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Calm Before the Storm

April 26th, 2007

It's the final weekend before the summer blockbuster season and it appears that while everyone is excited about Spider-man 3, almost no one is paying attention to this week's new releases. This could result in the worst weekend of the year and there is a possibility that no film will reach $10 million.

The film with the best shot is Next, or as a lot of people are calling it, That's So Nicolas Cage. The short-term precognition is just a hook for an action film, an action film that doesn't really work on its own. I also have issues with the three main cast. I nothing against them and I have enjoyed many of the films they have been in. However, they don't have a good track record when it comes to opening movies. While it is true that Nicolas Cage had his best opening ever earlier in the year, four of his previous five movies failed to open with even $10 million. That's about where this film is tracking, maybe a little higher. Go with a prediction of $12 million, plus or minus a million.

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Two other new releases and a two holdover should be in a battle for second place: The Condemned, The Invisible, Fracture, and Disturbia, all of them the tracking at between $7 and $9 million.

The Condemned is the latest WWE effort, but while the WWE has a huge fanbase, it hasn't been able to translate that into big box office numbers. The last two such films opened with less than $12 million, and that's $12 million combined. The reviews for this one have been in the middle of those two films, but it is still tracking better. It could challenge for top spot, but it will likely have to settle for second place with just under $9 million.

While Disturbia will be knocked out of top spot this weekend, it will still have a strong showing, pulling in roughly $8 million. This will be enough for a running tally of $50 million and that's more than most people were expecting and enough to be considered a mid-level hit.

Next up is The Invisible, which doesn't appear to have a whole lot going for it this weekend. It's opening in barely more than 2,000 theaters, it has no real star power, its reviews are non-existent, etc. On the other hand, its ad campaign has been more effective than expected and this could help it surprise over the weekend, perhaps scoring as much as $9 million and placing second. On the other hand, there's also a chance it will miss the top five altogether. Split the difference gives the film fourth place with $7.5 million.

Fracture should be the final film in the top five with $7 million. Granted, its midweek numbers have been better than Disturbia's, but it is still tracking lower for the weekend. The better midweek numbers are likely due to a slightly older target demographic, but the slightly better reviews could also be playing a part here and that could help it hold up better this weekend. But that's a bit of a risk and $7 million is the safe bet.

The last wide release of the weekend is Kickin' It Old Skool. I'm trying to figure out who's in the target demographic for this film, but I'm drawing a blank. The movie is about the 80s, or at least a man who is stuck in the 80s. I guess the film could appeal to those looking for a nostalgia hit with the music and the break-dancing, however, anyone old enough to fall into that category will be dumbstruck by the number of stale plot points in this movie. Add in the sub-2,000 theater count, the marketing push that hasn't been particularly strong, and this film will have to outperform expectations just to reach the top five. It could make it there if the word-of-mouth is better than the zero reviews would indicate, but more likely it will miss that mark with just under $6 million.


Filed under: Disturbia, Fracture, The Invisible, Next, The Condemned, Kickin It Old Skool