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Will Pirates Finally Succumb to Vice?

July 27th, 2006

We should have a new film atop the box office charts this week with Miami Vice the odds-on favorite to finish first. However, there are some questions regarding how well it, and the other two wide releases, will do.

Micheal Mann created the TV series Miami Vice more than 20 years ago, but while it was a huge hit at the time, most people now remember it more for the music and the pastels than for any substantive reason. When he decided to bring the series to the big screens, Mann dropped the pastels and instead made Miami Vice a dark and serious movie. But this decision has not won the approval of everyone and the film is earning Mann his weakest reviews since The Keep. However, it is still earning 55% positive, which as a Tomatometer reading is still a good score and one that shouldn't affect the box office in a negative fashion.

On a side note, many of the negative reviews mention that the movie tries so hard to be serious at times that it becomes unintentionally funny. Or that the pastels have been replaced by a dark and drab color scheme that borders on dull. This doesn't prove that the Buddy Cop comedy route would have been a smart choice, but it probably would have won over some critics.

Expectations are all over the map for this movie from just over $20 million to just under $40. Michael Mann's track record suggests it will be on the lower end with $27 million being the most likely scenario.

Agree? Disagree? Put your prognosticating to the test and enter our Summer Blowout Contest today.

After three weeks in first place, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest's dominance over the marketplace appears to be over. But that doesn't mean it's finished completely. This weekend the film should add another $21 million to its already amazing total of $360 million domestically and is on pace to top $400 million faster than any other film in history. The current record holder, Shrek 2, had $318 million after 20 days compared to $334 million for Dead Man's Chest. On the other hand, Shrek 2 earned more than $23 million during its fourth week of release, a target Dead Man's Chest will likely miss, but it has a nearly insurmountable lead and that record is just too close to be safe.

Up next is the middle of three back-to-back-to-back digitally animated films, The Ant Bully. Reviews so far have not lived up to expectations but at just over 50% positive, nor are they going to adversely affect the film's box office potential. What is going to do just that is the competition, namely last week's digitally animated film, Monster House. Overload has certainly set in for these movies and from now on they will struggle to hit $100 million unless they have a prime release date and / or a stellar script. This film appears to have neither. This will leave it with under $20 million over the weekend and in third place, but if it can earn the strong legs most kids movies earn, it could still match its production budget domestically and show a profit after a strong home market run.

Monster House looks to capitalize on its surprise second place finish last weekend with a soft drop-off this weekend. 30% would give it $15.5 million over the three day while a 40% drop-off would leave it with just over $13 million. The latter seems more likely than the former with $14 million being the goal.

Rounding out the top five is the last new wide release of the week, John Tucker Must Die. The film sports a hot young cast, but unfortunately it has little else. It seems unlikely that it's target audience will care about the shallowness of its characters or the weakness in the script, but neither will they flood theatres to make it a breakout hit. Instead it will have to settle for fifth place and about $12 million.

Finally we have Scoop, which only has the slimmest chance at finishing in the top ten. The latest effort from Woody Allen is opening in a mere 500 theatres and has reviews that share little in common with his previous film. At its peak, that film earned just shy of $3 million in one weekend and that is the target number for Scoop. While it doesn't appear to be tracking strongly enough for that to happen, it should be close.


Filed under: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Monster House, Miami Vice, John Tucker Must Die, Scoop, The Ant Bully