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With Autumn Comes the Fall

September 6th, 2007

The weekend after Labor Day. There are few times in the year where the box office is weaker. Strangely, this year we have not one, but two films coming out that are earning overall positive reviews and both have a shot at the top spot.

The widest release of the week is 3:10 to Yuma, which is also the best-reviewed release of the week. This western remake sports amazing, perhaps award-worthy performances from Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. I don't think they will win awards for two reasons. Firstly, it's a little too soon for the film to earn Oscar buzz. And secondly, there's two of them and that could result in vote-splitting sinking either man's chances. Regardless, the film has the best shot at top spot and should pull in roughly $14 million; however, with great reviews, it should have good legs ending its run with just over $50 million.

Next up is Shoot 'Em Up, another film earning excellent reviews. At the moment, the film is pulling in a Tomatometer score of 74% positive, and combined with a saturation level ad campaign I was thinking the film could score an opening of $20 million, or more. Then I saw the initial estimates for the theater count: 1,700. At that point I was afraid the film would pull in just $5 million, but the actual theater count is being reported at just over 2,100, or 25% higher. This is still not as high as I was expecting, but should help the film pull in $12 million or so. That might be enough to match its $30 million production budget before its run is over, but even if it fails to do so, look for it to make a mint on the home market.

Agree? Disagree? Ever considered a carrot to be a deadly weapon? Then you should check out our latest box office contest.

After a record-setting opening last weekend, nearly everyone expects Halloween to absolutely collapse this weekend. All the signs are there: terrible reviews, a genre with a history of fast declines, a long running franchise and the fanboys that go with that, weak midweek numbers, etc. Nearly everyone is expecting a 60% drop-off, while a few think it will be closer to 70%. Splitting the difference gives us just over $9 million, while $10 million is likely the best it can hope four.

Superbad should become the 20th film of 2007 to cross the $100 million mark this weekend. As of Wednesday is as earned $94.78 million and will need about $4.5 million over the weekend to hit nine digits. Even low expectations have the film earning $5 million while there's a chance it could hit more than $7 million. Odds are it will be closer to that top number and I'm predicting $6.5 million.

The Bourne Ultimatum should reach the top five for the sixth time during its run as it closes in on 300. This week it should add between $5 and $6 million, putting it just ahead of the ancient actioner and in sixth place for the year.

The final wide release of the week is The Brothers Solomon, which has an effective trailer. ... That's pretty much all the good news I can give. So far the film's reviews are a perfect zero for thirteen while its theater count is a miniscule 700. I was never thinking the film would be a big hit, but I was expecting $8 million to $9 million during its opening. Now I think $8 million in total is out of reach. In fact, if it failed to reach $1 million I wouldn't be totally shocked. I put $3 million at the top end while $2 million is more likely. This may or may not be enough to finish in the top ten.

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Filed under: The Bourne Ultimatum, Superbad, Halloween, Shoot 'Em Up, The Brothers Solomon, 3:10 to Yuma