J.J. Abrams‘ Starfleet roster is quickly filling up.
First, Variety reports that Abrams has found his chief engineer — the role of Montgomery “Scotty” Scott has been filled by none other than Simon Pegg, the British actor best known for his work in comedies such as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. The article goes on to say that the role of James Kirk has been offered to Chris Pine (The Princess Diaries 2, Just My Luck) — an assertion backed up by The Hollywood Reporter.
The Reporter also breaks the news that John Cho (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) has been cast as future Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu, a deal that leaves most of the film’s main roles filled. From the article:
Plot details are begin kept under wraps, but it is understood that the movie chronicles the early days of the Enterprise crew. The lead roles remaining to be cast are Christopher Pike, the first captain of the Enterprise, and Kirk’s parents.
Star Trek XI is scheduled to start filming next month, so we should be able to expect the last pieces of its casting puzzle to fall into place relatively quickly.
In what must be a first at the box office, an aerobics queen takes on killer zombies in a vicious battle for the silver medal during what no doubt will be another mammoth weekend for "Spider-Man 3."
Fox unleashes its horror sequel "28 Weeks Later," Universal counters with its femme-driven star vehicle "Georgia Rule," Lionsgate tosses in the comedy "Delta Farce," and MGM releases yet another laugher with "The Ex." Meanwhile, back in New York City, the webslinger will attempt to swing to a massive quarter-billion-dollar cume by the end of its second weekend.
As the second of ten sequels hitting theaters over the May-June corridor, "28 Weeks Later" is the follow-up to the cult hit zombie chiller "28 Days Later" which lit up theaters four years ago. Danny Boyle shifts from the director’s chair to the executive producer’s office as Juan Carlos Fresnadillo takes the helm. "Days" was very well-received which explains why a sequel was greenlit. In the new installment, the killer virus infects people once again as London tries to repopulate and madness ensues. The built-in audience will help the R-rated "Weeks" right out of the gate.
Its predecessor bowed to $10.1M from only 1,260 theaters for a potent $7,986 average on its way to a solid $45.1M final. Through video and cable, it found an even larger fan base and many will give "Weeks" a try. However working against it is of course competition from "Spider-Man 3" which has a hold on fans of comics and sci-fi. Plus 2007 has seen 1,001 horror films flood theaters causing recent fright fatigue. Casual fans of scary movies may pass on "Weeks" if they’re trying to stay away from blood and gore. Fox’s marketing has been clever and effective and the target audience is excited. Plus reviews have been very positive which will help a bit too since most horror films nowadays are either not screened for critics in advance or earn poor marks. Attacking over 2,000 theaters, "28 Weeks Later" might scare up around $13M this weekend.
"28 Weeks Later"
For those looking to avoid zombies and super heroes in their weekend entertainment, Universal offers the dramedy "Georgia Rule" starring Jane Fonda, Lindsay Lohan, and Felicity Huffman. The R-rated story tells of a teenage girl dumped at her grandmother’s house for the summer by her alcoholic mother which leads to the uncovering of family secrets. Just in time for Mother’s Day weekend, "Georgia" will play almost exclusively to women as men will have to be dragged against their will. However, moviegoers from a broad age group should turn out since the cast boasts stars of different generations. The one troublespot could be the rating though. Lohan arguably still has pull with teenage girls who may be left out because of the MPAA’s tag. But the film’s two uses of the F word are essential to the story as are the adult themes so the R was unavoidable.
"Georgia Rule" should play to the same audience that the studio saw for previous chick flicks like Diane Keaton‘s "Because I Said So" ($13.1M opening, $5,195 average), Meryl Streep‘s "Prime" ($6.2M, $3,405), and Debra Messing‘s "The Wedding Date" ($11.1M, $6,566). Reaching the $23.1M debut of Fonda’s last film "Monster-in-Law" is not likely however since it won’t crossover into other demographic groups like the J. Lo pic did. The weekend’s new releases will not provide too much competition which means that the universal appeal of the webslinger sequel will be the main enemy. Bad reviews will eat into sales from mature adults, but many from the "Desperate Housewives" crowd will still make a trip out to this chick flick. "Georgia Rule" enters 2,523 theaters on Friday and could walk away with about $13M.
Larry the Cable Guy stars in the new military comedy "Delta Farce" which also hits theaters on Friday. The PG-13 film from Lionsgate finds three hapless men being mistaken for Army recruits who are sent to Iraq but mistakenly dropped in Mexico. Not since "Best Defense" has a film of this type been such an unwelcome entry in the marketplace. Young males are the only group likely to show interest and with Spidey in only his second swing, few will find this new comedy worth paying top dollar for. Plus starpower is lacking and none of the cast members are known for anchoring box office hits. Larry’s self-titled film last spring bowed to just $6.9M and this one will probably slump even lower. Opening in about 1,800 locations, "Delta Farce" will probably shoot up around $4M.
Zach Braff and Amanda Peet play a thirtysomething New York couple with a new baby in the new romantic comedy "The Ex" marketed by The Weinstein Company and distributed by MGM. In the PG-13 pic, the likable duo moves to Ohio where Braff’s character gets a job at her father’s ad agency where he butts heads with his wife’s former fling from high school. Jason Bateman, Charles Grodin, and Donal Logue co-star. "The Ex" will be targeting the date crowd and young women, but will have rough sailing. "Georgia Rule" will already be tapping into the female moviegoing base and Spidey is attracting his share of women and young adults too. The promotional push has not been too forceful either so the film may end up with just the die-hard "Scrubs" fans. Mixed reviews won’t help either. Also, Braff and Peet are not box office anchors who sell lots of tickets. Sure "Garden State" was an indie hit with $26.8M in 2004, but that was a word-of-mouth platform release that made its money over time and not a commercial Hollywood comedy. Debuting in 1,009 theaters, "The Ex" might gross roughly $3M this weekend.
None of these new films will come close to defeating the mighty "Spider-Man 3" which will enjoy its second comfortable box office win in a row. But a steep fall is likely. The first webslinger flick opened at the beginning of May five years ago and dropped by only 38% on the second weekend which was phenomenal. But like most sequels, especialy third-parters, "Spider-Man 3" attracted so much of its total audience upfront that rapid erosion is assured. The previous record-holder for the biggest opening weekend, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest," fell by 54% in its second adventure last July while its summer counterpart "X-Men: The Last Stand" tumbled by a troubling 67% in its sophomore frame. Of course that was coming off of a Memorial Day holiday opening so the decline was larger than normal.
"Spider-Man 3" has already been taking a hit during the week dropping to $10.3M on Monday and $8M on Tuesday. Those numbers come close to what "The Matrix Reloaded" took in on the same days after its colossal opening weekend in mid-May 2003. That sci-fi pic crashed 60% in its second weekend despite its sophomore frame being helped by a holiday. Luckily for the Sandman flick the competition this weekend will not be too menacing. "Spider-Man 3" could still fall by more than 55% to about $65M this weekend which would boost the domestic haul to a mammoth $247M in only ten days.
LAST YEAR: Tom Cruise topped the charts with "Mission Impossible: III" which dropped 48% in its second weekend to $25M. Opening in second place was the pricey disaster film "Poseidon" which debuted to $22.2M for Warner Bros. on its way to a disappointing $60.7M domestically. Worldwide, the Kurt Russell starrer grossed $182M. Robin Williams placed third with "RV" which eased by less than 10% to $10M in its third weekend. Lindsay Lohan stumbled into fourth with her new comedy "Just My Luck" which opened to a weak $5.7M on its way to $17.3M for Fox. Rounding out the top five was the horror flick "An American Haunting" with $3.6M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Are you between the ages of 13 and 19? Do you like … stuff? Then click right here and cast your votes for the 329th annual Teen Choice Awards, which is where you can tell the universe that Puffy is more illing than Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell is funnier than Brad Pitt, and Katie Holmes is cuter than Katey Sagal. Or something.
Click right here for the ballot, but don’t even think of voting if you’re older than 19. The Teen Choice Awards employ a bunch of enforcers who’ll come to your house and check your birth certificate.
I had to lie about my age to check out the nominees (don’t tell anyone), but the TCAs are poised to celebrate some of the following flicks:
Best Action Adventure: "King Kong," "Mission Impossible 3," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest," "Superman Returns," "V for Vendetta," "X-Men: The Last Stand"
They also have a bunch of actor’s categories, but the choices managed to somehow get even sillier. Click here to cast your votes, kids.
Magneto and his fellow mutants attracted a record-breaking audience to theaters across North America as the super hero sequel X-Men: The Last Stand became a juggernaut at the box office opening at number one over the busy Memorial Day holiday weekend.
No other studio dared to debut a competing film in wide release so last week’s top movies The Da Vinci Code and Over the Hedge placed second and third with muscular numbers of their own. Playing to different audience segments, the three hits joined forces to sell nearly $200M worth of tickets over the long Friday-to-Monday span making it the second largest Memorial Day weekend ever trailing 2004’s record frame by a slim margin.
Blasting past expectations, the third X-Men film dominated the scene grossing an estimated $120.1M over the long weekend from an ultrawide 3,690 venues. The Fox sequel averaged a jaw-dropping $32,554 over four days and set a new record for Memorial Day weekend beating two previous giants. Steven Spielberg‘s The Lost World held the opening record for this holiday with $92.7M over four days (including Thursday night previews) in 1997 while Shrek 2 held the record for the biggest overall gross for the frame when it brought in $95.6M while in its second weekend in 2004. Last Stand’s gross, which included roughly $5.9M from the first midnight shows on Thursday night, easily crushed both figures to claim the new record. However, based on ticket price increases over the years, Lost World still sold more tickets over its holiday bow. Utilizing the industry’s average ticket prices for today and 1997, the dinosequel sold about 20 million tickets compared to roughly 19 million for the new mutant pic.
During the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the holiday weekend, the new X-Men pic grossed a stunning $103.1M making it the fourth largest bow in history after three other May smashes – Spider-Man ($114.8M in 2002), Star Wars Episode III ($108.4M in 2005), and Shrek 2 ($108M in 2004). According to Fox, Friday opened with $45.5M which ranks as the second largest opening day in history (after the $50M Thursday debut for Episode III) and the biggest Friday gross ever. Saturday saw sales slump a troubling 29% to $32.1M while Sunday experienced a reasonable 20% drop to $25.5M. Monday is estimated to bring in about $17M. The three-day average soared to an amazing $27,947. Super hero sequels typically draw immense numbers on the first day due to fan hysteria so a Saturday drop was expected. But, the decline was extraordinarily large and could indicate that fans are not liking the new film as much as the first two.
The latest X-Men tale flexed more muscle than industry watchers had predicted opening above the highest of expectations. As Tom Cruise learned recently, many fans can often lose interest in a franchise by its third installment. But Wolverine and pals kept getting mightier beating the $85.6M debut of 2003’s X2: X-Men United and the $54.5M of 2000’s X-Men. Those films went on to reach $214.9M and $157.3M, respectively. Given its gargantuan start, The Last Stand stands an excellent chance of becoming the highest-grossing pic in the trilogy joining rare hits like The Return of the King and Austin Powers in Goldmember which were also tops in their franchises.
Fox and Marvel Entertainment managed to reteam the major players from the previous X-Men films to star in the third installment. Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Rebecca Romijn all were back once again and were joined by two new players. Kelsey Grammer appeared on screen as the blue mutant Beast while behind the scenes, Brett Ratner took over the director’s chair from Bryan Singer who was hired to helm Superman Returns which opens in a month. The production cost for The Last Stand was $165M. Overseas, the mutant sequel launched in almost all markets and grossed an estimated $80M giving Fox a $200M global debut. Unlike most action films, the X-Men films have actually grossed more domestically than internationally with the first two installments both collecting 53% of their global grosses from North America.
The road ahead is not too bumpy for The Last Stand. Large drops are expected, of course. However, next weekend will see only one new film enter wide release – The Break-Up starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston. In fact, studios have filled the June weeks between X-Men and Superman with a string of comedies so as to not compete against the comic book titans. June 9 will have the animated comedy Cars open, Jack Black‘s Nacho Libre launches on June 16, and Adam Sandler‘s Click debuts on June 23. Fox is hoping the lack of action and sci-fi competition will help X-Men: The Last Stand hold up in the weeks ahead to surpass the studio’s other hit sequel, Ice Age: The Meltdown, to become the year’s top-grossing film.
After a mammoth opening weekend of its own, Sony’s The Da Vinci Code slipped to second place in its sophomore frame but still managed to sell an estimated $43M in tickets over four days boosting its stellar 11-day cume to $145.5M. Over the Friday-to-Sunday portion however, the Ron Howard blockbuster tumbled a disturbing 56% indicating that the religious thriller may not last too long. Last year, Star Wars Episode III, which also launched on the weekend before the Memorial Day holiday frame, dropped 49% in its sophomore session while 2004’s Shrek 2 dipped 33%.
Still, Da Vinci continues to be a major force in the industry here and abroad where it hauled in an additional $92M this weekend. That boosted the international total to $320M giving the Tom Hanks film a jaw-dropping worldwide tally of $465M in less than two weeks. Overseas, the holds have been better even though Code has had to battle X-Men in most major markets. France was down 30%, Japan slipped just 19%, Germany was off only 18%, and Holland was actually up 9%, according to studio data. Domestically, the $125M production should find its way past the $200M mark while globally, it may shoot past the $700M milestone.
Kidpic Over the Hedge enjoyed a terrific second weekend raking in an estimated $35.3M from families with extra time off for the holiday. The three-day portion witnessed a decline of only 30% for Paramount which is good news since the animated film did not open as powerfully as other recent digital toons. After 11 days, Hedge has collected a solid $84.4M. By comparison, 2004’s Shark Tale grossed $87.4M in its first ten days on its way to $160.8M while last year’s Chicken Little took in $80.4M in its first ten days leading to a $135.4M final. Hedge, which will have no real competition to deal with until the June 9 release of Cars from Disney and Pixar, could be on a course to reach the neighborhood of $150M from North America.
A pair of underperforming action flicks from early May rounded out the top five. Paramount’s Tom Cruise vehicle Mission: Impossible III dropped to an estimated $8.6M to boost its cume to $115.8M. Warner Bros. followed with the disaster film Poseidon which took in an estimated $7M in its third voyage to put its total at just $46.6M to date.
Sony saw its four-day gross for the family comedy RV rise 6% compared to last weekend’s three-day take. The Robin Williams hit laughed up an estimated $5.3M pushing the sum to $57.2M. Seventh place went to the Lionsgate horror entry See No Evil which grossed an estimated $3.2M giving the fright pic a modest $9.2M in 11 days.
The Lindsay Lohan flop Just My Luck collected an estimated $2.3M in eighth place giving Fox only $13.9M to date. Universal took in an estimated $1.1M with its 9/11 thriller United 93 lifting the cume to $29.9M. The spookfest An American Haunting rounded out the top ten with an estimated $937,000. The total for the Freestyle Releasing title is a mere $14.9M.
Setting the limited release box office on fire was the global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth which opened in only four theaters but grossed a hefty $366,000, according to estimates. That gave the Al Gore pic a stunning average of $91,447 per location over four days. Distributed by Paramount Vantage, the new incarnation of Paramount Classics, Truth collected $282,000 over the Friday-to-Sunday portion averaging a scorching $70,585. Total since Wednesday stands at $489,000. Opening this weekend on multiple screens at a pair of theaters in both New York and Los Angeles, Truth will add about 60 more playdates on Friday and expand throughout June hoping to become the dominant doc of the summer.
The spelling bee drama Akeelah and the Bee dropped out of the top ten after a decent four-week run. In its fifth frame, the Lionsgate release grossed an estimated $830,000 over four days to boost its cume to $17M. The distributor teamed up with Starbucks to finance and promote Akeelah which did not perform especially well. However, the PG-rated film had low expectations to begin with so it is difficult to tell whether the involvement of the coffee giant had any real impact.
The top ten films over the four-day span grossed an estimated $226.8M which was up 1% from last year when Star Wars Episode III remained at number one with $70M over the holiday; but off 4% from 2004 when Shrek 2 stayed in the top spot with a then-record $95.6M in four days.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Tom Cruise‘s spy sequel Mission: Impossible III remained the most popular film in North America for the second straight weekend while the big-budget disaster film Poseidon opened in second place to disappointing results.
The frame’s other new releases, the Lindsay Lohan comedy Just My Luck and the soccer drama Goal! The Dream Begins, opened miserably as well giving the industry little to celebrate. Overall ticket sales fell behind those of the comparable weekend in each of the last four years as a sluggish marketplace waits for that one true summer blockbuster that draws the masses into the multiplexes.
Despite a weaker-than-expected opening weekend, Paramount’s MI3 enjoyed a respectable sophomore frame dropping 49% to an estimated $24.5M to retain its standing as the number one film. Playing in an ultrawide 4,059 theaters, the Ethan Hunt actioner averaged a solid $6,039 per location and raised its ten-day total to $84.6M. The decline was very similar to the 48% second weekend fall for last summer’s big spy flick Mr. & Mrs. Smith which grossed $26M in its sophomore shot after a $50.3M bow. The Pitt-Jolie vehicle, however, captured a more muscular $96.7M in its first ten days thanks in part to a June release when more students were out of school.
With so many action sequels tumbling by 55% or more on the second weekend, Mission: Impossible III managed to hold up relatively well. Competition from Poseidon was not formidable so moviegoers were not drawn away to another big event pic. The latest Ethan Hunt film will face its true test this Friday when the much-anticipated thriller The Da Vinci Code starring that other Tom opens followed a week later by the mutant juggernaut X-Men: The Last Stand. At its current pace, look for MI3 to reach $130-140M domestically making it the lowest grossing installment of the decade-old franchise. The first Mission: Impossible grossed $181M in 1996 while MI2 took in $215.4M in 2000. Overseas, MI3 jumped to $129.2M in foreign sales putting the worldwide tally at $213.8M in under two weeks. The global box office gross looks to be on a trajectory to hit $350M.
Failing to sink Cruise’s ship, the ocean liner disaster pic Poseidon settled for the runner-up spot this weekend opening with an estimated $20.3M from 3,555 locations. Warner Bros. generated a decent but not impressive per-theater average of $5,717 with its first pricey entry of the summer movie season. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen (The Perfect Storm, Air Force One), the PG-13 film was a remake of the 1972 picture The Poseidon Adventure and starred Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas, and Richard Dreyfuss as passengers on a luxury ship who must fight to survive after a rogue wave capsizes the vessel. Poseidon opened weaker than other big-budget maritime action films like 2003’s Master and Commander ($25.1M), 2000’s The Perfect Storm ($41.3M), and even 1995’s infamous Waterworld ($21.2M).
Although audiences in years past have flocked to May disaster films like Twister, Deep Impact, and The Day After Tomorrow, this time Poseidon lacked the goods to draw in a paying audience. Reviews were not kind which also made the adult-skewing picture a tough sell. Varying reports on the film’s budget put the production cost in excess of $160M so a stellar run internationally and on DVD will be needed in order to turn a profit. Poseidon set sail in a handful of Asian countries to the tune of $4.4M this weekend, but will open in most foreign territories in June and July.
Once again scoring the best hold among all wide releases was the Robin Williams family comedy RV which dipped a mere 14% in its third weekend to an estimated $9.5M. The Sony hit has collected a solid $42.8M in 17 days.
Ticket buyers ignored Lindsay Lohan’s new film Just My Luck which flopped in its opening weekend grossing a mere $5.5M, according to estimates. The Fox release averaged an unlucky $2,165 per location and played almost exclusively to a teen girl audience. Studio research showed that the crowd for Luck was a remarkably high 80% female and 70% under the age of 25. Critics, not surprisingly, panned the film.
Horror flick An American Haunting enjoyed a solid sophomore session dropping only 36% to an estimated $3.7M for fifth place. Distributed by Freestyle Releasing, the PG-13 thriller has banked $10.9M in ten days and should scare its way to a mediocre $17-19M. Universal’s 9/11 thriller United 93 followed with an estimated $3.6M, down just 33%, lifting the cume to a decent $25.6M.
The teen gymnastics pic Stick It dropped 41% to an estimated $3.2M to land in the number seven spot with a total to date of $22.2M for Buena Vista. Fox’s animated sequel Ice Age: The Meltdown, still the top-grossing film of 2006, grossed an estimated $3M sliding just 29% in its seventh weekend. No other film has spent as many weeks in the top ten this year. Cume stands at $187.4M domestically and over $600M worldwide.
Sony’s fright pic Silent Hill placed ninth with an estimated $2.2M, off 45%, for a sum of $44.5M thus far. The New Line flop Hoot fell 37% to an estimated $2.1M in its second outing as the total inched up to a dismal $6.2M. Last weekend, the owl film had the distinction of suffering the worst opening in history for a film debuting in over 3,000 theaters. Hoot’s puny $3.4M bow in 3,018 sites beat out the dismal $6M launch from 3,006 theaters of 2004’s New York Minute starring the Olsen Twins for that unfortunate honor.
Another film failing to connect with kids was Buena Vista’s new soccer drama Goal! The Dream Begins which kicked off its run with a weak estimate of only $2M. The PG-rated film failed to qualify for the top ten this weekend and averaged a poor $1,989 from 1,007 locations.
Two April releases fell from the top ten this weekend. The spoof comedy Scary Movie 4 dropped 44% to an estimated $2.1M in its fifth frame. With $86.6M to date, The Weinstein Co. release looks to finish with roughly $90M which would not be far off from the $110M of its predecessor 2003’s Scary Movie 3. The Lionsgate family drama Akeelah and the Bee declined 41% to an estimated $2M in only its third turn. Cume sits at just $13.6M and should reach $16-18M.
Opening in limited release this weekend, Miramax’s family reunion comedy Keeping Up with the Steins grossed an estimated $621,000 from 138 locations for a respectable $4,500 average. The PG-13 film stars Garry Marshall, Jeremy Piven, and Daryl Hannah. The Swaziland-set drama Wah-Wah debuted in 25 theaters and grossed an estimated $57,000 for a mild $2,270 average. Starring Gabriel Byrne, Miranda Richardson, and Emily Watson, the R-rated film is distributed by Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn Films.
Among indie films expanding into more markets, Sony Classics grossed an estimated $1.2M from its comedy Art School Confidential after widening from 12 to 762 theaters across the country. That left the John Malkovich–Anjelica Huston starrer with a pitiful $1,593 average per venue as it failed to register with moviegoers on a national level. Cume is $1.4M. Fox Searchlight expanded its Indian drama Water from 36 to 62 locations and grossed an estimated $257,000 for a $4,138 average. Total sits at $593,000 with more markets opening on Friday.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $77.7M which was down 15% from last year when Monster-in-Law opened at number one with $23.1M; and down 23% from 2004 when Troy debuted in the top spot with $46.9M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, BoxOfficeGuru.com
The Paramount release dropped 55% from its opening day last Friday which was understandable given that it was an action sequel. Some of Cruise’s biggest box office hits like War of the Worlds and the previous Mission films all debuted mid-week over holiday frames so comparing Friday-to-Friday declines would be unfair. However, action films opening on the first weekend of May over the last three years all tumbled by more than 60% on their second Fridays. Over the Friday-to-Sunday period, MI3 is on course to take in $23-25M.
Warner Bros. docked in second place on Friday with its cruise ship disaster flick Poseidon which opened to an estimated $7.2M in its first day of release. The debut was almost identical to the $7.3M opening day gross of last year’s big-budget, early summer action film Kingdom of Heaven which went on to collect $19.6M during its opening frame. Poseidon looks to finish the weekend in second place with $19-22M.
Lindsay Lohan‘s new comedy Just My Luck premiered with an estimated $2M on Friday in its first day in theaters. Fellow freshman Goal! The Dream Begins debuted to an estimated $600,000 on Friday. Weekend tallies should reach $5-6M for Fox’s Luck and $2-3M for Buena Vista’s Goal!
The top ten films grossed an estimated $24.4M on Friday which was down 16% from a year ago when Monster-in-Law bowed to a Friday gross of $8M on its way to a $23.1M weekend debut.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, BoxOfficeGuru.com
The summer movie season’s second big action contender rolls into theaters this weekend as the sinking ship flick Poseidon takes aim at last week’s Mission: Impossible III for the number one spot across North America.
Two smaller new releases will aim for younger moviegoers. Lindsay Lohan lets loose her girlpower with the comedy Just My Luck while soccer boys are being courted by the sports drama Goal! The Dream Begins. With spring holdovers fading fast and the new May titles only showing so much strength, there is no guarantee that the seven-week streak of the box office beating out last year’s will continue.
Warner Bros. sets sail with its first big-budget entry of the summer with Poseidon, a modern retelling of the 1972 disaster film The Poseidon Adventure. After The Perfect Storm and Troy, veteran A-list director Wolfgang Petersen is back with another pricey summer action pic reportedly spending $160M to produce this new film. Poseidon finds a group of ordinary people on a luxury cruise ship who must fight for survival after a mammoth wave capsizes the ship while at sea. Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas, Richard Dreyfuss, and Andre Braugher star.
Poseidon does work as an escapist treat for the summer season. Despite a lame beginning with the usual setup, the PG-13 film quickly kicks into the disaster scenario and becomes a non-stop action film. No hour-and-a-half of teen courting before an iceberg hits in this one. Audiences that find their way into the theaters should have a relatively good time. But getting them to buy the tickets in the first place is the challenge that Warner Bros. faces. None of the stars has much pull and the original source material isn’t exactly something that moviegoers have been clamoring to have a remake of. Plus Poseidon’s appeal to teens is not very strong making it a film that will be going after mature adults just like MI3 currently is. The direct competition should keep the sinking ship’s grosses in check.
Unlike most disaster films, Poseidon comes with a trim running time of under 100 minutes which means that theaters will be able to provide an ample amount of showtimes per day. Plus, a few dozen Imax locations will open the film day and date which will add a bit to the overall tally. The studio has invested heavily in the marketing push for its first entry in the summer sweepstakes. But that has not driven excitement beyond a manageable level. May has been kind to disaster films in the past. The Day After Tomorrow bowed to $68.7M two years ago, Deep Impact opened to $41.2M in 1998, and Twister bowed exactly one decade ago to a then-shocking $41.1M. Poseidon is not hitting the marketplace on a wave of momentum the way those hits did. And with recent real-life tragedies like Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami, only so many people will have an appetite to see hundreds of innocent people drown to death on the big screen. Docking in 3,555 theaters on Friday, Poseidon could open in the neighborhood of $31M.
Paparazzi magnet Lindsay Lohan stars as a lucky young gal who comes across a wave of misfortune after a magical kiss in the fantasy comedy Just My Luck. Directed by Donald Petrie (Mystic Pizza, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days), the Fox release basically has one audience in its crosshairs – readers of Us Weekly and Teen People. Yes, teenage girls and young women should make up the bulk of the audience as male appeal is lacking. Lohan brings with her a respectable box office track record. Some of her recent openings include Herbie: Fully Loaded ($12.7M after a Wednesday bow and a $3,610 average), Mean Girls ($24.4M debut, $8,606 average), and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen ($9.4M, $3,736 average). This time, Lohan has to carry the film on her shoulders with no big co-star or studio brand name to help out. A not-so-interesting plot won’t help matters.
Teen girls can be a fickle audience rejecting what seem to be surefire hits and flocking to lower profile pics that speak to their generation. Stick It exceeded expectations a couple of weeks ago by connecting with this crowd. With two big action entries dominating theaters and playing to an older and more male crowd, plus RV playing to young kids, Fox does have an opportunity to connect with a group that is underserved at the moment with a star that is still very popular with the target audience. This weekend, Lohan will put her drawing power to the test with Just My Luck which opens in 2,541 theaters. An opening weekend gross of around $11M could result.
A young Mexican-American man follows his dreams of playing professional soccer in Disney’s new sports drama Goal! The Dream Begins. Directed by Danny Cannon (Judge Dredd, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer), the PG-rated film packs zero starpower, but offers an inspirational tale that young boys can relate to. In the United States, Hollywood films about the sport we call "football" typically do much better at the turnstiles than ones about what the rest of the world uses that term for. Buena Vista is not giving Goal! a big push, but rather is hoping to collect a respectable amount of business before seeing the real audience on DVD. Uplifting against-the-odds sports dramas often do well as the studio has seen in the past with Remember the Titans, Miracle, and this year’s Glory Road. However, Goal! lacks the visibility of those films and overall awareness is not too high. Opening in more than 1,000 theaters, Goal! might debut to around $4M.
Last weekend, Mission: Impossible III opened below expectations to $47.7M and now runs the risk of being booted into second place in its sophomore frame. Reviews and word-of-mouth seem to be positive, however that may not provide much help this time. As a heavily-hyped action sequel, MI3 has its audience carved out already and most moviegoers have already made their minds up as to whether or not they plan to see it. This is a film made to make its money upfront. Plus Poseidon will be playing to the same audience of adults over 30 looking for an action thrill ride. A 50% drop for the Tom Cruise vehicle could leave Paramount with about $24M for the weekend and $84M in ten days. By comparison, ten-day cumes for recent summer kick-off films include $85.1M for 2004’s Van Helsing, $147.7M for 2003’s X2: X-Men United, and an eye-popping $223M for 2002’s megahit Spider-Man.
Robin Williams enjoyed a solid hold for his family comedy RV last weekend. Once again, competition for kids is mild so the Sony release should see another small decline. RV may drop 30% to around $8M this weekend lifting the film’s total to $41M after 17 days.
LAST YEAR: J Lo. and J Fo. went head to head in the marital comedy Monster-in-Law which opened at number one with $23.1M. New Line’s hit summer film went on to gross a solid $82.9M. Opening in second was Will Ferrell’s soccer comedy Kicking and Screaming which debuted close behind with $20.2M on its way to $52.7M for Universal. While those two new releases entered more than 3,400 theaters, another freshman title bowed in less than 2,000 sites and placed third. The Jet Li actioner Unleashed opened to $10.9M for Focus and found its way to $24.5M. Fox’s Crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven fell 51% in its second weekend dropping from first to fourth with $9.6M. Fellow sophomore Crash held up exceptionally well in fifth dipping only 23% to $7M. The frame’s final new release, the Miramax thriller Mindhunters, debuted to a weak $1.9M before limping to a $4.5M total.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, BoxOfficeGuru.com
As the Oscar-winning theme of "The Poseidon Adventure" put it, "there’s got to be a morning after." In this day and age, there’s got to be a big-budget quasi-remake. The latest is "Poseidon," Wolfgang Petersen‘s third boat movie ("Das Boot" and "The Perfect Storm" are the others.) Josh Lucas and Kurt Russell star as the leaders of a group trying to escape an overturned, sinking cruise ship. The critics say the film has some decent action scenes, but virtually no character development or good lines. At 36 percent on the Tomatometer, "Poseidon" is all wet.
There’s a Lou Reed album called "Growing Up in Public," and few embody those words like Lindsay Lohan. She’s the star of "Just My Luck," a screwball comedy about how a kiss reverses the fortunes of the world’s luckiest girl and the unluckiest guy. The film marks the end of Lohan’s teen queen phase; with this (and Robert Altman‘s "A Prairie Home Companion") she’s now playing adult characters. But critics say "Just My Luck" is still pretty juvenile, a lightweight rom-com that isn’t nearly sprightly enough. At 25 percent on the Tomatometer, the scribes say this one’s "Just" not that good.
We love inspirational sports flicks. We must, as the studios keep making them. The latest entry is "Goal!," the first in a trilogy about a kid from East L.A. who ends up in Britain’s Premier division. The scribes say this is a better-than-average, utterly predictable film with a good performance by Kuno Becker as the up-by-the-bootstraps (or is it cleatstraps?) footballer. At 54 percent on the Tomatometer, this one’s a draw.
Recent Lindsay Lohan Movies:
100% — A Prairie Home Companion (2006)
42% — Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)
13% — Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004)
86% — Mean Girls (2004)
83% — Freaky Friday (2003)
Despite all the stupid paparazzi whatnot and non-stop controversy, the fact is that Lindsay Lohan is still quite an adorable mini-movie star. Her next comedy is called "Just My Luck," and it’s a simple little high-concept rom-com that’ll no doubt make big bucks at the box office. Check out the trailer right here … if your browser allows it.
"Ashley is a young professional just out of college. She also happens to be the luckiest woman in the world, who has lived a super-charmed life and has always taken her good luck for granted. When she kisses a handsome stranger at a costume party, Ashley accidentally swaps her good fortune for his horribly bad luck, and her charmed life turns into a living hell."