)
Release Date: January 16, 2009 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for violence and language
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Drama
Keywords: World War II
Production Budget: $50 million
Box Office Potential: $20 million
Notes: Just a quick note about this movie. While it is making its debut on New Year's Eve, it doesn't open in full till January and I will deal with it in more detail then. The film is one of four possible Oscar contenders coming out late in the year that deal with Nazis. Unfortunately, this one is likely to get lost in the shuffle, especially given its reviews, which are decidedly mixed.

Name: Delgo
Distributor: Freestyle Releasing
Official Site: Delgo
Release Date: December 12, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG for sequences of fantasy action violence
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Adventure
Keywords: Cross-Class Romance, and more
Production Budget: Reported at $40 million
Box Office Potential: $20 million
Notes: Is this movie actually coming out? I ask because it has literally been more than half a decade since the movie was first mentioned on this site. Half a decade. Good news, as a kids movie opening in December, it should have little trouble becoming the biggest hit from Freestyle Releasing. Bad news, it will likely struggle at the box office opening with $5 million or so and even with the better than average legs that usually happen this time of year, matching its production budget is likely out of the question. Perhaps if The Tale of Despereaux wasn't coming out just one week later, this film would have the digitally animated marketplace to itself for the winter and it could become a solid midlevel hit. Maybe it will eventually earn its money back on the home market. On a side note, I don't know how much of the $40 million budget was spent on the voice cast, but it would have been better spent hiring experienced voice actors instead of hiring people with name recognition. This is an all too common mistake when it comes to animated movies; name recognition means nothing when it comes to voice talent, as the cast rarely has any effect on the ticket sales of these movies.

Name: Doubt
Distributor: Miramax
Official Site: Doubt-TheMovie.com
Release Date: December 12, 2008 (limited)
Release Date: December 25, 2008 (expansion to wide release)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material
Source: Based on a Play
Major Genre: Drama
Keywords: Religious
Production Budget: Reported at $25 million
Box Office Potential: $40 million
Notes: A film starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. So which actor is getting the most buzz? Natalie Portman, who was up for the role of Sister James but turned it down because she couldn't wrap her head around the concept of celibacy. Nothing like celebrity sex to dominate any discussion. Hopefully the subject will return to the movie before it opens in theaters, because early word has it being a serious Awards Season contender including possibly Oscar nods for all three actors mentioned above, as well as possible nominations for writing and maybe even directing. As for its box office potential, like many limited releases this time of year, it depends heavily on how big the Oscar buzz gets. At minimum, I'm expecting enough Oscar buzz that it will expand wide and earn a handful of nominations, but I don't think it will be a major winner come February 22nd. If it does beat expectations, it could still be in theaters when the nominations are announced, which is a month earlier on January 22nd, and that would certainly help its box office numbers. If it does weaker than expected, it might not match its reported production budget. Good news, nearly all of the early Oscar contenders failed to live up to expectations, which means most categories are wide open and Doubt's chances are excellent.

Name: Frost/Nixon
Distributor: Universal
Official Site: FrostNixon.net
Release Date: December 5, 2008 (limited)
MPAA Rating: R for some language.
Source: Based on a Play that is Based on Real Life Events
Major Genre: Drama
Keywords: Politics, News, and more
Production Budget: $30 to $40 million - reports vary
Box Office Potential: $50 million
Notes: This is an obvious slice of Oscar bait, and the box office potential above is heavily dependent on how much Oscar Buzz this film can secure. Given its reviews that should be quite a lot. If it does become a major player, and we are talking about Best Picture buzz, then it could earn $75 million or more. I'm expecting Frank Langella to pick up several Best Lead Actor nominations, after all, he did win the Tony for his performance in the original play. If that doesn't pan out, its box office potential is cut in half. Also, as with any limited release, there's a chance it will stumble out of the blocks and never manage to grab any widespread success. And perhaps the level of competition will cause that to happen with this film, but I doubt it.

Name: Gran Torino
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Official Site: TheGranTorino.com
Release Date: Unknown
MPAA Rating: R for language throughout, and some violence
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Drama
Keywords: Gangs, Korean War
Production Budget: Unknown - predicted at $30 million
Box Office Potential: $40 million
Notes: There are some reports that this movie is opening in limited on the 12th of December before expanding wide on the 9th of January. However, the official site just has December. If it were opening in just two weeks, I would suspect the site would have more than just the month. Other reports have it opening a week later, but even then there should be a release date on the site. This is strange, as I was expecting this movie to a player during Awards Season, as is practically every movie directed by Clint Eastwood. I strongly suspect that the film will opened before the end of the year, even if it is just an Oscar qualifying run. If not, it means there's a problem with the movie and its box office potential is cut in half, if not more.

Name: Hurricane Season
Distributor: MGM
Official Site: No Official Site
Release Date: December 25, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief sexual humor
Source: Based on Real Life Events
Major Genre: Drama
Keywords: Basketball
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $30 to $40 million
Box Office Potential: $25 million
Notes: Not all sources have this film opening wide on Christmas day, or at all. Since there's no official site yet, I would think that the reported March, 2009 release date is more likely that the last official release date we have.

Name: Marley & Me
Distributor: Fox
Official Site: MarleyAndMeMovie.com
Release Date: December 25, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic material, some suggestive content and language
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Comedy
Keywords: Animal Lead
Production Budget: Reported at $25 million
Box Office Potential: $65 million
Notes: I'm of two minds on this film. On the one hand, rambunctious dogs as a plot device are almost as overdone as precocious kids. On the other hand, it does look like a cute family film, and since it is opening on Christmas day, that will be a huge help, regardless of the potential reviews. Not too long ago Cheaper By the Dozen opened with just under $8 million on Christmas Day before ending its run with $138 million. However, Fat Albert also opened on Christmas Day but it earned just over $5.5 million for the day and less than $50 million in total. With direct competition, the lower end looks a lot more likely that the high end, but with a low reported production budget, $65 million will still be more than enough to show a profit by its initial run on the home market, at the very latest.

Name: Milk
Distributor: Focus Features
Official Site: MilkTheMovie.com
Release Date: November 26, 2008 (limited)
MPAA Rating: R for language, some sexual content and brief violence
Source: Based on Real Life Events
Major Genre: Drama
Keywords: Biography, Gay/Lesbian, and Politics
Production Budget: Reported at $15 million
Box Office Potential: $25 million
Notes: Another film that is opening in limited release, but while this one doesn't have a set date for wide expansion, there is enough Oscar buzz that is should earn at least some measure of mainstream success. It stars an Oscar winning actor, Sean Penn, and is director by an Oscar nominated director, Gus Van Sant. It is also biography film, which tend to do well with Awards Season voters. I'm not saying it is a lock for mainstream success, or that it is guaranteed to expand wide, but it has a better chance at both of those than most limited releases opening this month. We will deal more with the movie at the beginning of the next month, where it should be expanding somewhat, if not expanding wide. Last minute update: The film's opening weekend was huge earning more than $1 million over three days and close to $2 million over five. Expanding beyond 1000 theaters is a lot more likely now, and its box office potential was increased as a result.

Name: Nobel Son
Distributor: Freestyle Releasing
Official Site: NobelSon.com
Release Date: December 5, 2008
MPAA Rating: R for some violent gruesome images, language and sexuality
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Thriller / Black Comedy
Keywords: Dysfunctional Family, Kidnap, Revenge, and more
Production Budget: Unknown - predicted at under $10 million
Box Office Potential: $5 million
Notes: This film is not opening wide, at least not truly wide, making its debut on Friday in roughly 750 theatres. The film stars Alan Rickman as Eli Michaelson, a professor who just learns he has won the Nobel Prize for chemistry and shortly afterward his son, Bryan Greenberg, is kidnapped and the ransom is the $2 million prize money from winning the Nobel Prize. The twist? Professor Michaelson doesn't believe his son has really been kidnapped, so he refuses to pay the ransom, thus setting in motion the rest of the crazy plot. The movie has been called over-the-top, but in a good way. However, this is not a movie that will be particularly easy to market, and given Freestyle Releasing, opening above $2 million is not assured, and should it stumble out of the gate, theaters will quickly drop the movie ending its run really fast. On the other hand, it could be a pleasant surprise becoming the studios biggest hit to date surpassing An American Haunting . The former is much more likely. On a side note, this the second film this year starring Alan Rickman and Eliza Dushku, the previous one being Bottle Shock, which was also released by Freestyle Releasing.

Name: Nothing Like the Holidays
Distributor: Overture Films
Official Site: NothingLikeTheHolidays.com
Release Date: December 12, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements including some sexual dialogue, and brief drug references
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Comedy
Keywords: Christmas and Hispanic
Production Budget: Unknown - predicted at $20 to $30 million, probably on the low end
Box Office Potential: $30 million
Notes: Your typical family get-together-over-the-holidays movie that we've seen a hundred times in films like This Christmas, Home for the Holidays, etc. Only this time the family is Hispanic. Hispanic cinema has lagged behind African American cinema, despite have similar demographic numbers. It could do well thanks to serving an underserved demographic, or it could struggle since there are have not been enough such films in the past to build up the demand. I think struggled might be more likely, especially since it is being released by Overture Films, which doesn't have a long or a strong track record when it comes to big screen hits. From Sleepwalking to Righteous Kill, the studio's average is just under $16 million, but Nothing Like the Holidays should help lift that average, especially with the long legs common during the holiday season. And it could become the studios biggest hit ever if it is advertised in a way to maximize crossover appeal.

Name: The Punisher: War Zone
Distributor: Lionsgate
Official Site: PunisherMovie.com
Release Date: December 5, 2008
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive strong brutal violence, language and some drug use.
Source: Sequel
Major Genre: Action
Keywords: Revenge, Organized Crime, Vigilante, Marvel, and more
Production Budget: $20 to $35 million - reports vary
Box Office Potential: $35 million
Notes: I don't consider the previous punisher movie to be a successful film, either at the box office, or with critics. So it is strange that it is getting a sequel. I guess Marvel wants another crack at adapting the comic book for the big screen, but with more control than last time. Sadly the two trailers make it feel just as generic as its predecessor was. Maybe the film will be better than its trailer makes it out to be, but I wouldn't be willing to be money on it. As for the film's box office chances, it should show some minor improvement, but only do to ticket price inflation. Actual tickets sold will likely drop considerably.

Name: The Reader
Distributor: Weinstein Co.
Official Site: TheReader-Movie.com
Release Date: December 12, 2008 (limited)
Release Date: December 25, 2008 (expansion)
Release Date: January 9, 2009 (wide)
MPAA Rating: R for some scenes of sexuality and nudity
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Drama
Keywords: World War II, Lawyers, Courtroom Drama, and others
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $40 million
Box Office Potential: $30 million
Notes: It has been 14 years since her first nomination and in that time, Kate Winslet has become one of the most reliable actresses around. So far she has earned four more nominations and many think she is long overdue for a win. There are some who think that Kate Winslet will earn her sixth Oscar nomination for her performance in either this film or her performance in Revolutionary Road. There are others who she could earn nominations for both performances. Or that vote splitting could cost her the nod for either. Regardless of what happens, it is hard to imagine this Oscar talk hurting the film's box office chances. That said, there's a lot of competition for Oscar caliber films this time of year, and escaping limited release is not a guarantee, even with the Oscar Buzz. If it does expand wide, truly wide, look for $50 million or more.

Name: Revolutionary Road
Distributor: Paramount Vantage
Official Site: RevolutionaryRoadMovie.com
Release Date: December 26, 2008
MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content/nudity
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Drama
Keywords: Relationships Gone Wrong
Production Budget: Unknown - predicted at $40 to $60 million
Box Office Potential: $30 million
Notes: There are mixed reports whether this film will open wide or not. Since the distribution was moved to Paramount Vantage, odds are it will open in limited release and its chances to expand depend heavily on the amount of Oscar buzz the film generates. So far the reviews suggest serious Oscar potential, but it is too soon to tell if it will live up to its potential. If it does open wide, or expand wide, it could double the box office potential above. On the other hand, it could also struggle during its opening weekend thanks to the heavy competition from other Oscar contenders, and then disappear before finding an audience. The figure above represents a weighted average of the two extremes.

Name: Seven Pounds
Distributor: Columbia
Official Site: SevenPounds.com
Release Date: December 19, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material, some disturbing content and a scene of sensuality
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Drama
Keywords: Suicide and more
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $50 to $70 million
Box Office Potential: $125 million
Notes: Looks like Will Smith is trying for an Oscar again this year, and his seventh $100 million hit in a row. I think the latter is more likely than the former, but mainly because Will Smith is arguably the best box office draw of this decade. While there are a lot of people ahead of him on that list, few are the undisputed stars in the films they appear in. Most either make a lot of cameos / bit parts like Stan Lee, or are part of major franchise with an ensemble cast like Orlando Bloom. But Will Smith is the top draw in nearly every movie he's made since his first box office hit, Bad Boys. Granted, most of his movies are big action films, but his last drama was The Pursuit of Happyness, which made $300 million worldwide and earned him an Oscar nomination. Seven Pounds could do even better at the box office and with critics / Awards Season voters, but I think it is safer to be a little more conservative when coming up with box office potential.

Name: The Spirit
Distributor: Lionsgate
Official Site:
MyCityScreams.com
Release Date: December 25, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of stylized violence and action, some sexual content and brief nudity
Source: Based on a Comic
Major Genre: Action
Keywords: Other Comics and Visual Effects
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $50 to $70 million
Box Office Potential: $50 million
Notes: Watching the trailers it is clear that this movie has a lot of style. It is also clear that this style is borrowed from Sin City, which is understandable given the connection between those two movie. However, while it is understandable, I think it might hurt its box office chances. Also potentially hurting the film's box office chances is the buzz among its core target audience, comic book aficionados, which has gone from bad to worse. I don't see this film being a big hit, in fact, $50 million might be a little too generous, but I don't think the hard core comic book fans will affect the overall buzz too much.

Name: The Tale of Despereaux
Distributor: Universal
Official Site: TheTaleOfDespereauxMovie.com
Release Date: December 19, 2008
MPAA Rating: G for General Admission
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Adventure
Keywords: Animal Lead, Talking Animal, Princess, Rescue, and more
Production Budget: Unknown - but expected to be in the neighborhood of $100 million
Box Office Potential: $150 million
Notes: If you look at the list of the highest grossing digitally animated films, the to ten is dominated by two companies, Disney and Dreamworks. There are a few 20th Century Fox releases lower on that list, but one studio you won't find is Universal. (Their only other foray into the medium was The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, which they distributed but did not produce.) There's some talk that this film could earn an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Film, however, there is also talk that in an effort to be more commercial the film lost its dark tone and it now more cartoonish, which could hurt the film's chance with critics and Award voters alike. That said, given the time of year, even weak reviews shouldn't stop it from earning $100 million, while if it is one of the best animated films of the year, it could reach $200 million, perhaps more. If it did reach that milestone, it would become Emma Watson's sixth $200 million hit in a row, a streak that would be almost guaranteed to reach seven next year with the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The only major concern I have is the similarities between this movie and Ratatouille, which are rather superficial, but they could still severely hurt the film's box office chances if that is what critics and moviegoers concentrate on. The ad campaign will need to emphasize its strength and differences to avoid that.

Name: Valkyrie
Distributor: United Artists
Official Site: Valkyrie.UnitedArtists.com
Release Date: December 26, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence and brief strong language
Source: Based on Real Life Events
Major Genre: Thriller
Keywords: World War II
Production Budget: Officially $75 million, but reported at $90 or $95 million
Box Office Potential: $40 million
Notes: At one time Tom Cruise was the biggest box office draw earning a record five $100 million movies in a row. (That record has since been taken over by Tom Hanks at seven films, although Will Smith could tie that record this month.) It looked like Tom Cruise was on the verge of retaking that record, then there was the couch jumping incident, which was the beginning of a PR meltdown for the actor leading to his departure from Paramount. (He cause wasn't aided by the fact that he was making more money from his films than the studio was, despite the fact that Paramount was risky $100 million or more on production costs.) After leaving Paramount, Tom Cruise re-formed United Artists with his producing partner, Paula Wagner, raised $500 million, and started making his own movies. The first result was Lions for Lambs, a political film that was eviscerated by critics and bombed at the box office. There is talk that this movie could do even worse. First of all, its production budget is twice as high as Lions for Lambs and war is still not a popular subject at the box office. Additionally, it could do even worse critically, as it was reportedly laughed at by crowds at a few festival screenings and there's even talk of it earning some Razzie nominations. Given the current global financial situation, if this movie bombs, it could be hard for the studio to raise funds for upcoming projects, and that's a lot of weight on the film's shoulders.

Name: Yes Man
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Official Site: YesIsTheNewNo.com
Release Date: December 19, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude sexual humor, language and brief nudity
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Comedy
Keywords: Mid-life Crisis
Production Budget: $50 million
Box Office Potential: $100 million
Notes: Jim Carrey better hope that this film beats expectations, because he was paid no money up front for starring in this film and will earn money based solely on is box officer performance. I think contracts like this will become a lot more common going forward, especially if the economic downturn hits the box office. At one time this wouldn't be an issue for the actor, because for a while Jim Carrey was considered one of the best, if not the best box office draw out there. During a period from 1994 to 1998 he starred in seven films, six of which reached $100 million or more. This decade has not been as kind to the comedian and he is sitting on the outside of the top 100 actors, but that could change depending on how well this movie does. The buzz here is mixed with some saying it could flop failing to match its total budget (production and P&A, which should be $80 to $90 million). Others think it will opening with more than $50 million ending its run north of $200 million. I don't think either extreme is likely, but the low end it more likely than the high end. Look for a solid opening, solid but unspectacular, while it should cross $100 million thanks in part to the strong legs that are common this time of year. However, it will be close.


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Filed under: Monthly Preview, Gran Torino, Marley & Me, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Bedtime Stories, Yes Man, Valkyrie, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Seven Pounds, The Tale of Despereaux, The Reader, Doubt, Milk, Defiance, Revolutionary Road, The Spirit, Frost/Nixon, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Cadillac Records, Punisher: War Zone, The Brothers Bloom, Delgo, Nobel Son, Nothing But the Truth, Hurricane Season