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New Releases Look Anything but Invincible

August 25th, 2006

The final weekend in August looks better than most, with one or two films that should finish with overall positive reviews. However, the box office potential for these films is very limited. It looks like Invincible should live up to its name, and if not, look for plenty of bad puns come Monday. I know I've already thought of a few.

Nearly everyone I've talked to about the movie has commented that, "it doesn't look as good as Remember the Titans." This is the biggest peril when it comes to making inspirational sports stories. There are just so many of them that moviegoers can't help but compare the movie to better films in the genre. Even many of the critics who gave the film positive reviews are doing this. (This is particularly ironic since the film is earning better reviews than Remember the Titans did.) It won't, on the other hand, earn a better opening, nor will it have the legs. Look for $15 million over the weekend and $45 million in total.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby continues to climb up the yearly charts and will have no problem reaching the top ten over the weekend. With just under $9 million over the weekend, the film will have pulled in a total of $128 million, placing it just a few million behind Milliosn: Impossible 3 for ninth on the yearly charts.

Next up is Beerfest, the latest film from comedy troupe that brought us Super Troopers and Club Dread. Those two films saw a slight drop-off in quality, and a huge drop-off in total box office. This film as so far earned surprisingly good reviews, currently sitting at 45% positive. On the other hand, the ads have not improved and it seems like their target audience would rather wait until the movie comes out on DVD so they can drink along with the movie. This will keep the film from its potential at the box office with $8 million over the weekend and just over $20 million in total.

World Trade Center held up better than most films do during its sophomore stint and should improve upon that this weekend. In fact, it should earn $7 million over the next three days, lifting its total box office just above its production budget of $65 million. The film is currently tracking toward a final figure of just over $75 million and that would put it in a virtual tie with Any Given Sunday on the list of Oliver Stone's biggest hits.

After getting off to a slower than expected start, Snakes on a Plane should see a huge drop-off this weekend. If the film just loses 50% of its opening weekend it will be looked at as a victory while a decline of 60% looks to be in the cards. That would leave the film with just over $6 million this weekend and a total of $27 million putting it on pace to match its production budget of $35 million. This makes it a financially successful film, but well below a lot of people's expectations.

Next up are a pair of new releases that are aimed at vastly different audiences. Neither Idlewild nor How to Eat Fried Worms have really wowed critics and neither has much hope at reaching the top five. In fact, it wouldn't be too shocking if one or both of them missed the top ten. Tracking seems to indicate that Idlewild has the best shot at a strong opening and could earn as much as $7 million in its 973 theatres, but $5 million seems more likely. On the other hand, if the marketing failed to connect (and I've seen more ads for their CD than for the movie itself), then the film could miss the top ten and might not even reach $1 million at the box office. That's a huge range of possibilities.

Agree? Disagree? Put your prognosticating to the test and enter our Wild Times Contest today.

How to Eat Fried Worms is also tracking with about $5 million, but that number seems more firm. There is less of a chance of the film squeezing into the top five, but also less of a chance of being an outright bomb. Like Idlewild, this film is earning reviews that are better than average for this time of year, but not enough to compensate for the terrible release date. On the other hand, it should hit DVD just in time for the Christmas rush and that should help it earn a profit sometime down the line.

Like last week, we end with Little Miss Sunshine, which is more than doubling its theatre count this weekend. This could be enough for the film to reach the top five with $7 million, but it will likely have to settle for one or two spots lower with $6 million. The film has already matched original expectations and while it looks to peak this weekend, it should still have plenty of life left at the box office.


Filed under: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, World Trade Center, Little Miss Sunshine, Invincible, Snakes on a Plane, Beerfest, How to Eat Fried Worms, Idlewild