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New Releases are Strictly for the Dogs

March 10th, 2006

There are three and a half new films opening wide this weekend, and the best of them is earning merely mediocre reviews. (The half film refers to The Libertine, which is opening in only 815 theatres.) Even so, there should be a huge jump from last weekend, perhaps even enough to push 2006 ahead of 2005 again.

The latest Disney remake, The Shaggy Dog, is earning the widest release of the weekend at just north of 3500 theatres. However, working against it are its awful reviews that are nearly the worst of any wide release this weekend. Fortunately for Disney, when it comes to quantity vs. quality, quantity usually wins out. Look for the film to earn $22 million over the weekend and $70 million in total.

The best wide release of the weekend in terms of reviews is The Hills Have Eyes, the latest in a long line of low-budget horror remakes. This one is earning better reviews than most such films and the best reviews of any wide release this weekend, but even so, its critically appeal is not strong enough to be a selling point. The Hills Have Eyes should bring in $20 million over the weekend, which is probably more than it cost to make.

The last truly wide release is Failure to Launch, starring Matthew McConaughey who is the sexiest man alive, at least according to People magazine. (Personally I can name at least a dozen other men that are sexier, Jude Law, Pierce Brosnan, Taye Diggs, etc. But I digress.) The film is a romantic comedy and these films live or die on the chemistry of its two leads, and unfortunately, they have none. Had it kept its pre-Valentine Day release date, it probably would have topped the box office, but now it will have to settle for third place with $16 million over the next three days.

The best of the holdovers should be 16 Blocks. After a much slower than expected start, it should hang around the top five with $7 million on its way to just over $30 million in total. Not the kind of run the studio was hoping for when the gave it the greenlight.

Rounding out the top five should be 8 Below with just over $6 million. At this pace, it could become the highest grossing movie of the year. That all depends if it can top The Pink Panther before V for Vendetta or Ice Age: The Meltdown can.

Lastly, there's The Libertine. This film, which is busted Oscar bait, is opening in just 815 theatres with less than enthusiastic reviews. Best cast scenario has the film struggling to make the top ten with $3 million, but chances are it will just miss that mark.


Filed under: Failure to Launch, Eight Below, The Shaggy Dog, The Hills Have Eyes, The Libertine, 16 Blocks