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Changing Channels

June 22nd, 2006

The two releases coming out this week are almost exact opposites of each other. One is a mainstream, proto-blockbuster comedy / fantasy opening in nearly 4,000 theatres. The other is a gritty, violent film aimed at a more targeted audience and is barely opening in more than 1,000 theatres. The only this they really have in common is the critics' reaction, and that's not a good thing.

Click looked on paper to be a step in the right direction towards mainstream acceptability for Adam Sandler. While he has had plenty of hits, this is thanks to a rabid and sizable fanbase who see his movies regardless of what the critics say. This film, on the other hand, feels like an attempt to reach the average moviegoers who normally wouldn't see a typical Adam Sandler film. While trying to expand his base is a smart move, the last time didn't go so well. Click is almost guaranteed to do better and has a shot at becoming the biggest comedy hit of the summer. However, with reviews that are low, even for Adam Sandler's career average, it is unlikely to win over many fans taking in $42 million over the weekend on its way to $125 million in total.

Agree? Disagree? Put your prognosticating to the test and enter our One Click Away Contest today.

This is Cars' last weekend to make some real money before the one - two punch of Superman Returns and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest knock it out for good. Looking at the film's performance so far, there are two distinct reactions. Firstly, the film has performed very, very well for the average movie, taking into account its production budget. Secondly, average is not a word used to describe any Pixar movie in the past, and this makes the film a disappointment to many. After last weekend's higher than expected drop-off, there are two routes the film can take this week; it can either recover or collapse. I'm still not willing to bet against Pixar, so I would go with recovery and a $20 million weekend. That will give it more than $150 million and on pace to hit $200 million, or at least come close enough that the studio will give it another push to reach that milestone.

This weekend will go a long way in determining whether or not Nacho Libre reaches $100 million or not. A film opening with less than $30 million but still reaching $100 million isn't unheard of, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to do. For the film to have a legitimate shot, its sophomore stint drop-off needs to be as close to 40% as possible while a 50% drop-off will practically kill that dream. Unfortunately, the latter seems to be more likely than the former with $15 million being the most likely scenario.

On the other hand, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift should be thrilled if it manages a 50% drop-off as 60% is certainly a possibility. In fact, the second film in the street racing franchise fell just shy of 63% back in 2003. This film won't fall quite as fast, but only because it didn't start as fast. Look for just over $10 million at the box office this weekend for a total of $54 million so far.

The final new wide release of the week is Waist Deep, although at just 1,004 theatres, calling it a wide release is not completely accurate. Earlier, it looked like the film was being crushed by the critics, but the reviews have since improved greatly reaching 43% positive on the Tomatometer. Granted, this is still not a good result, but it could help the film reach $10 million over the weekend. This seems a little generous given its small theatre count, but $8 million and fifth place should be achievable. On a side note, this is also the expected result for The Lake House, so it should be a close battle for the final spot in the top five.


Filed under: Cars, Click, Nacho Libre, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Lake House, Waist Deep