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Chuck and Harry

July 19th, 2007

The buddy comedy with Adam Sandler and Kevin James opens this weekend, and while it won't be seen as one of the major hits of the summer, it should still be in a relatively close battle with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for top spot on the charts this weekend.

In the past five years, Adam Sandler has starred in five $100 million movies, which is an impressive streak. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry should continue that streak and could even end up number one this weekend. Of his five $100 million films, three of them topped $40 million during their opening weekend, and while Chuck and Larry is tracking at just below that, it is within striking distance of the mark. The film won't be aided by its reviews, which range from poor to terrible. The comedy is pretty lowbrow, which is not unusual for a Sandler film, but it is the psuedo-gay angle that hurts the film the most. In order to avoid offending people, the film is too preachy at times and this hurts the humor. Even so, the film should start off fast enough with between $38 and $42 million, with the lower end being more likely. In total the film should cross $100 million, but it won't be the biggest hit in either Adam Sandler's or Kevin James's careers.

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix should be running neck-and-neck with I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry this weekend. In fact, I suspect that the films will change places on the daily charts during the weekend. The previous Harry Potter movie fell just 46.52% during its sophomore stint, but it was aided by the Thanksgiving holiday. Then again, it also didn't have a Wednesday opening to soften its opening weekend total. The Potter before that fell 62.74% during its second weekend, and it was also a June opening and that makes it a lot strong predictor, but it also is missing the Wednesday opening. Figure splitting the difference between gives us a drop-off of 54.63%, which would give us a second place weekend of $35 million and a 12-day total of $211 million. This does mean $300 million will be a challenge, but doable.

The second wide release of the week is Hairspray, which is opening in just over 3,000 theaters, but without the major marketing push I was expecting. Over the past couple of years, New Line has not been able to produce a real hit with the last film of theirs to crack $100 million coming in 2005. Since then, they had a few mid-level hits like A History of Violence and Fracture, but that's as good as its gotten for the studio. Hairspray isn't the last chance for New Line to have a hit this summer, but Rush Hour 3 will need a lot to cover its production budget, so this could be the last chance for the studio to have a financial hit on their hands. Fortunately, the reviews are good, and that should really, really help the film's word-of-mouth. On the other hand, it is still a musical and the buzz is not as strong as I would like. This will likely result in a lower opening weekend but stronger legs. Look for an opening of just under $20 million and a total of just over $80 million.

The Transformers also continues its march to $300 million and should add $18 million over the weekend for a $260 million total. It's tracking to finish between $290 million and $300 million, and the closer it gets, the more likely the studio will be to give it the push it needs to get over the top. Speaking of The Transformers, check this out. This is what I was talking about. I'd like to see some Generation 1 Transformers and I will be a happy man. I will be a much poorer man, but I will be happy.

Ratatouille won't get that high, in fact, $200 million is fading away. By the end of tonight, the film will have pulled in roughly $155 million and it is starting to lose theaters at quite a pace. That said, it should still be able to top $10 million over the weekend, perhaps as high as $12 million, and $200 million isn't completely out of question.

Finally, there's a sneak peak of No Reservations this Saturday in 500 theaters nationwide. Check your local listings for details.

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Filed under: Transformers, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Ratatouille, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Hairspray, No Reservations