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Can New Releases Defeat Invincible?

September 1st, 2006

It's the Labor Day weekend, the weakest long weekend in the movie business. There are a trio of new releases trying to take on Invincible's undefeated record (current winning streak: 1), but the odds of there being a new winner this weekend are 50 / 50.

Tracking has put Crank on pace for a third place finish, but there has been a noticeable up-tick it anticipation for the film in recent days. Add in Jason Statham's track record for the month and early reviews that are 100% positive and you have the makings of a number one film. Look for $16 million over the four-day weekend, which is a little less than his last film earned over 3 days. However, without sequelitis to deal with, it should have better legs and perform well enough to earn a sequel of its own. I know what you are thinking. You're thinking of the opening line in the ads. "My name's Chev Chelios and today is the day I die." Even if that statement is correct, and I'm not saying one way or the other, there is still serious potential for a sequel, or perhaps a prequel.

Agree? Disagree? Put your prognosticating to the test and enter our Crank it Up Contest today.

The next new release is The Wicker Man. This should be in a tough battle with Invincible for second place. It looks like the newcomer has a slight edge in that regard, tracking in the low to mid teens. The reviews are neither weak enough to hurt its opening weekend, nor are they strong enough to help the film's legs. This leaves the cast as the main drawing power, which is not good news for the movie. Three of Nicolas Cage's four previous films have failed to top $10 million at the box office and the one that did certainly had other factors helping it succeed. This film should reach that level, but not by a huge margin, bringing in just over $12 million during the 3-day weekend and just under $15 million in total.

Just behind will be Invincible as that film hopes to build on its better than expected opening weekend. However, its midweek numbers have only been average and with two new releases eating away at its core audience, it won't have an amazing hold. Still, it should earn $14 million over the 4-day weekend, including about $11 million from Friday to Saturday. This is easily within the margin of error for the two films above, giving the film a solid shot at repeating on top.

It appears as if Little Miss Sunshine has peaked at the box office as this weekend it is not earning a massive expansion. Even so, it should be relatively flat thanks to the amazing reviews and the pseudo-holiday. It should earn a little more over 4-day than what it earned over three the previous weekend giving it $8 million and a fourth place finish.

That leaves Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in fifth place. This should be the weekend the film wrestles the comedy box office crown from Click with $7 million over the weekend and $137 million in total.

The final new release of the week will likely miss the top five. In fact, Crossover might not make the top ten. Ironically, the film is the only new release of the week to be widely reviewed, or semi-widely as the case may be. So far out of the film's first 16 reviews it has earned 0% positive. Add in no bankable stars, a theatre count of just 1,023, and no ad campaign and you get $4 million over four days and a finish outside the top ten.

The film that could bump it out is The Illusionist as the film expands from 144 theatres to 889. Strong word of mouth should help the film into a lower spot in the top ten with $5 million, which is more than it has earned during its entire run up to this point.

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Filed under: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Little Miss Sunshine, Invincible, The Illusionist, Crank, The Wicker Man, Crossover