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Will Audiences be Brave Enough to Check out the New Releases?

September 13th, 2007

The September slump continues as none of the three wide releases look all that promising. The best of the bunch, The Brave One, is earning only average reviews, and we could have not a single film topping 50% positive.

Jodie Foster headlines The Brave One, the only new film of the weekend that has any real chance at box office or critical success. Even then, its success will be a marginal. So far, the film's reviews are sitting at 53% positive, which is below the necessary score for an overall positive review, but close enough it could get there is the trends reverse themselves. As for its box office chances, it has a clear shot at number one, but it won't be one of Jodie Foster's biggest hits. Right now it is tracking in the mid to high teens with $17 million being the most likely number. Give the anemic competition, this will be more than enough for first place, but not up to original expectations.

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3:10 to Yuma matched expectations perfectly last weekend, but its midweek numbers are softer than expected. It's one of the few films in the top ten that has shown a decline from Monday to Wednesday and is down more than 6% in those two days. That said, its stellar reviews and older target demographic should help it this weekend, preventing it from falling significantly more than 40%. This would leave the film with just over $8 million for the weekend and a total of $27 million after 10 days.

The next wide release of the week is Mr. Woodcock. Early buzz surround this film was so bad that roughly half the movie had to be reshot while the revised product couldn't be too much better as the new director refused to put his name on it. So it actually comes as a bit of a surprise that the film is earning 19% positive reviews as I thought it wouldn't break double-digits. As for the film's box office chances, it is also outperforming expectations and is tracking just above School For Scoundrels, to use a Billy Bob Thornton comparison. I find that a little hard to believe as Astronaut Farmer took significantly less, and it was a better film (although it was less marketable). I figure a slightly lower number, $6 million, is more likely outcome over the weekend. Additionally, the terrible buzz could result in the film earning barely more than that during the rest of its run.

Superbad has shown the best legs during the week and that should help it hold up better than the rest of the films in the top five. It appears to be tracking at just under $5 million, which would give it $111 million during its run. That would leave it in 20th place for the year for another week, but there are four or five films it could catch before its run is done.

On the other hand, Halloween had the worst weekday numbers in the top ten and should plummet this weekend. However, even a more than 50% drop-off would give it $4 million over the weekend and a fifth pace finish. That will lift its running tally to just over $50 million and make profitability nearly guaranteed.

The final wide release is D-War, maybe. I've not seen a single ad for the movie on TV, there are no reviews, but rumor is it will be opening in more than 2,000 theaters tomorrow. It could surprise and make the top five with $6 million or so, but it could also miss the top ten with less than $2 million. The low end appears slightly more likely giving us a prediction of $3 million.

Finally, The Kingdom has a sneak peak on Saturday in roughly 850 theaters before opening wide on the 28th. Check your local listings for details.


Filed under: Superbad, Halloween, The Kingdom, The Brave One, Mr. Woodcock, Dragon Wars: D-War, 3:10 to Yuma