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Six New Releases Search for Box Office Glory

April 12th, 2007

There's six new wide releases this weekend, but the overwhelming thought I have when checking them out is, "ZZZZZzzzzzzzz." There are two reasons for this. Firstly, there's not much here to get excited about; most are opening in less than 2,000 theaters and most are earning reviews that are terrible. Because of this, none look to be runaway hits at the box office; in fact, there's talk that Blades of Glory will again win the weekend box office race. The second reason for the snores above, last night was the start of the NHL playoffs and the Canucks played their first two games. Or at least that's how long game one lasted. Four overtime periods. So tired. Oh so tired. At least they won.

No film is tracking above the mid-teens, which means there could be a bit of a log jam at the top of the charts with Blades of Glory, Perfect Strangers, and Disturbia all tracking within a couple million dollars of each other.

Perfect Strangers has the best shot at breakout success, but in this case, breakout success only means $15 - $16 million. On the other hand, this film could also struggle to reach $10 million. The film is the second-widest release of the week, it has the biggest star power behind it, but also has some of the worst reviews of the week. It's one of those whodunits where the audience stops caring long before the big reveal. Even so, the ad campaign has been slick enough to pull in just over $14 million over the weekend and first place.

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However, any weakness in the above film will allow Blades of Glory to take first place for the third weekend in a row with just under $14 million. This would push its running tally to $90 million and will put the film on track to reach $100 million by the end of next weekend.

The widest release of the weekend is Disturbia, a movie that is apparently confusing people with its name, but I'm not sure why. It's a conflation of disturbed and suburbia. Disturbia. Seemed obvious to me, but even some professional critics have been confused by the name. As for the film's chances, they are mixed. It is the widest release of the week, opening in nearly 3,000 theaters, and the reviews are the best of any wide release this week, but the ad campaign hasn't really impressed me that much. It does set the mood well, but it hasn't been aggressive enough in selling the movie. Even so, it still has a shot at top spot and could earn $15 million, or perhaps a little more, but the odds are it will take in $13 million over the weekend and place third.

Meet the Robinsons might not be that far behind as it is tracking at $11 million, give or take. A little strength here and a little weakness above and the film could finish a spot or two higher on the charts. Some real strength, say $13 or $14 million, and the film will be on track to $100 million by the end of its run.

The next film is Are We Done Yet? On the one hand, reviews will be keeping the film down. On the other hand, it is a family friendly film and that usually means softer drop-offs. Back to the original hand, this is a post-holiday weekend. What does this add up to? About $9 million over the weekend and roughly $33 million overall. Not as strong a start as the studio hoped for, but more than enough to work toward profitability.

We've exited the top five and we've only talked about two new releases. Yep, it's going to be one of those weekends.

None of the four remaining wide releases, Pathfinder, Redline, Slow Burn, or Aqua Teen Hunger Force COLON Movie Film for Theaters have what it takes to challenge for a spot in the top five. In fact, half of them could miss the top ten.

Pathfinder and Redline are tracking with similar numbers, both looking to grab $6 million over the weekend. Neither film has much star power to work with, nor are the respective reviews likely going to be selling points. Pathfinder has the advantage in both theater count and reviews, but Redline will likely be the easier sell, giving it a slight advantage going into the weekend. Give it just over $6 million to Pathfinder's just under $6 million.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force COLON Movie Film for Theaters is the narrowest wide release of the weekend, opening in just under 900 theaters. However, it is also earning some of the best reviews of the weekend. I'll pause for you to process that last sentence. Aqua Teen Hunger Force COLON Movie Film for Theaters is earning just over 50% positive reviews and is just below Disturbia for best of the week. On the other hand, this film is pure cult appeal. I can't image anyone who hasn't seen the series watching the trailer and saying, "Yeah, that movie's worth $10." I also can't image a lot of fans saying, "Yeah, that movie's worth watching while sober." So unless you are in Amsterdam, odds are this is a film most fans will wait until the home market to check out. This means it will miss the top ten, but could come close with $4 million over the weekend.

Finally we get to Slow Burn, which has almost nothing going for it. It doesn't have much in the way of star power, the ad campaign hasn't been aggressive enough, and the reviews are practically non-existent. Like Perfect Strangers, this film is filled with surprise twists no one will care about and worse yet, will remind viewers of other, superior films. Add in a theater count that is barely more than 1,000 and this film will miss the top ten with $3 million over the weekend.


Filed under: Blades of Glory, Meet the Robinsons, Disturbia, Perfect Stranger, Pathfinder, Redline, Slow Burn, Are We Done Yet?, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters