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Love or Horror?

February 12th, 2009

It might be hard for the box office to keep pace with last year, as the three new releases from this week don't seem as strong as the four new releases were last year. Perhaps with Valentine's Day landing on a Saturday in 2009 will help the year continue to expand its lead over 2008.

Today is Friday the 13th, which is the perfect day to release Friday the 13th, the remake/re-telling/reboot of the long-running horror franchise. The original was not perfect, but earned strong reviews and in many ways helped define the genre. This film is technically superior, but in almost every other way, it is weaker. What seemed fresh and inventive in 1980 has lost its charm this time around. That said, 27% positive is still better than a lot of its contemporaries earn as far as reviews go, and they are not bad enough to put a dent in its opening night box office. And with a holiday on Monday, it might hold on relatively well. Best case scenario has the film pulling in more than $40 million over four days, but just under $30 million over three and $6 million on Monday is more likely; however, that will be more than enough to ensure a profit and yet another installment in this franchise.

Two romantic comedies, He's Just Not That Into You and Confessions of a Shopaholic, should battle it out for second place.

He's Just Not That Into You has a bit of an advantage thanks to its impressive start last weekend, and its greater theater count. It also has better reviews, which combined with Valentine's Day could help the film earn just under $20 million over the next three days, and $24 million over four to give it roughly $60 million after 11 days of release.

Confessions of a Shopaholic stars Isla Fisher, who has a lot of talent, but has yet to carry a movie as a lead. It looks like this film will be a solid performer thanks to its release date. Granted, Friday the 13th is not a great day to release a romantic comedies, but Saturday is Valentine's Day, and with a strong ad campaign, it should do a lot of business in its 2,500 theaters. That said, its reviews are less than impressive, which will not help it at the box office. It could squeeze into second place with more than $20 million over three days and roughly $25 million after four; however, $20 million including Monday is more likely.

Taken hopes to keep on track for $100 million with another strong hold this weekend. Considering it fell just under 17% last weekend, even a 34% drop-off this weekend would leave the film with $13 to $14 million over the 3-day weekend and $16 million to $18 million over the 4-day weekend. By the end of business on Monday, the film could have $75 million, or more, which would leave it about two or three weeks away from the century mark.

The best reviews of the year so far and the holiday should help Coraline remain in the top five for one more weekend. $12.5 million from Friday to Sunday and $16 million including Sunday would give it fifth place. However, there's a chance it will earn $12.5 million including Sunday, which could likely leave it in sixth place behind...

The International stars Clive Owen as an Interpol agent and Naomi Watts as an A.D.A. looking to bust a banking scandal. That doesn't sound too exciting, but I'm sure there will be lots of gun play in the movie. Neither of the two leads have a strong track record of leading movies, and the film has the smallest theater count of any wide release this week, which won't help. It does have the best reviews of any wide release this week, but at 56% positive, I'm not sure you could really call that a selling point. Look for $10 million over three days and $12.5 million over four, which is lower than originally expected, but the buzz has failed to materialize.


Filed under: Taken, He's Just Not That Into You, Coraline, Friday the 13th, Confessions of a Shopaholic, The International