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Virgin is Delivered to Theatres

August 19th, 2005

Today's my birthday and as a gift the movie industry has given me not one, but two films with overwhelmingly positive reviews. Of course, this is also the week that Supercross: The Movie opened so we'll call it a draw.

The top two places should go to the aforementioned critically acclaimed movies. The 40 Year-Old Virgin is a movie that has a lot of potential to be exploitive and full of raunchy humor, and while it is certainly filled with the latter the critics are complementing the film on its heart. With better than expected tracking, especially among women, I'm upping my earlier prediction. $20 million is almost guaranteed. While it could top its production budget over the next three days ($25 million), I think it will fall just short, but a $24 million opening will still be reason to celebrate.

Next up we have Red Eye, a thriller from horror auteur Wes Craven. Without the studio interference that plagued his last film, he was able to create a masterful work. It may have to settle for second place opening weekend, but $18 million is still a good start for late August.

With its better than expected start last weekend, Four Brothers gets a small increase in its theatre count this weekend. And while it will still show a pretty steep drop-off, at least it should miss the dreaded, yet increasingly common 50% fall. That gives the film $12 million for the weekend and puts it on route to $65 million.

The next wide release of the weekend is Valiant, which will likely go down as that rarest or rare breeds, a CGI film that flops. Very few of these films have struggled at the box office with even the relatively low budget Jimmy Neutron becoming a midlevel hit. Valiant, on the other hand, has struggled nearly everywhere it's played on the international scene and with a theatre count of just over 2,000 and an ad campaign that has been less than compelling the film could struggle. Add in bad reviews and you have a recipe for disappointment. Look for $9 million to start and just over $30 million overall.

Rounding out the top five should be The Wedding Crashers at just over $8 million. The film is finally starting to shed theatres, but it should still last long enough to reach $200 million, whether it beats Charlie and the Chocolate Factory there is another matter.

Lastly we have Supercross: The Movie, which failed to match meager expectations on Wednesday with just $427,674 in 1,580 theatres. And with some of the worst reviews of the year I can't imagine the news will get any better over the weekend leading to a sub-$2 million 3-day total and possibly less than $5 million during its entire run. The only good news is that this was a pretty cheap movie to make.

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Filed under: The Wedding Crashers, The 40 Year-old Virgin, Four Brothers, Red Eye, Valiant, Supercross