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Two out of Three is Really Bad

March 24th, 2006

Three wide releases this weekend, and of those two are not being screened for critics, which likely means the streak of terrible movies will continue. Fortunately, the third wide release is earning the best reviews of any prospective number one the whole year. It could also beat last year's weekend chart topper, but the overall market still seems weak and that will lead to yet another year-to-year drop-off.

The Inside Man should have no trouble topping the charts this weekend mainly because there appears to be absolutely no competition. Even with the lack of competition, tracking has the film struggling to reach $20 million, which means it might struggle to make the top ten biggest openings of the year. On the upside, that would still make it Spike Lee's biggest opening ever. And if it has the legs the amazing reviews would seem to indicate, then it should also because his highest grossing film of his career as well. Hopefully the word of mouth will be strong and the film can bring in $21 million over the weekend and $65 million in total.

After a slower than expected start, the studio is anxious to see is V for Vendetta's strong reviews will result in long legs, or whether the Fanboy Effect will sink it. The latter usually wins out in this battles, but the buzz suggests that will not be the case this time with many analysts predicting a sophomore stint at or near $15 million. I'm not as bullish and I think the film will have to settle for $13 million over the weekend and $47 million in total.

Next up is couple of close battles. Failure to Launch and The Shaggy Dog, both of which are showing longer legs than their reviews would logically dictate. (Although that seems to be common this year as almost all of the hits have earned poor reviews.) This weekend Failure to Launch should bring in just above $10 million while The Shaggy Dog should earn just below $10 million.

The battle for fifth place should be just as competitive between Stay Alive and Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector. The former has the higher screen count at a mere 2009 while the latter had to settle for just 1710 while neither is being screened for critics. I suspect by the end of the weekend Stay Alive's reviews will be slightly higher than Health Inspector's reviews, but both films' Tomatoemeter readings could fail to break double-digits. As for the films' box office, look for the to finish between $8 million and $9 million with Stay Alive finishing on the high end of that range and Health Inspector finishing on the low end.


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Filed under: Failure to Launch, Inside Man, V for Vendetta, The Shaggy Dog, Stay Alive, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector