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Spartans Try to Hold Box Office Against Whelming Odds

March 15th, 2007

Three wide releases are opening this weekend, but none seem to have what it takes to overtake 300. On the other hand, none look like they will bomb either with all three tracking to finish in the top five. Even more importantly, the overall box office looks robust and should have an easy time keeping up with last year's pace.

After its record-breaking opening, 300 is the odds-on favorite to come in first this weekend. The only real question is how well it will hold up during its sophomore stint. The good news is that the film's reviews are better than most wide releases that have come out this year. On the other hand, it does have a lot of non-cinematic competition. March Madness has started and fans of collegiate basketball have a lot on their minds besides movies. And that's not taking into account the grand Fanboy Effect that will be at play. The film is tracking at a 50% drop-off, give or take. Should it avoid that fate, a $200 million box office is all but guaranteed, but no matter what happens to the film this weekend, it will cross $100 million tonight and by the end of the weekend it will be the highest grossing film of the year.

After dipping a mere 30% last weekend, Wild Hogs looks to have another solid weekend. If it can repeat that performance this time around, it will take in roughly $19.5 million. That seems a tad generous, but $18 million should be within range, which will be enough to top $100 million during its run, making it the third film released in 2007 to do so, and there are more films coming this month that could hit that mark as well.

The first of three wide releases this week is Premonition, the new suspense film from Sandra Bullock. The film is tracking in the mid-teens, which is hardly surprising for a Sandra Bullock film. She's had more than a dozen films that have opened in the mid-teen range, and her best opening came in at just $16.17 million. This film is tracking just below that mark, but with a prediction of $15 million, it wouldn't take much for the film to become Bullock's biggest opening ever. On the other hand, with terrible reviews, the film is unlikely to have the same amazing legs that her films tend to have.

Agree? Disagree? Can't figure out what day it is? Really? Neither can I. I wonder if that's a bad sign. ... A topic for another day. Regardless, check out our latest box office contest.

Next up is the second new release of the week, I Think I Love My Wife. Written, directed, and starring Chris Rock. The last time Rock pulled the triple threat was Head of State. That film opened in 2003 with $13.5 million, but it also had a wider release and a more popular appeal. It also had slightly better reviews; neither wowed the critics and it is unlikely that the 10 percentage point difference between the two will have a strong effect on either the movie's opening box office, or the overall box office. On the other hand, the aforementioned smaller theater count and the genre will. This film is tracking at about $9 million and could reach eight figures, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Finally there's Dead Silence, the latest low-budget horror film in a long line of low-budget horror films. So far this year, the demand for these movies has been soft, and it is not likely to change this weekend. The biggest selling point seems to be the writer / director James Wan, who wrote and directed Saw. And while the two films obviously have a shared target audience, it will be difficult to use the name James Wan to convince people to go to the theaters. It will most likely be the weakest of the three new releases, earning about $8 million; however, it has the biggest potential to bomb and could miss the top five, and if it does, Bridge to Terabithia will be there to overtake it.

Finally, this weekend The Last Mimzy is having sneak peaks, again. This time it's in close to 900 theaters on Sunday. Check you local listings for details.


Filed under: Wild Hogs, Premonition, The Last Mimzy, Dead Silence, I Think I Love My Wife, 300