Ashton Kutcher fans get two chances to see (or hear) their favorite star this weekend as the Hollywood prankster takes on reigning box office champ "Jackass: Number Two" by voicing a mule deer in the animated comedy "Open Season" and going up against Kevin Costner in the action drama "The Guardian."

Also opening nationally is the Billy Bob ThorntonJon Heder comedy "School For Scoundrels" while some potential Oscar contenders debut in the arthouses.

Hollywood’s umpteenth computer-animated feature film of the year hits multiplexes on Friday in the form of "Open Season." The PG-rated pic features the voices of Martin Lawrence and Kutcher and finds a domesticated grizzly bear being dropped into the wilderness right before the start of hunting season. Young kids usually eat up these fish-out-of-water comedy toons and this Sony release should play to the same family audience. The target demographic has had an endless line of movies this year featuring talking animals getting into wacky situations, but since the current marketplace is lacking any major offering for children, "Open Season" should score as the first animated hit of the new school year. The studio is saturating the market with screens giving the film the fourth widest bow ever for a non-DreamWorks toon, and the second widest in Sony history for any film after 2004’s webslinger sequel. With no competition and solid funnyman starpower behind the mics, a strong number one bow could result. "Open Season" makes its way into 3,833 theaters and may debut with around $24M this weekend.


Ashton Kutcher, in his other film, "Open Season."

For those who would rather see the "Punk’d" star’s face, Buena Vista sets sail with its Coast Guard thriller "The Guardian" which finds Kutcher playing a young and cocky swimming champ who butts heads with his unorthodox teacher played by Kevin Costner. Directed by Andrew Davis ("The Fugitive," "Collateral Damage"), the PG-13 film has broad appeal with each star pulling in his respective generation. Cross-gender appeal is also present with the military-like storyline doing the job for males and the hunky actors attracting the ladies. Disney offered successful sneak previews two weeks ago to get some word-of-mouth spreading before the official debut. The studio will try to lure in the same audience that spent a solid $22.1M on the John TravoltaJoaquin Phoenix firefighter drama "Ladder 49" two autumns ago. Launching in over 3,000 theaters, "The Guardian" might debut with about $18M.


Kevin Costner to the rescue in "The Guardian."

Following his commercial success with the male-driven comedy hits "Road Trip," "Old School," and "Starsky & Hutch," Todd Phillips returns to theaters with "School for Scoundrels" which finds Billy Bob Thornton squaring off against "Napoleon Dynamite"’s Jon Heder for the affection of a young gal. MGM’s PG-13 film about an awkward young misfit who enlists the help of an expert on getting the ladies should aim for an audience of teens and young adults, plus fans of the "Bad Santa" star’s rogue ways. Starpower is not very high here. Films anchored by the former Mr. Jolie usually don’t explode on opening weekend as evidenced by the recent debuts of "The Bad News Bears" ($11.4M), "The Ice Harvest" ($3.7M), and "The Alamo" ($9.1M). Competition for young males will be tough, but if "School" can connect with teen girls as a funny romantic comedy, then it has a chance of doing some respectable numbers. Opening in over 3,000 theaters, "School for Scoundrels" might debut with about $12M.


Thornton, Heder, and that Real World chick again in "School For Scoundrels."

Some high profile indies pop into limited release this weekend. Fox Searchlight launched its Idi Amin pic "The Last King of Scotland" in four theaters on Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles and has already been receiving early Oscar buzz for Forest Whitaker‘s portrayal of the Ugandan dictator. Coincidentally, a year ago this same weekend, "Capote" debuted and fueled its own Best Actor buzz which sustained itself throughout awards season leading to a trophy for Philip Seymour Hoffman. Reviews for "Scotland" have been good and for Whitaker, have been electric.


Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland."

Miramax gets its Oscar campaign going, but for the Best Actress prize, with its Helen Mirren film "The Queen" which opens in New York City on Saturday after it officially opens the New York Film Festival on Friday evening. Mirren has already taken home the top actress prize at the Venice Film Festival for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in the dark days after the death of Princess Diana. The PG-13 film is directed by Stephen Frears ("Mrs. Henderson Presents," "Dangerous Liaisons") and has ranked number two at the U.K. box office for the last two weeks.

First Look Studios takes audiences back to Queens in 1986 with its coming-of-age drama "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" which stars Robert Downey Jr., Chazz Palminteri, Shia LaBeouf, Dianne Wiest, Channing Tatum, and Rosario Dawson. The R-rated film won awards for Best Director and Best Ensemble at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and bows in New York and Los Angeles on Friday.

Last weekend, "Jackass: Number Two" flexed its muscles at the box office with a better-than-expected $29M launch. The Paramount film’s predecessor dropped 44% in its second weekend in the fall of 2002, but the sequel may drop harder. A 50% decline would still give the Johnny Knoxville flick about $15M for the weekend and a strong ten-day cume of $51M.

Jet Li‘s "Fearless" also drew upon a built-in audience of young men last weekend setting itself up for a sizable sophomore drop. The Focus title might also lose half of its business and take in roughly $5M. That would give the martial arts saga $18M after ten days. Sony’s "Gridiron Gang" held up well last weekend despite tough competition. Another 35% fall could be in order giving The Rock a $6M frame and a $34M total after 17 days.

LAST YEAR: For the second straight weekend, Jodie Foster‘s airline thriller "Flightplan" topped the box office with $14.8M dropping only 40% from its bow. Opening in second place was the sci-fi actioner "Serenity" which grossed $10.1M on its way to $25.4M for Universal. Warner Bros. followed close behind with $10M for its animated comedy "Corpse Bride." The revenge thriller "A History of Violence" expanded nationally and placed fourth with $8.1M and a solid $6,047 average which was the best in the whole Top 20. Opening in fifth was the Jessica-Alba-in-a-bikini pic "Into the Blue" with only $7.1M leading to a weak $18.5M final for Sony. Disney debuted its historical golf drama "The Greatest Game Ever Played" to the tune of $3.7M. A $15.3M final gross resulted.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

It’s a pretty slow news day, so why not share a few of the latest casting tidbits from a sequel ("Ocean’s Thirteen"), a remake ("Day of the Dead"), and a Stephen King adaptation ("1408")?

From ComingSoon.net: "Variety reports that David Paymer has joined the cast of "Ocean’s 13." The sequel, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Ellen Barkin is filming in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, Annalynne McCord ("The O.C.," "Transporter 2") has been cast in Millennium Films and Emmett/Furla Films’ remake of "Day of the Dead." Steve Miner is directing from a script by Jeffrey Reddick. McCord joins Ving Rhames and Mena Suvari in the film."

From Variety: "Mary McCormack ("Private Parts") has checked into Dimension Films’ Stephen King adaptation "1408," about a haunted hotel … John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson topline the pic about a debunker of paranormal occurrences who encounters real terror when he checks into the notorious room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel."

Tag Cloud

Sundance leaderboard teaser Exclusive Video GIFs Alien superman Schedule The CW kids Superheroe Musicals FX First Reviews TLC finale cooking TruTV Thanksgiving 2020 versus Creative Arts Emmys women nature ESPN First Look dceu Music Sundance TV king kong Baby Yoda hist Writers Guild of America Super Bowl medical drama El Rey cats ITV American Society of Cinematographers Logo worst Set visit satire Character Guide hidden camera hispanic heritage month crime drama werewolf telelvision concert TIFF spider-man mockumentary Elton John technology sports natural history Mudbound Election Sony Pictures zombies 71st Emmy Awards spy thriller Trailer cinemax kaiju RT History sag awards Prime Video DC streaming service Reality 2015 die hard Star Wars black comedy 99% RT21 BBC America Amazon Prime Video harry potter See It Skip It Podcast halloween tv international TCA Winter 2020 Countdown Tokyo Olympics what to watch TBS canceled TV shows Sundance Now X-Men quibi Hallmark SDCC Black Mirror police drama Fall TV Pixar LGBTQ YA stoner Comedy BAFTA Comics on TV docudrama king arthur Women's History Month Pride Month Mary poppins Teen historical drama scorecard Apple TV+ remakes olympics Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Endgame 4/20 Acorn TV Binge Guide DGA rt archives NBA Film hollywood criterion Amazon Studios spider-verse Epix high school Rom-Com Apple scary south america Family Arrowverse young adult BET Awards justice league mutant boxing heist movie romantic comedy DC Universe Cartoon Network PaleyFest Rocky video Wes Anderson archives talk show comic book movies festivals Discovery Channel Starz NYCC Paramount Network DC Comics Tags: Comedy based on movie Peacock singing competition TNT Warner Bros. target docuseries 72 Emmy Awards documentary 21st Century Fox anthology psycho classics basketball BBC One trailers VH1 serial killer WGN Stephen King zero dark thirty Awards CW Seed Toys composers rotten movies we love animated Syfy Certified Fresh Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Lifetime Christmas movies Lucasfilm Tubi ViacomCBS The Purge Heroines italian FX on Hulu Awards Tour IMDb TV wonder woman tv talk action-comedy adventure DirecTV Musical Disney+ Disney Plus fast and furious spanish language Paramount sequels stop motion Hear Us Out toy story Image Comics SundanceTV Watching Series crossover Trivia latino nbcuniversal Cannes Western foreign Kids & Family cults Vudu TCM dc 90s all-time TV renewals indiana jones travel genre true crime reboot OneApp HBO Year in Review MTV scene in color spain video on demand TCA Quiz crime Mystery Legendary Emmy Nominations E! Mary Tyler Moore binge politics Winter TV screenings biography blockbuster Bravo 2021 vampires game of thrones breaking bad Spring TV comiccon Video Games Lifetime live action supernatural christmas movies renewed TV shows comedies cops monster movies television japan jurassic park mission: impossible Chernobyl Best and Worst Box Office vs. deadpool PlayStation Hallmark Christmas movies A&E Ghostbusters Shudder Fantasy period drama Freeform aliens Extras french The Walt Disney Company Fox Searchlight Britbox Ovation Turner blaxploitation Adult Swim Biopics Ellie Kemper black Universal 007 sequel 2016 Valentine's Day series ID Reality Competition Fox News Nickelodeon cancelled TV series LGBT Instagram Live boxoffice royal family dogs news live event Lionsgate Walt Disney Pictures universal monsters lord of the rings emmy awards comic books Disney streaming service ABC Signature romance halloween mob australia fresh facebook Disney disaster Comic Book hispanic cancelled Hollywood Foreign Press Association independent diversity free movies films MSNBC golden globe awards Comic-Con@Home 2021 ABC 1990s football child's play screen actors guild debate reviews Tarantino rom-coms TV movies witnail Netflix Avengers Interview Emmys 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards franchise Pop TV movie popular chucky marvel cinematic universe critic resources Sci-Fi Marvel Television superhero Grammys dexter Premiere Dates asian-american godzilla History 2019 Travel Channel zombie Food Network Polls and Games Nominations Song of Ice and Fire best game show art house Christmas BET Animation worst movies Crunchyroll a nightmare on elm street National Geographic Opinion Pacific Islander Mindy Kaling CMT richard e. Grant Amazon Prime sopranos IFC parents The Witch President cancelled television Spectrum Originals suspense Film Festival Crackle PBS Universal Pictures adaptation rt labs critics edition GoT ABC Family Oscars science fiction legend Sneak Peek Funimation APB OWN dreamworks aapi blockbusters venice rt labs razzies Cosplay robots strong female leads new zealand AMC Red Carpet award winner Classic Film Brie Larson Country Disney Plus Superheroes slashers Columbia Pictures batman gangster obituary Fargo TCA Awards YouTube Red Drama discovery Esquire cars Rocketman YouTube YouTube Premium new star wars movies new york VOD Photos golden globes toronto Marathons war Anna Paquin Turner Classic Movies FXX Tumblr posters documentaries Tomatazos AMC Plus USA Network joker green book Paramount Plus ghosts 79th Golden Globes Awards nfl 73rd Emmy Awards TV Land biopic ratings directors sitcom twilight streaming movies comics know your critic miniseries BBC japanese TV One book Neflix james bond festival trophy Apple TV Plus The Academy 2017 Infographic Mary Poppins Returns Pop adenture cartoon prank jamie lee curtis Marvel The Arrangement Netflix Christmas movies elevated horror New York Comic Con Academy Awards Rock FOX mcc Showtime scary movies comic slasher doctor who MCU Masterpiece name the review The Walking Dead SXSW 24 frames Television Critics Association rotten Calendar streaming transformers TCA 2017 spanish Trophy Talk Broadway pirates of the caribbean movies WarnerMedia TV Martial Arts Hulu psychological thriller USA Pet Sematary 45 canceled Holidays CBS All Access unscripted casting Amazon NBC kong cancelled TV shows CBS Winners Nat Geo HBO Max Black History Month CNN A24 Horror San Diego Comic-Con saw Holiday book adaptation GLAAD stand-up comedy dark feel good 2018 theme song HFPA political drama Disney Channel VICE spinoff thriller Action laika IFC Films 20th Century Fox E3 Captain marvel Television Academy Star Trek social media 93rd Oscars space crime thriller indie Shondaland dramedy dragons Pirates Comedy Central HBO Go comic book movie marvel comics Marvel Studios Dark Horse Comics revenge Summer anime critics children's TV Spike