Mac And Me

(Photo by Orion/courtesy Everett Collection. Thumbnail: Vertical Entertainment, TriStar Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

100 Worst Movies of All Time

It’s bad movies galore as we encounter the Rottenest of the Rotten: 100 movies that scored less than 5% with the critics on the Tomatometer!

You’re going to see lots of 0% movies, and there’s even more out there, but the ones on this list all have at least 20 reviews. We wanted to make sure the movies we’re “vouching” for as the worst ever have inflicted a minimum threshold of agony on critics. And the 20-review entry applies for every other movie on this list, and that includes the usual suspects of garbage cinema, like the deep space train wreck Battlefield Earth, the box office turkey (turtle?) The Master of Disguise, Netflix’s lazy western The Ridiculous 6, and flaccid softcore Killing Me Softly (which also makes a dubious appearance in the 200 best and worst erotic movies).

You may also note a number of significant stinkers are from the past 20 years. It’s not just because Uwe Boll was employed during this time period. And, by the way, he’s actually beat by dubious directing duo Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, who have four movies on the list. Instead, it’s the fact more reviews are being written and collected than ever before, so today’s disasters have a better chance of vaunting over 20 reviews. (And for movies that share the same score, more reviews means you’re placed higher within the ranking.)

But fret not: Plenty of yesteryear’s bombs are here. After all, the decade that produced Mac & Me has a lot to account for. Some of the classic trash featured includes the soul-sucking Mortal Kombat: AnnihilationSpeed 2: Cruise Control (see what happens when you throw Keanu overboard?), off-the-deep-end Jaws: The Revenge, and prime directive-violating RoboCop 3.

What you won’t see: Some legendary bad movies like CatsBirdemic, and The Room, all of which have cleared at least a 10% Tomatometer. That’s right, they were too good. And Miami Connection and Plan 9 From Outer Space are actually Fresh!

Now that we set the mood for truly bad movies, start the most painful watchlist you’ll ever make with the 100 worst movies of all time!

#100

Mac and Me (1988)
4%

#100
Adjusted Score: 4417%
Critics Consensus: Mac and Me is duly infamous: not only is it a pale imitation of E.T., it's also a thinly-veiled feature length commercial for McDonalds and Coca-Cola.
Synopsis: A young extraterrestrial, separated from its family and stranded on Earth, finds friendship with a boy in a wheelchair.... [More]
Directed By: Stewart Raffill

#99
Adjusted Score: 4331%
Critics Consensus: Featuring mostly wooden performances, laughable dialogue, and shoddy production values, In the Name of the King fulfills all expectations of an Uwe Boll film.
Synopsis: As war looms in an idyllic kingdom, a man named Farmer (Jason Statham) begins a heroic quest to find his... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#98

Material Girls (2006)
4%

#98
Adjusted Score: 4573%
Critics Consensus: Plagued by paper-thin characterizations and a hackneyed script, Material Girls fails to live up to even the minimum standards of its genre.
Synopsis: Two sibling cosmetics heiresses (Hilary Duff, Haylie Duff) must grow up quickly when a company scandal leaves them penniless. Though... [More]
Directed By: Martha Coolidge

#97

BloodRayne (2005)
4%

#97
Adjusted Score: 4413%
Critics Consensus: BloodRayne is an absurd sword-and-sorcery vid-game adaptation from schlock-maestro Uwe Boll, featuring a distinguished (and slumming) cast.
Synopsis: In 18th-century Romania, after spending much of her life in a traveling circus, human-vampire hybrid Rayne (Kristanna Loken) escapes and... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#96
#96
Adjusted Score: 4589%
Critics Consensus: A Little Bit of Heaven subjects viewers to a whole bunch of schmaltz - and strands Kate Hudson and Gael García Bernal in a fatally misguided film.
Synopsis: New Orleans ad executive Marley Corbett (Kate Hudson) is a free-spirited woman who embraces her easy sexuality, shuns commitment, and... [More]
Directed By: Nicole Kassell

#95

Darkness (2002)
4%

#95
Adjusted Score: 4274%
Critics Consensus: Yet another predictable variation on the hoary old haunted-house movie, Darkness is an illogical, portentous mess.
Synopsis: Paul (Stephan Enquist) and his older sister, Regina (Anna Paquin), unpack and settle into their new country home with their... [More]
Directed By: Jaume Balagueró

#94

Zoom (2006)
4%

#94
Adjusted Score: 6239%
Critics Consensus: Lacking the punch and good cheer of The Incredibles and Sky High, Zoom is a dull and laugh-free affair.
Synopsis: Capt. Zoom, or Jack (Tim Allen), as he is now known, has long since given up his career of fighting... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hewitt

#93

The Fog (2005)
4%

#93
Adjusted Score: 6127%
Critics Consensus: The Fog is a so-so remake of a so-so movie, lacking scares, suspense or originality.
Synopsis: The prosperous town of Antonio Bay, Ore., is born in blood, as the town's founders get their money by murdering... [More]
Directed By: Rupert Wainwright

#92
#92
Adjusted Score: 6504%
Critics Consensus: Speed 2 falls far short of its predecessor, thanks to laughable dialogue, thin characterization, unsurprisingly familiar plot devices, and action sequences that fail to generate any excitement.
Synopsis: Annie (Sandra Bullock) is looking forward to a Caribbean cruise with her cop boyfriend, Alex (Jason Patric), who purchased the... [More]
Directed By: Jan de Bont

#91

The Covenant (2006)
4%

#91
Adjusted Score: 6573%
Critics Consensus: The Covenant plays out like a teen soap opera, full of pretty faces, wooden acting, laughable dialogue, and little suspense.
Synopsis: In the 17th century, five families with supernatural powers make a pact of silence. Eventually one power-hungry family is banished.... [More]
Directed By: Renny Harlin

#90

Flatliners (2017)
4%

#90
Adjusted Score: 8046%
Critics Consensus: Flatliners falls flat as a horror movie and fails to improve upon its source material, rendering this reboot dead on arrival.
Synopsis: Five medical students embark on a daring and dangerous experiment to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond... [More]
Directed By: Niels Arden Oplev

#89
#89
Adjusted Score: 5840%
Critics Consensus: Happily N'Ever After has none of the moxy, edge, or postmodern wit of the other fairy-tales-gone-haywire CG movie it so blatantly rips off.
Synopsis: Fairy Tale Land becomes a realm of happy endings gone wrong when Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Frieda (Sigourney Weaver), joins forces... [More]
Directed By: Paul J. Bolger

#88
#88
Adjusted Score: 6019%
Critics Consensus: Code Name: The Cleaner is a limp action/comedy flick that alternates between lame, worn-out jokes and cheesy martial arts.
Synopsis: When Jake (Cedric the Entertainer) awakes one morning in a strange hotel room, he finds himself in a bit of... [More]
Directed By: Les Mayfield

#87

Movie 43 (2013)
4%

#87
Adjusted Score: 6983%
Critics Consensus: A star-studded turkey, Movie 43 is loaded with gleefully offensive and often scatological gags, but it's largely bereft of laughs.
Synopsis: Twelve directors, including Peter Farrelly, Griffin Dunne and Brett Ratner, contributed to this collection of outrageous spoofs and stories. A... [More]

#86
Adjusted Score: 6375%
Critics Consensus: The Adventures of Pluto Nash is neither adventurous nor funny, and Eddie Murphy is on autopilot in this notorious box office bomb.
Synopsis: "Pluto Nash" is an action comedy set on the moon in the year 2087, starring Eddie Murphy as the title... [More]
Directed By: Ron Underwood

#85

Vampires Suck (2010)
4%

#85
Adjusted Score: 6863%
Critics Consensus: Witlessly broad and utterly devoid of laughs, Vampires Suck represents a slight step forward for the Friedberg-Seltzer team.
Synopsis: Becca (Jenn Proske), an angst-ridden teenager, is torn between two supernatural suitors: vampire Edward (Matt Lanter) and werewolf Jacob (Chris... [More]

#84
#84
Adjusted Score: 7282%
Critics Consensus: Witless, unfocused, and arguably misogynistic, Playing for Keeps is a dispiriting, lowest-common-denominator Hollywood rom-com.
Synopsis: Long past his soccer-playing heyday, George Dryer (Gerard Butler) is struggling financially and failing in his attempt to reconcile with... [More]
Directed By: Gabriele Muccino

#83

Serving Sara (2002)
4%

#83
Adjusted Score: 7284%
Critics Consensus: A romantic comedy that's neither funny nor particularly romantic, Serving Sara is a forgettable time waster.
Synopsis: When Sara (Elizabeth Hurley) is served divorce papers while she is in New York, she is stunned. Not about to... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

#82
#82
Adjusted Score: 7961%
Critics Consensus: A strained, laugh-free sequel, The Whole Ten Yards recycles its predecessor's cast and plot but not its wit or reason for being.
Synopsis: After faking his death, former killer-for-hire Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski (Bruce Willis) retires to Mexico with his new wife, Jill... [More]
Directed By: Howard Deutch

#81

Godsend (2004)
4%

#81
Adjusted Score: 8746%
Critics Consensus: A murky thriller with few chills, Godsend features ludicrous dialogue, by-the-numbers plotting, and an excess of cheap shocks.
Synopsis: After Paul Duncan (Greg Kinnear) and his wife, Jessie (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), lose their young son, Adam (Cameron Bright), in an... [More]
Directed By: Nick Hamm

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 9608%
Critics Consensus: Overly reliant on caricatures and lacking any human insight, Because I Said So is an unfunny, cliche-ridden mess.
Synopsis: Daphne Wilder (Diane Keaton) is the proud mother of three women: Milly (Mandy Moore), Maggie (Lauren Graham) and Mae (Piper... [More]
Directed By: Michael Lehmann

#79

McHale's Navy (1997)
3%

#79
Adjusted Score: 4168%
Critics Consensus: About as funny as a keelhauling, McHale's Navy will leave most viewers feeling they've been the victim of a particularly dishonorable discharge.
Synopsis: Shopkeeper McHale (Tom Arnold) is called back to captain the PT-73 and save a Caribbean island from annihilation.... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Spicer

#78

Arsenal (2017)
3%

#78
Adjusted Score: 4355%
Critics Consensus: Aside from an opportunity to watch a mustachioed Nicolas Cage acting from under a wig and behind a prosthetic nose, Arsenal has depressingly little to offer.
Synopsis: The Lindel brothers, Mikey and JP, only had each other to rely on growing up. As adults, JP finds success... [More]
Directed By: Steven C. Miller

#77

Twelve (2010)
3%

#77
Adjusted Score: 3273%
Critics Consensus: As pretentious as it is hopelessly clichéd, this Twelve is closer to zero.
Synopsis: A high-school dropout (Chace Crawford) sells drugs to his wealthy former classmates.... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#76
#76
Adjusted Score: 3391%
Critics Consensus: Overly formulaic and tonally inconsistent, Getting Even with Dad tries for a sentimental conclusion it doesn't earn and winds up a slapsticky cash grab aimed at fans of Home Alone.
Synopsis: Con man Ray Gleason (Ted Danson) is going after one last heist -- a stash of rare coins -- when... [More]
Directed By: Howard Deutch

#75

Passion Play (2010)
3%

#75
Adjusted Score: 3422%
Critics Consensus: Passion Play has a terrific cast, but don't be fooled - the only real question at the heart of this misbegotten mystery is what its stars were thinking.
Synopsis: A washed-up musician (Mickey Rourke) tries to protect an enigmatic winged woman (Megan Fox) from a merciless gangster (Bill Murray)... [More]
Directed By: Mitch Glazer

#74

The Darkness (2016)
3%

#74
Adjusted Score: 3262%
Critics Consensus: The Darkness clumsily relies on an assortment of genre tropes, leaving only the decidedly non-frightening ghost of superior horror films in its wake.
Synopsis: Peter Taylor (Kevin Bacon), his wife Bronny and their two children return to Los Angeles after a fun-filled vacation to... [More]
Directed By: Greg McLean

#73

Deal (2008)
3%

#73
Adjusted Score: 2569%
Critics Consensus: Employing multiple cinematic clichés and milking stale performances, Deal proves inadequate for even the lowly regarded poker movie genre.
Synopsis: Tommy Vinson (Burt Reynolds), a former cardsharp, gave up poker years ago when his wife threatened to leave him. Tommy... [More]
Directed By: Gil Cates Jr.

#72
Adjusted Score: 2551%
Critics Consensus: A severely misguided and inept comedy incapable of even telling its single joke properly.
Synopsis: Innocent Midwesterner Bucky Larson (Nick Swardson) works in a dead-end job as a grocery bagger and has never even kissed... [More]
Directed By: Tom Brady

#71

Down to You (2000)
3%

#71
Adjusted Score: 4659%
Critics Consensus: Down to You is ruined by a bland, by-the-numbers plot and an awful script.
Synopsis: College coeds in New York City, Al (Freddie Prinze Jr.), the son of a celebrity chef (Henry Winkler), and Imogen... [More]
Directed By: Kris Isacsson

#70
#70
Adjusted Score: 4395%
Critics Consensus: A grungy, disjointed, mostly brainless mess of a film, House of the Dead is nonetheless loaded with unintentional laughs.
Synopsis: Simon (Tyron Leitso) and Greg (Will Sanderson) meet a group of friends and set out to attend a rave on... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#69

The Apparition (2012)
3%

#69
Adjusted Score: 4919%
Critics Consensus: The Apparition fails to offer anything original, isn't particularly scary, and offers so little in the way of dramatic momentum that it's more likely to put you to sleep than thrill you.
Synopsis: Plagued by frightening occurrences in their home, Kelly (Ashley Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan) learn that a university's parapsychology experiment... [More]
Directed By: Todd Lincoln

#68

The Mod Squad (1999)
3%

#68
Adjusted Score: 5239%
Critics Consensus: The Mod Squad aims for stylish cool and thrilling adventure, but collapses in an incoherent jumble of dated source material and unintentional hilarity.
Synopsis: Julie (Claire Danes) is on her way to jail for assault. Arsonist Linc (Omar Epps) is looking at serious prison... [More]
Directed By: Scott Silver

#67

Deuces Wild (2002)
3%

#67
Adjusted Score: 3843%
Critics Consensus: Melodramatic and weighed down with silly dialogue, Deuces Wild is a forgettable, overheated thriller that leaves no cliche unturned.
Synopsis: Leon (Stephen Dorff) and Bobby (Brad Renfro) are brothers who, with their friends, are determined to maintain the way of... [More]
Directed By: Scott Kalvert

#66

The Roommate (2011)
3%

#66
Adjusted Score: 5705%
Critics Consensus: Devoid of chills, thrills, or even cheap titillation, The Roommate isn't even bad enough to be good.
Synopsis: When Sara (Minka Kelly), a young design student from Iowa, arrives for college in Los Angeles, she is eager to... [More]

#65

Half Past Dead (2002)
3%

#65
Adjusted Score: 5337%
Critics Consensus: Seagal is now too bulky to make a convincing action hero, and Half Past Dead is too silly and incoherent to deliver any visceral kicks.
Synopsis: Criminal mastermind Donny/49er One (Morris Chestnut) has set in motion a plan to infiltrate a high-tech prison in order to... [More]
Directed By: Don Michael Paul

#64

FeardotCom (2002)
3%

#64
Adjusted Score: 4827%
Critics Consensus: As frustrating as a 404 error, Fear Dot Com is a stylish, incoherent, and often nasty mess with few scares.
Synopsis: When four bodies are discovered among the industrial decay and urban grime of New York City, brash young detective Mike... [More]
Directed By: William Malone

#63

Bless the Child (2000)
3%

#63
Adjusted Score: 5918%
Critics Consensus: Bless the Child squanders its talented cast on a plot that's more likely to inspire unintentional laughs than shivers.
Synopsis: When Maggie's sister Jenna saddles her with an autistic newborn named Cody she touches Maggie's heart and becomes the daughter... [More]
Directed By: Chuck Russell

#62

Jack and Jill (2011)
3%

#62
Adjusted Score: 5997%
Critics Consensus: Although it features an inexplicably committed performance from Al Pacino, Jack and Jill is impossible to recommend on any level whatsoever.
Synopsis: Thanksgiving is usually a happy time, but ad executive Jack (Adam Sandler) dreads the holiday because his twin sister, Jill... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Dugan

#61

Rollerball (2002)
3%

#61
Adjusted Score: 6436%
Critics Consensus: Removing the social critique of the original, this updated version of Rollerball is violent, confusing, and choppy. Klein makes for a bland hero.
Synopsis: Jonathan (Chris Klein) is the most popular player in the fastest and most extreme sport of all time: rollerball. Along... [More]
Directed By: John McTiernan

#60
#60
Adjusted Score: 7782%
Critics Consensus: Ugly, campy, and poorly acted, Battlefield Earth is a stunningly misguided, aggressively bad sci-fi folly.
Synopsis: In the year 3000, there are no countries, no cities... Earth is a wasteland. And man is an endangered species.... [More]
Directed By: Roger Christian

#59

Getaway (2013)
3%

#59
Adjusted Score: 8493%
Critics Consensus: Monotonously fast-paced to the point of exhaustion, Getaway offers a reminder of the dangers in attempting to speed past coherent editing, character development, sensible dialogue, and an interesting plot.
Synopsis: Though he used to race cars for a living, Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) is now pitted against the clock in... [More]
Directed By: Courtney Solomon

#58
Adjusted Score: 2838%
Critics Consensus: The Haunting of Molly Hartley is a rather lifeless horror endeavor, with a pedestrian plot and few scares.
Synopsis: After surviving a brutal attack by her insane mother, teenage Molly (Haley Bennett) is eager to get a fresh start... [More]
Directed By: Mickey Liddell

#57

Nina (2016)
2%

#57
Adjusted Score: 3793%
Critics Consensus: A wholly misguided tribute to its subject's searing talent and enduring impact, Nina is the cinematic equivalent of a covers project featuring all the wrong artists.
Synopsis: Manager Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo) helps singer and pianist Nina Simone (Zoe Saldana) rediscover her love for music.... [More]
Directed By: Cynthia Mort

#56
#56
Adjusted Score: 3059%
Critics Consensus: Kickin' It Old Skool is one big unfunny pop culture reference that doesn't feature many laughs.
Synopsis: At a talent show in 1986, young Justin Schumacher suffers a head injury and slips into a coma. Twenty years... [More]
Directed By: Harvey Glazer

#55

Baby Geniuses (1999)
2%

#55
Adjusted Score: 3315%
Critics Consensus: Flat direction and actors who look embarrassed to be onscreen make Baby Geniuses worse than the premise suggests.
Synopsis: Evil partners (Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd) experiment on an infant and send his twin to a reputable research nursery.... [More]
Directed By: Bob Clark

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 3147%
Critics Consensus: Strange Wilderness is a laugh-free comedy that's both aimless and overly crass.
Synopsis: Peter Gaulke takes over, when his father, a respected wildlife TV host dies, but receives far less success. When the... [More]
Directed By: Fred Wolf

#53
#53
Adjusted Score: 3147%
Critics Consensus: A tired, unfunny, offensive waste of time, Meet the Spartans scrapes the bottom of the cinematic barrel.
Synopsis: When Xerxes (Ken Davitian), the evil god king of Persia, sends his massive army to Sparta, King Leonidas (Sean Maguire)... [More]

#52
Adjusted Score: 5813%
Critics Consensus: With its shallow characters, low budget special effects, and mindless fight scenes, Mortal Kombat - Annihilation offers minimal plot development and manages to underachieve the low bar set by its predecessor.
Synopsis: Every generation, a portal opens up between the Outerworld and Earth. Emperor Shao-Kahn (Brian Thompson), ruler of the mythical Outerworld,... [More]
Directed By: John R. Leonetti

#51

King's Ransom (2005)
2%

#51
Adjusted Score: 3235%
Critics Consensus: Filled with crass dialogue, unlikable characters, and overdone slapstick gags, King's Ransom is an utterly inept would-be comedy.
Synopsis: When the rich and arrogant Malcolm King (Anthony Anderson) informs his wife, Renee (Kellita Smith), that he plans to divorce... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Byrd

#50

Texas Rangers (2001)
2%

#50
Adjusted Score: 2288%
Critics Consensus: As far as westerns go, Texas Rangers is strictly mediocre stuff.
Synopsis: Texas, 1875. In a land without justice, where chaos reigns, one legendary man, Leander McNelly (Dylan McDermott), is chosen to... [More]
Directed By: Steve Miner

#49
#49
Adjusted Score: 2589%
Critics Consensus: Dull and unfunny, One For the Money wastes Katherine Heigl's talents on a stunningly generic comic thriller.
Synopsis: New Jersey native Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) has plenty of attitude, even if she is broke after six months of... [More]
Directed By: Julie Anne Robinson

#48

The In Crowd (2000)
2%

#48
Adjusted Score: 2659%
Critics Consensus: A dull, soapy potboiler that lacks the energy to qualify as a guilty pleasure, The In Crowd is undone by slow pacing, poor acting, and a stunning lack of originality.
Synopsis: Adrien Williams has spent time at a psychiatric hospital, learning to come to terms with a troubled past and is... [More]
Directed By: Mary Lambert

#47

Crossover (2006)
2%

#47
Adjusted Score: 3097%
Critics Consensus: This heartfelt but incompetent, cliche-ridden sports picture is the cinematic equivalent of an airball.
Synopsis: The lives of a gifted athlete (Wesley Jonathan) and his best friend (Anthony Mackie) change when they take a fateful... [More]

#46

Epic Movie (2007)
2%

#46
Adjusted Score: 3158%
Critics Consensus: A crude comedy with nothing new or insightful to say about the subjects it satirizes.
Synopsis: Four adult orphans (Kal Penn, Adam Campbell, Faune Chambers, Jayma Mays) have an incredible adventure in a spoof of blockbuster... [More]

#45

Left Behind (2014)
1%

#45
Adjusted Score: 3289%
Critics Consensus: Yea verily, like unto a plague of locusts, Left Behind hath begat a further scourge of devastation upon Nicolas Cage's once-proud filmography.
Synopsis: The entire planet is thrown into mayhem when millions of people disappear without a trace -- all that remains are... [More]
Directed By: Vic Armstrong

#44

Disaster Movie (2008)
1%

#44
Adjusted Score: 3318%
Critics Consensus: Returning to their seemingly bottomless well of flatulence humor, racial stereotypes, and stale pop culture gags, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have produced what is arguably their worst Movie yet.
Synopsis: During a fateful night, a group of impossibly attractive 20-somethings (Matt Lanter, Vanessa Minnillo, Kim Kardashian) must dodge a series... [More]

#43

Daddy Day Camp (2007)
1%

#43
Adjusted Score: 3878%
Critics Consensus: A mirthless, fairly desperate family film, Daddy Day Camp relies too heavily on bodily functions for comedic effect, resulting in plenty of cheap gags but no laughs.
Synopsis: Spurred on by their wives' insistence that their children attend summer camp, daycare entrepreneurs Charlie Hinton (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and... [More]
Directed By: Fred Savage

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 3943%
Critics Consensus: An ill-concieved attempt to utilize Dana Carvey's talent for mimicry, The Master of Disguise is an irritating, witless farce weighted down by sophomoric gags.
Synopsis: Pistachio Disguisey (Dana Carvey), a genial waiter at his father Frabbrizio's (James Brolin) Italian restaurant, possesses an uncanny knack for... [More]
Directed By: Perry Andelin Blake

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 5497%
Critics Consensus: Inept on almost every level, Alone in the Dark may not work as a thriller, but it's good for some head-slapping, incredulous laughter.
Synopsis: When the investigations of supernatural detective Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) lead him to uncover a long-lost tribe called the Abskani,... [More]
Directed By: Uwe Boll

#40

Twisted (2004)
1%

#40
Adjusted Score: 5579%
Critics Consensus: An implausible, overheated potboiler that squanders a stellar cast, Twisted is a clichéd, risible whodunit.
Synopsis: Recently promoted and transferred to the homicide division, Inspector Jessica Shepard (Ashley Judd) feels pressure to prove herself -- and... [More]
Directed By: Philip Kaufman

#39

Dark Tide (2012)
0%

#39
Critics Consensus: Shallow and brackish, Dark Tide fails to rise.
Synopsis: A traumatized shark expert (Halle Berry) must battle her own fears to lead a thrill-seeking businessman on a dive into... [More]
Directed By: John Stockwell

#38

Stolen (2009)
0%

#38
Critics Consensus: With plot points Stolen from countless superior films, this would-be thriller squanders a solid cast on overly serious and suspense-free storytelling.
Synopsis: A detective (Jon Hamm) becomes obsessed with solving a child's 50-year-old murder, uncovering striking similarities between the case and his... [More]
Directed By: Anders Anderson

#37

Constellation (2005)
0%

#37
Critics Consensus: Though earnestly directed, Constellation lacks dramatic fireworks and eventually falls into TV-movie sentimentality.
Synopsis: The continuing legacy of a long-ago, interracial love affair forms the backdrop for a tale of an extended Southern family's... [More]

#36

Folks! (1992)
0%

#36
Adjusted Score: 938%
Critics Consensus: Don't watch this alleged comedy looking for more than pained performances in support of ill-advised ageist jokes, because that's all Folks! has to offer.
Synopsis: When Jon (Tom Selleck), a well-heeled professional, visits his mother, Mildred (Anne Jackson), in the hospital, he's unaware of how... [More]
Directed By: Ted Kotcheff

#35
Adjusted Score: 923%
Critics Consensus: Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol sends a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths.
Synopsis: Feeling that his squad is not up to snuff, a police commander comes up with an unorthodox plan to hire... [More]
Directed By: Jim Drake

#34

Simon Sez (1999)
0%

#34
Adjusted Score: 28%
Critics Consensus: Simon Sez no matter how starved you are for something to watch, there has to be a better option than this dreadfully misguided action thriller.
Synopsis: Interpol agent Simon (Dennis Rodman) is gathering information about the weapons trade on the French Riviera and trying to pinpoint... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Elders

#33

Precious Cargo (2016)
0%

#33
Adjusted Score: 463%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: To get back in the good graces of her murderous boss (Bruce Willis), a seductive thief (Claire Forlani) recruits an... [More]
Directed By: Max Adams

#32

Max Steel (2016)
0%

#32
Adjusted Score: 396%
Critics Consensus: Bereft of characterization or even satisfying rock 'em sock 'em, Max Steel feels like futzing with an action figure without any childhood imagination.
Synopsis: Teenager Max McGrath (Ben Winchell) discovers that his body can generate the most powerful energy in the universe. Steel (Josh... [More]
Directed By: Stewart Hendler

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 663%
Critics Consensus: A trifecta of failure for writer-director-star Keenen Ivory Wayans, A Low Down Dirty Shame lives repeatedly and resolutely down to its title.
Synopsis: After hitting a wall in his case against drug kingpin Ernesto Mendoza (Andrew Divoff), private eye Andre Shame (Keenen Ivory... [More]
Directed By: Keenen Ivory Wayans

#30

Transylmania (2009)
0%

#30
Critics Consensus: Never aiming higher than threadbare jokes and offensive attempts at politically incorrect humor, Transylmania is a vampire comedy that truly sucks.
Synopsis: College students arrive at a Romanian castle for a semester abroad, unaware that the place is infested with vampires.... [More]

#29
#29
Critics Consensus: This overly wacky farce strains for sophistication but lacks polish and a coherent narrative.
Synopsis: A gay man (Stanislas Merhar) tells a woman (Jane Birkin) impersonating a psychiatrist that he witnessed a murder.... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Litvack

#28
#28
Critics Consensus: Respected director Chen Kaige's first English-language film is a spectacularly misguided erotic thriller, with ludicrous plot twists and cringe-worthy dialogue.
Synopsis: A woman (Heather Graham) grows suspicious of her controlling husband (Joseph Fiennes) after she discovers secrets about the women in... [More]
Directed By: Chen Kaige

#27

Bolero (1984)
0%

#27
Adjusted Score: 1185%
Critics Consensus: Bolero combines a ludicrous storyline and wildly mismatched cast in its desperate attempts to titillate, but only succeeds in arousing boredom.
Synopsis: A 1920s English heiress (Bo Derek) seeks ecstasy with a sheik in Morocco and a bullfighter (Andrea Occhipinti) in Spain.... [More]
Directed By: John Derek

#26

Homecoming (2009)
0%

#26
Adjusted Score: 20%
Critics Consensus: A lazy collection of obsession thriller clichés, Homecoming will leave viewers wishing they'd opted for a lopsided football game and some awkward dancing instead.
Synopsis: A jealous woman (Mischa Barton) plots revenge after her former beau (Matt Long) returns to their hometown with a pretty... [More]
Directed By: Morgan J. Freeman

#25
Adjusted Score: 1150%
Critics Consensus: There should have been only one.
Synopsis: In this sci-fi/fantasy sequel, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) has become an elderly man after losing his immortality. Living in a... [More]
Directed By: Russell Mulcahy

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 728%
Critics Consensus: The Disappointments Room lives down to its title with a thrill-free thriller that presumably left its stars filled with regret - and threatens to do the same for audiences.
Synopsis: Dana (Kate Beckinsale), her husband David and their 5-year-old son Lucas start a new life after moving from the hustle... [More]
Directed By: D.J. Caruso

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 1423%
Critics Consensus: Look Who's Talking Now: Look away.
Synopsis: James (John Travolta) and Mollie Ubriacco (Kirstie Alley) are expanding the family again, this time with Rocks the mutt (Danny... [More]
Directed By: Tom Ropelewski

#22

Staying Alive (1983)
0%

#22
Adjusted Score: 1858%
Critics Consensus: This sequel to Saturday Night Fever is shockingly embarrassing and unnecessary, trading the original's dramatic depth for a series of uninspired dance sequences.
Synopsis: Six years after his glittering triumph in the disco dance contest of "Saturday Night Fever," an older and wiser Tony... [More]
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

#21

Redline (2007)
0%

#21
Adjusted Score: 293%
Critics Consensus: Redline has plenty of bad acting, laughable dialogue, and luxury cars.
Synopsis: Natasha (Nadia Bjorlin) is an aspiring singer and an ace driver. She gets a gig illegally racing flashy sports cars... [More]
Directed By: Andy Cheng

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 4168%
Critics Consensus: Rather than exciting audiences with a thrilling race against time, Shadow Conspiracy suggests there may be a secret cabal duping talented actors into selecting woefully deficient scripts.
Synopsis: Presidential aide Bobby Bishop (Charlie Sheen) runs into an old professor who tells him of a secret plot to assassinate... [More]
Directed By: George P. Cosmatos

#19

Cabin Fever (2016)
0%

#19
Adjusted Score: 929%
Critics Consensus: No need for a quarantine -- enthusiasm for this inert remake is not contagious.
Synopsis: Fresh out of college, five friends (Nadine Crocker, Matthew Daddario, Samuel Davis) face the horrors of a flesh-eating virus while... [More]
Directed By: Travis Z

#18

3 Strikes (2000)
0%

#18
Adjusted Score: 285%
Critics Consensus: 3 Strikes lacks direction and its low-brow humor isn't even that funny.
Synopsis: Rob Douglas (Brian Hooks) is just released from jail. The state adopts a "3 strikes" rule for felons that involves... [More]
Directed By: D.J. Pooh

#17

Wagons East! (1994)
0%

#17
Adjusted Score: 99%
Critics Consensus: Wagons East! is a witless, toothless satire of Westerns that falls far below the standard set by Blazing Saddles, and is notable only for being John Candy's final screen performance.
Synopsis: When a group of dissatisfied settlers decides they've had enough of the Wild West, they hire James Harlow (John Candy),... [More]
Directed By: Peter Markle

#16

Problem Child (1990)
0%

#16
Adjusted Score: 1523%
Critics Consensus: Mean-spirited and hopelessly short on comic invention, Problem Child is a particularly unpleasant comedy, one that's loaded with manic scenery chewing and juvenile pranks.
Synopsis: Ben (John Ritter) is a good-hearted guy who's always wanted a son of his own, but so far he and... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Dugan

#15
Adjusted Score: 1775%
Critics Consensus: Despite its lush tropical scenery and attractive leads, Return to the Blue Lagoon is as ridiculous as its predecessor, and lacks the prurience and unintentional laughs that might make it a guilty pleasure.
Synopsis: When widow Sarah Hargrave (Lisa Pelikan) washes ashore on a tropical island with her daughter and adopted son, she learns... [More]
Directed By: William A. Graham

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 358%
Critics Consensus: Misguided, misconceived, and misbegotten on every level, The Nutcracker in 3D is a stunning exercise in astonishing cinematic wrong-headedness.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring: Unknown Actor
Directed By: Andreas Morell

#13

London Fields (2018)
0%

#13
Adjusted Score: 1298%
Critics Consensus: London Fields bungles its beloved source material and an intriguingly eclectic cast, leaving audiences with a would-be neo-noir of interest only to the morbidly curious.
Synopsis: Clairvoyant femme fatale Nicola Six has been living with a dark premonition of her impending death by murder. She begins... [More]
Directed By: Mathew Cullen

#12

Stratton (2017)
0%

#12
Adjusted Score: 1313%
Critics Consensus: Stratton's action-thriller ambitions are roundly thwarted by a derivative story, misguided casting, and a low-budget feel underscored by unimpressive set pieces.
Synopsis: After the death of his American counterpart, an MI6 agent and his team must race against time to stop a... [More]
Directed By: Simon West

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 1826%
Critics Consensus: Every bit as lazily offensive as its cast and concept would suggest, The Ridiculous Six is standard couch fare for Adam Sandler fanatics and must-avoid viewing for film enthusiasts of every other persuasion.
Synopsis: White Knife, an orphan raised by Native Americans, discovers that five outlaws are actually his half-brothers. Together, they set out... [More]
Directed By: Frank Coraci

#10

Dark Crimes (2016)
0%

#10
Adjusted Score: 1377%
Critics Consensus: Dark Crimes is a rote, unpleasant thriller that fails to parlay its compelling true story and a committed Jim Carrey performance into even modest chills.
Synopsis: A hard-boiled detective becomes suspicious of an author when the incidents described in his hit novel resemble the inner-workings of... [More]
Directed By: Alexandros Avranas

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 2745%
Critics Consensus: Illogical, tension-free, and filled with cut-rate special effects, Jaws: The Revenge is a sorry chapter in a once-proud franchise.
Synopsis: The family of widow Ellen Brody (Lorraine Gary) has long been plagued by shark attacks, and this unfortunate association continues... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Sargent

#8
Adjusted Score: 2191%
Critics Consensus: This Crime is punishment.
Synopsis: Two men and a woman plan the heist of the century before a government-broadcast signal wipes out crime forever.... [More]
Directed By: Olivier Megaton

#7

Gold Diggers (2003)
0%

#7
Adjusted Score: 728%
Critics Consensus: It aspires to Farrelly-level offensiveness, but the PG-13 rating and a dearth of decent gags renders Gold Diggers tame, toothless, and dull.
Synopsis: Calvin (Will Friedle) and Leonard (Chris Owen), two broke losers, are arrested for trying to rob rich old sisters Doris... [More]
Directed By: Gary Preisler

#6
Adjusted Score: 902%
Critics Consensus: A startling lack of taste pervades Superbabies, a sequel offering further proof that bad jokes still aren't funny when coming from the mouths of babes.
Synopsis: Toddlers use their special abilities to stop a media mogul (Jon Voight) from altering the minds of children.... [More]
Directed By: Bob Clark

#5

Pinocchio (2002)
0%

#5
Adjusted Score: 1085%
Critics Consensus: Roberto Benigni misfires wildly with this adaptation of Pinocchio, and the result is an unfunny, poorly-made, creepy vanity project.
Synopsis: A woodcarver creates a puppet (Roberto Benigni) that longs to become a real boy.... [More]
Directed By: Roberto Benigni

#4

Gotti (2018)
0%

#4
Adjusted Score: 2727%
Critics Consensus: Fuhgeddaboudit.
Synopsis: Raised on the streets of New York, young John Gotti found his way into the Gambino crime family, eventually having... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Connolly

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 1776%
Critics Consensus: Dated jokes (A Thousand Words was shot in 2008) and removing Eddie Murphy's voice -- his greatest comedic asset -- dooms this painful mess from the start.
Synopsis: Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy) is a selfish literary agent whose fast-talking ways allow him to close any deal. His next... [More]
Directed By: Brian Robbins

#2

One Missed Call (2008)
0%

#2
Adjusted Score: 2623%
Critics Consensus: One of the weakest entries in the J-horror remake sweepstakes, One Missed Call is undone by bland performances and shopworn shocks.
Synopsis: When Beth Raymond (Shannyn Sossamon) witnesses the deaths of two friends, she knows there is more at work than just... [More]
Directed By: Éric Valette

#1
Adjusted Score: 3471%
Critics Consensus: A startlingly inept film, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever offers overblown, wall-to-wall action without a hint of wit, coherence, style, or originality.
Synopsis: Haunted by the mysterious death of his wife, Jeremiah Ecks (Antonio Banderas) has become a recluse, but the former FBI... [More]
Directed By: Kaos

A few days ago, prompted by the disparity between the Audience Score and the Tomatometer for Ari Aster’s horror film Hereditary, we ran through a list of some critically acclaimed horror films that ended up generating a collective sigh from audiences. But what about when the situation is flipped? We thought it was worth taking a look at the opposite scenario, when movies that largely resonate well with audiences are savaged by critics.

We looked at a number of films with low Tomatometer ratings and high Audience Scores to determine what, if anything, might result in the critical dismissal of horror flicks that moviegoers hold near and dear to their hearts. There’s a bit of the occult, a dash of religious panic, and a few choices that are a little wacky. On top of that, we even discovered a few franchises that managed to defy expectations and consistently strike a chord with their fans over several installments, even as critics pooh-poohed them.

So read on to see what horror flicks you loved and critics didn’t, and let us know where you fall on the entries listed below. Then, go back and check out our list of movies that critics loved and audiences shunned to see if that matches your tastes any better!


Event Horizon (1997) 29%

Audience Score: 61%
Divide: 37 percentage points

Critics were not all that kind to this gruesome combination of space adventure and supernatural horror, but there’s no denying that the movie has become a cult classic of the modern era. Just mention this movie on Twitter and watch how many people respond!


Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008) 40%

Audience Score: 72%
Divide: 37 points

Filmmaker Darren Bousman probably doesn’t mind all that much that critics don’t love his offbeat, fan-friendly horror musical mash-ups, because his target audience sure does. Repo! has more than its fair share of vocal supporters, as does The Devil’s Carnival, which presently enjoys an 87% approval rating among movie watchers.


The Covenant (2006) 4%

Audience Score: 62%
Divide: 58 points

Now this one just boggles my mind. I like a whole lot of goofy horror films but I cannot image what 62% of the audience enjoyed about this patently ridiculous tale of four young warlocks who get up to no good. Then again, the movie is full of handsome young men, so perhaps that explains some of the audience approval.


The Reaping (2007) 8%

Audience Score: 49%
Divide: 41 points

One of those occult thrillers in which a professional skeptic who has seen it all finally faces something she cannot explain in a creepy location. Something that deals with biblical plagues. I think. Pretty sure I fell asleep during this one.


The Phantom of the Opera (2004) 33%

Audience Score: 84%
Divide: 51 points

Yes, the musical. It’s only tangentially a horror film but we had to include it because wow: 84% of the audience liked this adaptation? One can only assume that’s a lot of residual fandom and goodwill from people who adore the stage version — and of course the music — but one could also assert that those fans deserved a better cinematic adaptation. Maybe they’ll try again in a few years.


Stigmata (1999) 22%

Audience Score: 63%
Divide: 42 points

Horror fans enjoy nothing more than a truly horrific possession story, and while Stigmata didn’t win over all that many fans on the Tomatometer, the Audience Score remains inordinately high for this rarely-discussed occult story. (I do recall Patricia Arquette delivering a fantastic, punishing performance, but that’s about it.) Perhaps this film critic should take the advice of the Audience Score and give Stigmata a second spin.


House of 1000 Corpses (2003) 20%

Audience Score: 65%
Divide: 46 points

Rob Zombie is sort of the poster child for “fans dug it, but critics did not,” and it all began with his gruesome grindhouse-style debut. His second film, The Devil’s Rejects, fared slightly better, with a 53% Tomatometer, but then his Halloween remake (25% Tomatometer vs. 59% Audience Score) proved one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt: Mr. Zombie’s fans are nothing if not loyal, and very few film critics are big fans of the man’s films.


Idle Hands (1999) 15%

Audience Score: 58%
Divide: 42 points

Never try to apply logic to a certified cult flick. I remember not caring for this one when it played theaters, but somehow this bizarre horror-comedy about a slacker with a possessed hand has turned into a bona fide cable/Netflix favorite. It just goes to show that a movie may fail at the box office, and it may also fail to win critical acclaim, but if people like it enough, it can enjoy a very long afterlife.


Ravenous (1999) 49%

Audience Score: 78%
Divide: 33 points

This one really confuses me. I have yet to meet a film critic who dislikes this fascinating tale of war, cannibalism, and insanity, yet the Audience Score is clearly the one on the side of goodness and decency. Speaking as both a film critic and a horror nut, I cannot recommend this strangely engaging genre concoction highly enough. And get a load of that awesome score!


Saw (2004) 51%

Average Audience Score for the Saw Series: 64.4%
Average Tomatometer: 28.4%
Divide: 36 points

Wow! Talk about a disparity between critics and horror fans! I’m a film critic and a Saw fan but this surprised even me. Film critics have never particularly liked this franchise, but that hasn’t stopped fans from digging through every terrible trap, brutal betrayal, and ridiculous resurrection. The eight Saw movies hold an average Audience Score of 64.4%, which may not sound super impressive, but considering the average Tomatometer for the same films is 28.3%, it’s pretty solid.


Underworld (2003) 31%

Average Audience Score for the Underworld series: 65.2%
Average Tomatometer: 24.8%
Divide: 40.4 points

What? Film critics didn’t fall in love with a “werewolf vs. vampire” rendition of Romeo & Juliet set in a gloomy Gothic location? How weird! Granted, there’s a lot of down time scattered across this series, but there’s also some pretty decent action and some wildly indecipherable accents. Though some critics dug the first chapter, it gets pretty dire after that, and thanks to a pretty decent average Audience Score, we’re looking at a beefy 40-point differential for the entire franchise.


Resident Evil (2002) 36%

Average Audience Score for the Resident Evil series: 55.5%
Average Tomatometer: 27.7%
Divide: 27.8 points

This is the other Screen Gems franchise (after Underworld) that doesn’t even bother screening films for critics but brings in lots of money from movie theaters from all over the world. And yes, there’s definitely some fun to be found within this willfully wacky zombie action franchise. Unfortunately, while most of my colleagues don’t seem to agree with me on that last part, there are enough moviegoers who do, resulting in a nearly 28-point chasm.

Two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster returns to the big screen this weekend in the vigilante thriller The Brave One which has its sights set on an easy top spot debut. The frame’s only other wide openers, the comedy Mr. Woodcock and the fantasy adventure Dragon Wars, bring with them less buzz and look to make less of a dent into the North American box office.

Gunning for her third number one hit in as many years, Foster takes a darker role starring as a woman who takes the law into her own hands after her fiancé is brutally beaten and killed in the Warner Bros. drama The Brave One. The R-rated film from director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire) co-stars Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, and Mary Steenburgen and should play to an adult audience. Cross-gender appeal is strong here so this will not play out like a chick flick or a woman-in-peril film. Foster is one of very few women in Hollywood bankable enough to open pictures consistently year after year and she tends to pick projects with commercial viability in the first place. Gone are the Nell days.

The Brave One should play to the same crowd that came out for two other September thrillers led by fortysomething white women – Foster’s own Flightplan from 2005 and Julianne Moore‘s The Forgotten from a year earlier. Flightplan took off with $24.6M and a $7,193 average while Forgotten bowed to $21M and a $6,773 average. Brave carries a harsher R rating but that should not affect the grosses too much since most of the interest will come from those over 16 anyway. A more narrow release in 2,755 theaters will have an impact though. Marketing has been top notch and Foster has been making so many promotional appearances that you’d think her name were Hillary. Despite a bad title, The Brave One should still score a strong opening weekend in the number one spot and could gross about $22M over three days.




Jodie Foster is The Brave One.

Seann William Scott and Billy Bob Thornton compete over who has the best three names in the biz in the new comedy Mr. Woodcock. The PG-13 film finds a young man whose life is traumatized when his mother decides to marry his old nemesis, the junior high gym teacher. The New Line release does offer up some starpower from the two leads plus Susan Sarandon as the remarrying mom. Hopes are for a wide age range to take interest. But the buzz around the picture is not too strong and it is not exactly at the top of the must-see list at this moment for teens and young adults. The Thornton-Sarandon crowd will be hard to reach with Jodie and Russell out there with high profile flicks for mature adults. Crashing into over 2,200 locations, Mr. Woodcock could debut with about $6M.


Billy Bob Thornton is Mr. Woodcock.

The forces of good and evil go at it once again in the new fantasy adventure Dragon Wars from Freestyle Releasing. The PG-13 pic hopes to tear young males away from their PlayStations, but with zero starpower and a light marketing push the grosses and averages will not fly too high. After a big wave of good summer action movies targeted this demo, a series of bad ones went after young guys too in recent weeks. That leaves little space at the multiplexes. Debuting in a curiously wide 2,000 theaters, Dragon Wars could collect about $4M this weekend.


The Korean sci-fi/thriller Dragon Wars a.k.a. D-War

Audiences have been upbeat on the Russell CroweChristian Bale Western 3:10 to Yuma and its older skew should mean that the sophomore drop will not be too fierce. Plus competition for adult men is not very formidable. A 40% decline to $8.5M could result giving Lionsgate about $28M after ten days.

Halloween‘s freefall means it will be out of theaters by the time trick-or-treating begins. A 55% drop would lead to a $4M frame and a 17-day tally of $50M. Superbad should continue its strong run with a 40% dip to $3M which would boost Sony’s total to $109M.

LAST YEAR: The Rock‘s football drama Gridiron Gang from Sony led a batch of new films with a debut of $14.4M which was good enough to clinch first place. Opening in second and playing to a more mature adult audience was The Black Dahlia with $10M for Universal. Final grosses reached $38.4M and $22.5M. Bowing poorly in third was the baseball toon Everyone’s Hero with $6.1M for Fox on its way to just $14.5M. Sony’s teen thriller The Covenant dropped from first to fourth with $4.8M while Paramount’s The Last Kiss opened quietly in fifth with $4.6M leading to a $11.6M final.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Apparently, Screen Gems was serious about doing that remake of The Stepfather.

Last night, Variety issued a report announcing that Nelson McCormick has been tapped to direct the new Stepfather, which is being written by Joe Cardone (The Covenant) and is slated for a 2008 release.

As fans of ’80s horror flicks no doubt recall, the 1987 original starred Terry O’Quinn in the title role as a psychopath whose obsession with the perfect family leads to all sorts of untimely deaths (and — not coincidentally — awful sequels, including 1989’s Stepfather 2: Make Room for Daddy and 1992’s abominable Stepfather 3: Father’s Day). In an interesting twist, it appears the remake will swap out the original’s nubile teenage stepdaughter for a distrustful teenage stepson.

McCormick clearly has an interest in directing remakes of ’80s horror movies — he just finished work on a new version of Prom Night, which is, you guessed it, being handled by Screen Gems.

Source: Variety

Batman takes on Cinderella Man at the box office as the Russell CroweChristian Bale Western remake 3:10 to Yuma heads into the multiplexes over what is traditionally a tumbleweed weekend in the marketplace. More action comes in the form of Shoot ‘Em Up which pits Clive Owen against Paul Giamatti while those craving comedy get the new laugher The Brothers Solomon. With summer gone and most students back in school, Hollywood has decided to roll out nothing but R-rated films this weekend.

Hoping to bounce back from last year’s critical and commercial disaster A Good Year, Oscar winner Russell Crowe leads the charge and aims for his first trip to the number one spot in nearly four years with 3:10 to Yuma. Directed by James Mangold (Walk the Line), the update on the 1957 semi-classic finds Bale playing a down-on-his-luck family man who takes the job of delivering a captured outlaw (Crowe) to the authorities. Having two strong actors face each other on screen is
usually a good thing and here the starpower should help bring in audiences. Reviews have been solid and since this genre plays to a more mature adult audience, the opinions of critics will make a big difference. The marketing push from Lionsgate has been commendable and with few other interesting new choices out there, Yuma should carve out its own space. Heading into 2,652 theaters, 3:10 to Yuma could open with roughly $14M over the Friday-to-Sunday period.


Russell Crowe and Peter Fonda in 3:10 to Yuma.

For cinemagoers who want even more bullets flying across their screens, New Line is offering up the modern-day crime thriller Shoot ‘Em Up. The R-rated film stars Clive Owen as the good guy on the run, Paul Giamatti as the bad guy with a gun, and Monica Bellucci as a hooker out for fun. Just as with Yuma, the film will skew more male but will probably play a bit younger. Competition will be a big factor since the pic has some big guns it’s going up against. Starpower is also lacking as the actors, though well-respected creatively, are not big ticket sellers as leads. Opening nationally, Shoot ‘Em Up might debut to about $8M this weekend.


Paul Giamatti, in a strict departure from his Lady in the Water character.

Will Forte and Will Arnett, two funnymen with little pull at the box office, team up for the new comedy The Brothers Solomon from Sony. The R-rated pic from director Bob Odenkirk (Let’s Go To Prison) finds the two playing siblings on a wacky quest to fulfill their dying father’s wish of having a grandson. With little starpower, the film is not likely to score much business over the weekend as most interested fans will wait for the DVD. Opening in about 650 locations, The Brothers Solomon could bow to less than $2M.


The Wills (Forte and Arnett) in The Brothers Solomon.

After its record-breaking opening weekend, Halloween should fall sharply in the sophomore session since intense fan interest brought out everyone upfront. The three-day gross could drop by 60% to about $11M giving MGM and The Weinstein Company $45M after ten days. With the new action titles likely to skew older, Superbad could be in for another solid frame. A 45% dip to around $7M may be in order giving McLovin and gang a cume of $102M.

LAST YEAR: The worst box office weekend of 2006 was led by the modest opening of the thriller The Covenant which debuted with only $8.9M which was enough to capture the crown. The Sony pic went on to gross $23.3M overall. Opening with weak results in second was the Ben Affleck starrer Hollywoodland with only $5.9M on its way to $14.4M for Focus. Following two weeks at number one, the football drama Invincible dropped to third with $5.6M for Buena Vista. The Weinstein Company’s Thai actioner The Protector premiered in fourth with $5M leading to only $12M. The Jason Statham action pic Crank ranked fifth with $4.9M for Lionsgate.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Ashton Kutcher ambushed the top two spots at the North American box office this weekend playing an animated mule and a Coast Guard rookie in Open Season and The Guardian, respectively. Both films enjoyed strong openings pumping in a combined $40M and helped the marketplace beat last year’s levels for the first time in four weeks. The weekend’s other new wide release, the comedy School for Scoundrels, saw more modest results with a fourth place bow.

Sony claimed its usual position atop the charts with the animated comedy Open Season which brought in an estimated $23M in ticket sales over the weekend. Hunting moviegoers in an ultrawide 3,833 theaters, the PG-rated film about funny forest animals fighting off hunters averaged a strong $6,001 per site. Open Season marked the first venture from the studio’s new in-house animation division which will compete in the years ahead with dominant players in CG toons like Pixar and DreamWorks. Martin Lawrence and Kutcher led the voice cast.

Sony research showed that 77% of the crowd consisted of parents with children under the age of 12, while girls were a bigger force making up 56% of the audience. A high 89% marked the film "excellent" or "very good". With strong exit polls and the Columbus Day school holiday coming up next week, the $85M film hopes to last throughout the month of October. For the studio, it was Sony’s record eleventh number one opening of the year. Of the company’s twenty film releases in the first nine months of 2006, half have debuted north of $20M.

Kutcher’s face and body showed up in the weekend’s number two film, the Coast Guard action drama The Guardian, which opened with an estimated $17.7M. Also starring Kevin Costner, the Buena Vista release averaged a solid $5,451 per theater from 3,241 sites. The starpower helped bring in moviegoers who in turn liked the film. The Guardian earned an impressive CinemaScore grade of A-. Studio research showed that 50% of the crowd was in the 26-49 age bracket while males outnumbered the ladies with 53% of the audience. For Costner, who has not been a major box office force in over a decade, it was actually his best opening since Waterworld‘s $21.2M debut in 1995. Kutcher has seen many films debut in the same ballpark like The Butterfly Effect with $17.1M, Just Married with $17.5M, and Guess Who with $20.7M.

Falling an understandable 52% from its top spot debut, Jackass: Number Two finished the weekend in third place with an estimated $14M. With $51.5M in ten days, the $12M production should deliver $70-75M for Paramount plus healthy DVD revenue down the road. The first Jackass film grossed $42.1M in its first ten days on its way to a $64.3M cume in 2002.

Earning passing grades in fourth place was the Billy Bob ThorntonJon Heder comedy School for Scoundrels which opened to an estimated $9.1M. Playing in 3,004 theaters, the PG-13 film about a young loser who seeks advice from an older pro on how to get women averaged a mild $3,032 per site. Reviews were not too encouraging for the MGM release.

Jet Li‘s Fearless dropped a steep 56% in its second weekend and placed fifth with an estimated $4.7M. The action star’s "final" martial arts epic has grossed $17.8M in ten days and looks headed for about $26M. Each of Li’s last five films also fell by more than half on its sophomore frame.

Sony’s football drama Gridiron Gang fell 52% to an estimated $4.5M pushing its cume to $33.2M. Enjoying the smallest decline in the top ten for the fourth consecutive weekend was the sleeper hit The Illusionist with $2.8M, off only 15%, for a total of $31.5M for Yari Film Group. MGM’s fighter pilot adventure Flyboys tumbled 61% in its second weekend to an estimated $2.3M. With only $9.9M in ten days, a final take of around $14M seems likely.

Yet another period drama The Black Dahlia followed with an estimated $2.1M, down 54%, giving Universal only $20.7M to date. Rounding out the top ten with the biggest cume on the list was indie sensation Little Miss Sunshine with an estimated $2M, off 28%, for a total of $53.2M for Fox Searchlight. The acclaimed comedy has now matched megablockbusters Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, The Da Vinci Code, and Cars by spending seven consecutive weekends in the top ten.

A pair of critically-acclaimed dramas about world leaders opened to fantastic results in limited release. Miramax launched its Helen Mirren starrer The Queen on Saturday and grossed an estimated $123,000 from just three New York theaters for a potent two-day average of $41,000. The story of Queen Elizabeth II after the death of Princess Diana was double-screened at a pair of the arthouse venues and opened a day later than usual since on Friday it screened as the opening night film of the New York Film Festival. Mirren won the Best Actress prize at the Venice International Film Festival and is considered a major contender for an Oscar nod.

Also a likely Academy Award nominee, but for the Best Actor trophy, was Forest Whitaker whose new film The Last King of Scotland debuted powerfully with an estimated $143,000 over three days from only four venues in New York and Los Angeles. The Fox Searchlight release finds Whitaker playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the early 1970s. Since its Wednesday launch, Scotland has grossed $172,000 in five days and will expand into the top ten markets on Friday before spreading nationally on October 20.

Posting a respectable debut in moderate national release was the football drama Facing the Giants which collected an estimated $1.4M from 441 theaters for a mild $3,150 average. The PG-rated pic about a coach who finds inspiration from God was released by Destination Films and Samuel Goldwyn Films.

Warner Independent Pictures expanded its Michel Gondry pic The Science of Sleep from 14 to 221 theaters nationwide and grossed an estimated $1.2M. Averaging a solid $5,475 per location, the R-rated drama lifted its sum to $1.7M. Lionsgate widened its doc The U.S. vs. John Lennon grossing an estimated $210,000 from 57 sites for a moderate $3,684 average. Cume stands at $361,000.

Three films dropped out of the top ten this weekend. Sony’s big fall flop All the King’s Men crumbled 56% in its second weekend to an estimated $1.6M giving the political drama a puny $6.3M in ten days. Rejected by audiences, the Sean Penn flick should finish its run quickly with a horrendous $9M. The studio’s supernatural teen thriller The Covenant fell 59% to an estimated $1.3M and upped its total to $22.2M. A $25M final should result for the $20M production. Fox’s baseball toon Everyone’s Hero got crushed by the arrival of Open Season and sank 79% to an estimated $1M. With a modest $13.2M thus far, the animated film could end up with only $15M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $82.2M which was up 15% from last year when Flightplan remained at number one with $14.8M; but down 17% from 2004 when Shark Tale opened in the top spot with a fierce $47.6M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Young men returned to theaters in droves and powered the crude new stunts sequel Jackass: Number Two to the number one spot with the biggest opening weekend of any film in the past seven weeks. The martial arts actioner Fearless debuted impressively in second place playing to young men as well, but the new older-skewing period dramas Flyboys and All the King’s Men were mostly ignored.

Holdovers enjoyed small declines as the overall marketplace bounced back after two dismal weeks, even though ticket sales failed to reach last year’s levels for the third consecutive weekend.

Paramount scored a major victory with the chart-topping performance of Jackass: Number Two which grossed an estimated $28.1M in its first weekend in theaters. Crashing into 3,059 locations, the R-rated comedy averaged a stellar $9,188 per theater. Its predecessor, Jackass: The Movie, was a surprise number one hit in October 2002 with a $22.8M bow from 2,509 theaters and a similar $9,073 average. It went on to gross a fantastic $64.3M from a slim $5M budget. Number Two was produced for just under $12M and looks to become another highly profitable title for the studio proving that the franchise is still alive and well. The films are based on the popular MTV prank series.

With six historical films in the top ten, young movie fans were not in the mood to learn about yesterday and instead chose the immature and outrageous antics of present day jokester Johnny Knoxville and pals. Studio research showed that young men were the core audience, as expected. Those under the age of 25 made up a hefty 70% of the crowd and males accounted for 65%. Jackass also delivered the second biggest opening of the year for an R film trailing the $29M bow of March’s Inside Man. Critics were surprisingly upbeat with their reviews of Number Two.

Jet Li‘s Fearless flew into the number two spot over the weekend opening to an estimated $10.6M from 1,808 theaters with a solid $5,843 average. The PG-13 film about China’s most famous fighter from a century ago was marketed as the action star’s final martial arts picture ever and helped to get his loyal fan base out into the theaters. The Focus release marks Li’s seventh consecutive film to debut with an opening weekend average of more than $5,000. Critics were quite pleased with the Mandarin-language picture. Fearless opened in Hong Kong and most of Asia early this year and has kicked its way into other major markets like Australia, New Zealand, and France in recent weeks.

Dropping from first to third was The Rock‘s football drama Gridiron Gang which grossed an estimated $9.7M in its second play. The Sony sports flick held up exceptionally well considering the weekend’s formidable competition for male dollars and slipped only 33%. The Rock’s movies usually fall by at least 45% in their sophomore frames. After ten days, the $30M feel-good film has grossed $27.2M and should rush past the $50M mark domestically. Even though Gridiron began with the weakest opening ever for the actor, it looks to become his highest grossing film since 2002’s The Scorpion King ($90.5M) thanks to strong legs and positive word-of-mouth.

MGM’s Flyboys took off in fourth place with an estimated $6M from 2,033 theaters. The PG-13 pic about American fighter pilots during World War I averaged a mild $2,957 per theater. Starring James Franco, the adventure film skewed older as a very high 73% of the audience was over the age of 30. Men made up 59% of the crowd and reviews were not too favorable. Flyboys is the third consecutive period drama in as many weeks that has failed to excite today’s moviegoing public following disappointing results from competing Los Angeles-based murder mysteries The Black Dahlia and Hollywoodland.

A pair of not-so-strong sophomores followed. The animated baseball flick Everyone’s Hero grossed an estimated $4.8M, down just 22%, and raised its ten-day tally to $11.6M. Fox could finish with around $25M. Universal’s crime thriller The Black Dahlia crumbled 56% to an estimated $4.4M dropping from second place to sixth. The $60M Brian De Palma entry has taken in just $17.3M and might end up with a disappointing $25M as well.

Sony saw low voter turnout for its political thriller All the King’s Men which was defeated in a landslide this weekend opening to a poor $3.8M, according to estimates. Averaging a weak $2,510 from 1,514 locations, the PG-13 film stars Sean Penn as an outspoken politician who runs for governor of Louisiana. Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins and James Gandolfini co-star. The studio had high hopes for this remake of a Best Picture Oscar winner, but instead met with awful reviews across the board from critics which helped to fuel negative buzz. Only older adults had interest as studio research showed that a whopping 75% of the audience was 35 or older and 53% were women. All the King’s Men is just the latest in a series of historical films that Hollywood has been rolling out this fall that have had moviegoers yawning.

The supernatural chiller The Covenant dropped only 31% to an estimated $3.3M with a sum of $20.3M for Sony. For the fourth consecutive weekend, the long-lasting hits The Illusionist and Little Miss Sunshine ranked back-to-back on the charts. Yari Film Group’s Vienna-set mystery eased a scant 10% to an estimated $3.3M pushing its total to $27.5M. Fox Searchlight’s comedy smash slipped just 13% to an estimated $2.9M lifting the cume to $50.3M.

In limited release action, Warner Independent saw stellar results from its surreal drama The Science of Sleep which bowed to an estimated $347,000 from only 14 theaters for a sparkling $24,786 average. Directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), the R-rated film scored good reviews and will expand to over 200 theaters on Friday in most major markets. Miramax saw a so-so start for its animated noir Renaissance which debuted to an estimated $10,000 from a pair of solo engagements in New York and Los Angeles for a mild $5,200 average.

Four more pictures were pushed out of the top ten this weekend. Two-time chart-topper Invincible grossed an estimated $2.6M in its fifth session. Off 36%, the Mark Wahlberg football pic has collected a solid $54.8M to date and might end up with around $60M for Buena Vista. The Zach Braff comedy The Last Kiss grossed an estimated $2.5M, down 45%, putting its ten-day total at a puny $8.5M. A final take of roughly $15M seems likely.

The murder mystery Hollywoodland fell 46% in its third frame to an estimated $1.5M for Focus. With only $12.9M in the bank, look for a weak $16M conclusion to its case. Lionsgate’s action thriller Crank tumbled 56% to an estimated $1.2M for a $26.6M cume. The Jason Statham pic should reach about $29M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $76.8M which was down 9% from last year when Flightplan debuted at number one with $24.6M; but up a healthy 38% from 2004 when The Forgotten opened in the top spot with $21M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Wrestler-turned-actor The Rock suffered the worst opening of his career with the football drama Gridiron Gang, but thanks to weak competition, it was still enough to capture the number one position at the North American box office.

The new murder mystery The Black Dahlia bowed in second place with moderate results, but fellow freshmen Everyone’s Hero and The Last Kiss both failed to excite moviegoers. For the first time in over a year, only three movies were able to gross more than $5M during the frame. Overall ticket sales rose slightly from last weekend’s dismal showing, but still managed to post the second worst performance of 2006 giving the fall season a worrisome start.

For the third time in the last four weekends, football ruled the box office as Gridiron Gang topped the charts with an estimated $15M kickoff. Playing extremely wide in 3,504 theaters, the PG-13 drama averaged a decent $4,281 per site and gave The Rock the fifth number one opener of his career, but also his smallest debut ever. The action star continued to see diminishing returns on opening weekend with Gang which followed last fall’s Doom ($15.5M), 2004’s remake of Walking Tall ($15.5M), The Rundown ($18.5M) in 2003, and 2002’s The Scorpion King ($36.1M). The Rock also saw a $23.5M bow for 2005’s John Travolta flick Be Cool, but his comedic turn was only a supporting role.

In Gridiron Gang, the charismatic actor plays a juvenile detention camp counselor who inspires delinquent kids by coaching them in football. Budgeted at about $30M, the pic played to a younger and more male audience, as expected. Studio research showed that 52% of the crowd consisted of guys and 55% was under the age of 25. Reviews were not very good.

For Sony, Gang’s top spot bow marked the tenth number one opening of the year for the studio setting a new industry record. Having already banked over $1 billion in box office this year, Sony aims to extend its record performance with promising sequels like The Grudge 2 and Casino Royale which debut in October and November, respectively. The studio has opened a whopping 18 films so far in 2006, the most of any distributor. It has placed films in the top ten in all but two weekends this year.

September is often the worst month of the year at the box office as people shift their attention to other distractions like a new school year, a new television season, and the return of NFL football. But this year, the late summer and early fall have been especially slow at theaters. Over the past two months, only one film (Talladega Nights) has managed to open north of $30M. Four films did the deed during the same period in each of the last two years while five surpassed that mark in 2003.

Universal debuted its new crime thriller The Black Dahlia in second place with an estimated $10.4M. Playing in about 1,300 fewer theaters than Gridiron Gang, the Brian De Palma-directed pic averaged a moderate $4,655 per location giving it the best average among all the weekend’s wide releases. Starring Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, and Hilary Swank, Dahlia played to a mature adult audience with its tale of the investigation behind the brutal murder of a Hollywood starlet in the 1940s. The $60M film needed strong reviews to score with its target audience, but was met with little support from critics. In fact, the film scored only a 30% rating on RottenTomatoes.com’s critic scale which was even lower than Gridiron Gang’s 43%.

The weekend’s two other new national releases were mostly ignored by moviegoers. Fox opened its animated baseball kidpic Everyone’s Hero to an estimated $6.2M from a very wide 2,896 theaters. Co-directed by the late Christopher Reeve, the G-rated film averaged a soft $2,124 per site. 2006 has seen nearly a dozen toons invade the multiplexes. Hero’s opening ranks as the second worst of the year for an animated pic trailing only Doogal‘s $3.6M launch in February.

Paramount quietly opened its DreamWorks romantic comedy The Last Kiss in fourth place with only $4.7M, according to estimates. Landing in a mere 1,357 theaters, the R-rated film starring Zach Braff as a soon-to-be-dad with jitters averaged a mild $3,465 per location. Reviews were mixed.

Falling from first place was the supernatural teen thriller The Covenant which grossed an estimated $4.7M as well, off 47% from its debut. With $15.7M collected in ten days, Sony’s $20M pic could end its run with $24-26M. Another former number one, Buena Vista’s football drama Invincible, placed sixth with an estimated $3.9M, down only 31%, lifting the total to $50.9M.

A pair of solid word-of-mouth hits from smaller distributors followed. Yari Film Group’s period mystery The Illusionist slipped just 17% to an estimated $3.8M in its third weekend of wide release and upped its cume to $23.3M. Fox Searchlight’s indie hit Little Miss Sunshine became the company’s second-biggest grosser of all-time this weekend taking in an estimated $3.4M, down just 22%, raising the sum to $46.4M. The distributor’s only bigger hit has been 2004’s Sideways with $71.5M thanks to a prolonged Oscar run.

The George Reeves murder mystery Hollywoodland fell sharply in its second weekend tumbling 54% to an estimated $2.7M. Suffering the worst decline in the top ten, the Focus release has taken in a disappointing $10.5M in ten days and looks headed for a quick finish with only $15-17M. Rounding out the top ten was the Jason Statham actioner Crank with an estimated $2.7M as well, down 45%, giving Lionsgate $24.4M to date.

Buena Vista offered sneak previews in 800 theaters on Saturday for its upcoming marine adventure The Guardian and drew a well-balanced audience with males slightly edging out the women with 51% of the crowd. The Ashton KutcherKevin Costner pic played to 70% capacity and will officially open on September 29 opposite Sony’s animal toon Open Season and MGM’s comedy School for Scoundrels.

Arthouses were flooded with new product this weekend as a number of films platformed in hopes of generating strong indie buzz. Lionsgate got off to a good start with its documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon which debuted in only six theaters and grossed an estimated $72,000 for a solid $12,000 average. The film expands on September 29 into more than ten additional markets.

Proving once again that he is not much of a box office draw without pirates or Hobbits around, Orlando Bloom‘s new revenge thriller Haven flopped in its debut grossing an estimated $38,000 from 24 sites for a dismal $1,588 average for Yari Film Group. Fox Searchlight also struggled with its new wedding mockumentary Confetti which debuted to an estimated $20,000 from a dozen sites for a poor $1,701 average. Both films still plan to expand this Friday with Haven widening to about 75 theaters and Confetti falling into over 130 playdates.

Four films dropped out of the top ten this weekend. The Thai action pic The Protector grossed an estimated $2.5M in its sophomore frame falling 51% from its opening. The Weinstein Co. has kicked up $9M in ten days and should end up with only $13-15M. Nicolas Cage‘s suspense thriller The Wicker Man dropped 48% to an estimated $2.1M pushing the cume to a lukewarm $20.7M. The Warner Bros. title looks to complete its run with around $25M.

The summer’s top-grossing comedy, Tallageda Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, slipped 34% to an estimated $2M in its seventh lap and boosted its stellar total to $145M. Sony’s Will Ferrell smash could cross the $150M line before calling it quits. Paramount’s Barnyard, another late-summer hit, grossed an estimated $1.6M while also in its seventh weekend. Down 40%, the animated entry has laughed up $69.1M thus far and is headed for $72-74M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $57.4M which was down 14% from last year when Just Like Heaven debuted at number one with $16.4M; and down 4% from 2004 when Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow opened in the top spot with $15.6M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Following the worst box office weekend in three years, Hollywood has nowhere to go but up. It hopes.

Four new pictures enter wide release on Friday led by the sports drama "Gridiron Gang" from Sony which is gunning for its tenth trip to the number one spot this year. Universal goes after an older crowd with the crime thriller "The Black Dahlia," Fox aims for kids with the animated film "Everyone’s Hero," and Paramount tries to court the adult date crowd with "The Last Kiss." Overall, the North American marketplace should bounce back from last weekend’s horrible showing, but only by a small margin.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson hopes to score the fifth number one opening of his career this weekend with the football saga "Gridiron Gang." The PG-13 film finds the wrestler-turned-actor playing a juvenile camp officer who assembles a pigskin squad in order to give lost kids some hope in life. Sony is targeting one of the most reliable moviegoing segments with "Gang" – urban youth. With a young and multicultural cast, plus a star in the lead role, this new film hopes to appeal to the same crowd that made hits out of other sports flicks like "Remember the Titans" and "Coach Carter." Of course, the star this time is not an Oscar-caliber actor. "Gang’s" marketing push has been strong and an ultrawide release will make the product available everywhere.


Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in "Gridiron Gang."

The Rock provides solid starpower, although his box office muscle in recent years has delivered openings in a very narrow range. Pics like "The Rundown," "Walking Tall," and "Doom" have all debuted within the $15-19M range. "Gridiron Gang’s" rating should open the doors to a wider audience and with the start of the NFL and college football seasons, the subject matter is very relevant at this time of year. Plus with a dead marketplace featuring choices that are exciting nobody, teens and young adults should find this one the only film worth rallying behind. Charging into 3,504 locations, "Gridiron Gang" will have no problem conquering the box office and could score around $17M this weekend.

Moviegoers opting for a trip back to the 1940s instead of a football pic can choose Brian De Palma‘s "The Black Dahlia" which Universal opens on Friday. The R-rated thriller stars Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart as Los Angeles cops investigating the mysterious death of a young woman chopped in half and disemboweled. Scarlett Johansson and two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank take the token female roles. Just as with "Hollywoodland" which bowed last weekend, "Dahlia" will play to an older adult audience interested in LA-based crime noir pics from the mid twentieth century. Unlike with the younger-skewing "Gridiron Gang," reviews will play a big part in the success or failure of "Dahlia." This one needs more support from critics than it’s getting in order to become a commercial winner. Starpower is certainly there, but the subject matter may not pique the interest of adults across all 50 states. Add in competition for the target audience plus an overall slowdown in moviegoing activity and it may be hard for the studio to break even on this one. "The Black Dahlia" enters 2,224 theaters and might collect around $9M this weekend.


Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart are on the case in "The Black Dahlia."

Following this summer’s "Superman Returns" and last week’s George Reeves mystery "Hollywoodland," the Man of Steel spotlight now turns to the late Christopher Reeve whose final project, the animated sports tale "Everyone’s Hero," makes its way into theaters on Friday. With voices provided by Rob Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, and William H. Macy, the G-rated flick tells of a boy on a mission to retrieve Babe Ruth’s stolen bat. Reeve co-directed with Colin Brady and Dan St. Pierre. Fox will be looking to attract kids and Little League coach parents with "Hero." The film is not registering too high on the priority lists of children. But the studio does have one thing working in its favor – the current marketplace has nothing major for children. And don’t expect the other new releases to appeal to the family crowd either. Opening surprisingly wide in 2,896 theaters, "Everyone’s Hero" could score around $7M this weekend.


The animated Babe Ruth in Christopher Reeve’s "Everyone’s Hero."

TV stars Zach Braff of NBC’s "Scrubs" and Rachel Bilson of Fox’s "The O.C." join forces on the big screen in "The Last Kiss" which Paramount inherited from its DreamWorks tie-up. The R-rated remake of an Italian film about a man in the early stages of a mid-life crisis also stars Casey Affleck, Blythe Danner, and Tom Wilkinson. The marketing push behind "Kiss" has been lacking so look for the romantic dramedy to become a small blip on the box office radar this weekend. Adult women will make up the primary audience making period pics "Dahlia" and "Hollywoodland" direct competitors. Consumer excitement is pretty low for "The Last Kiss" which heads into only 1,100 theaters. A weekend gross of roughly $4M could result.


Zach Braff and that chick from "The Real World" in "The Last Kiss."

The new fall season brings a flood of activity in limited-release action. Balcony Releasing got the frame started on Wednesday with its New York opening of the political doc "Al Franken: God Spoke" which adds a second Manhattan venue on Friday. The raunchy softball comedy "Artie Lange’s Beer League" opens on Friday in about 175 theaters. With Ralph Macchio in the cast, the R-rated Echo Bridge release should find itself stuck in six-digit territory. Yari Film Group unleashes the Cayman Islands-set drama "Haven," which stars Orlando Bloom and Bill Paxton, into 24 theaters across the country.

The mockumentary wedding comedy "Confetti" bows in a dozen sites from Fox Searchlight. American troops in Iraq are the focus of the Focus Features documentary "The Ground Truth" which attacks eight theaters. Lionsgate offers up its own non-fiction flick "The U.S. vs. John Lennon" in six playdates examining the Beatles icon’s rage against the establishment.

Sony’s ninth number one of the year "The Covenant" looks to get booted out of the top spot by the studio’s tenth chart-topper. A 50% drop would give the teen thriller about $4.5M for the frame and a modest ten-day cume of $15M. "Hollywoodland" lacked strength in its debut and will now face a direct hit from "Dahlia" so a 45% decline could be in order. That would give Focus around $3.5M over the weekend putting the total at a weak $11M after ten days.

LAST YEAR: Reese Witherspoon captured the number one spot with her latest comedy "Just Like Heaven" which grossed $16.4M on its way to $48.3M for DreamWorks. Sony’s surprise suspense hit "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" lost half its business and dropped to second with $14.9M in its sophomore frame. Nicolas Cage bowed in third with his new actioner "Lord of War" with $9.4M. The Lions Gate release reached $24.1M. Steve Carell enjoyed his fifth week in the top five with "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" which laughed up $6M. The horror pic "Cry Wolf" bowed poorly in fifth with only $4.4M leading to a $10M finish.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tumbleweeds blew through North American theaters this weekend as movie fans forgot that there were films playing at their local cinemas. For the first time in three years, no film managed to generate at least $10M in weekend ticket sales. The new supernatural teen thriller "The Covenant" was able to top the charts while the murder mystery "Hollywoodland" debuted in the runnerup spot. The overall top ten crawled to its worst performance in three years as not a single wide release was able to generate at least $4,000 per theater.


"The Covenant" didn’t break $10M but still managed to lead the B.O.

Limping into first place with a not-so-impressive debut was "The Covenant" with an estimated $9M from 2,681 theaters. The Sony thriller averaged a sluggish $3,357 per playdate, but was big enough to lead the pack over such a weak frame. Budgeted at only $20M, the PG-13 pic features a group of young prep school warlocks who unleash supernatural powers when evil strikes. It was the studio’s ninth number one opening of 2006, but also the worst gross for a number one film since "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" debuted this very weekend in 2003 with a puny $6.7M.

Most of the box office deficit when compared to last year can be blamed on the mediocre debut of "Covenant" which took in less than one-third of the $30.1M bow the studio saw in 2005 this weekend with its last post-Labor Day scarefest "The Exorcism of Emily Rose." The rest of the top ten this weekend grossed a combined $40.4M which was almost identical to the $40.6M from the corresponding films from last year.


Adrien Brody shows who’s boss in "Hollywoodland."

Opening in second place was the crime thriller "Hollywoodland" with an estimated $6M from only 1,548 theaters for Focus. The R-rated tale examining the investigation behind the death of Superman actor George Reeves averaged a mild $3,881 per site. That was good enough to be the best average among all wide releases. Starring Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, and Ben Affleck, "Hollywoodland" received mixed reviews from critics, but did manage to win the best actor prize over the weekend at the Venice International Film Festival for Affleck’s portrayal of Reeves.

Dropping from first to third place, Mark Wahlberg‘s two-time box office champ "Invincible" took in an estimated $5.8M falling a steep 52%. After 17 days, the Disney sports drama has scored $45.7M.

Bowing in fourth place was Thai action star Tony Jaa‘s "The Protector" with an estimated $5M from 1,541 sites. Averaging a lukewarm $3,265, the R-rated pic from The Weinstein Co. generated an opening weekend average similar to the $3,449 figure that Jaa’s "Ong Bak" posted last year when it opened to $1.3M from only 387 theaters.


Statham knows people in high places.

Action star Jason Statham‘s "Crank" dropped a hefty 54% in its second weekend to an estimated $4.8M pushing its cume to $19.9M. After ten days, the Lionsgate release is running slightly ahead of the $17.2M that Statham’s 2002 film "The Transporter" made during the same time period, but behind the $30.3M of its sequel from last year. Look for "Crank" to finish up with $27-30M. Enjoying the smallest decline in the top ten was the Edward Norton-Paul Giamatti mystery "The Illusionist" which dipped just 25% to an estimated $4.6M. Yari Film Group has collected $18.1M thus far.

Following close behind with an estimated $4.4M was Fox Searchlight’s "Little Miss Sunshine" which dropped 42%. Total to date is a solid $41.6M. Nicolas Cage‘s suspense thriller "The Wicker Man" fell 57% in its second weekend to an estimated $4.1M. With only $17.5M in ten days, the Warner Bros. release looks on course to reach a disappointing $25M.


"Talladega Nights" has a lot to cheer for.

"Talladega Nights," the highest-grossing film since Johnny Depp’s "Pirates" sequel set sail, dropped 51% in its sixth lap to an estimated $3M boosting Sony’s total to $142.2M. Rounding out the top ten was Paramount’s hit toon "Barnyard," the only major kidpic in release, which grossed an estimated $2.6M. Off 47%, the PG-rated comedy has grossed a healthy $66.9M to date.

Three August releases dropped out of the top ten this weekend. Paramount’s "World Trade Center" took in an estimated $2.5M, down 46%, for a $67.1M sum. The $65M Nicolas Cage drama should end with a solid $71-74M final. Universal’s teen comedy "Accepted" collected an estimated $2.5M as well, off 45%, and upped its total to $32.3M. A $35-37M final grade is in store for the $23M production.

Buena Vista’s surprise hit dance drama "Step Up" dropped 45% in its fifth weekend to an estimated $2.5M. With $61.6M in the bank, the teen pic looks to finish with around $65M.

The top ten films grossed a puny estimate of $49.4M which was down 30% from last year when "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" debuted at number one with $30.1M; and down 16% from 2004 when "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" opened in the top spot with $23M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

This week at the movies, we have Ben Affleck playing an actor who plays Superman on TV ("Hollywoodland"), Tony Jaa doing what he does best ("The Protector"), and four young men toying with witchcraft ("The Covenant"). What do the critics have to say?


Affleck as George Reeves romances Lane’s Toni Mannix, wife of MGM studio head Eddie Mannix.

More than a whodunit, "Hollywoodland" explores fame’s transience and the price paid in pursuit of it. The focus of this cautionary tale is George Reeeves (Ben Affleck), a struggling actor who finds notoriety as the Man of Steel on the ’50s TV series "The Adventures of Superman." Much to his dismay, kryptonite for actors turns out to be unemployment, as he finds it difficult to get roles because he’s so well known as Superman. His torrid love affair with the wife of MGM’s studio chief doesn’t help his cause, either. His death, caused by a bullet to the chest, remains shrouded in mystery: Was it suicide or murder? Critics say the movie doesn’t quite fly with its lumbering narrative, but the performers are in top form. As of this writing, "Hollywoodland" has a Tomatometer of 68%.


Say hello to my little friend…

Tony Jaa is out for revenge in the actioner "The Protector." Traveling from his native Thailand to Australia, he seeks those responsible for killing his father and kidnapping his elephants. For action junkies, Jaa’s acrobatics will thrill, but for those looking beyond the back flips and high kicks will find less to enjoy, critics say. "The Protector" currently sits at 55% on the Tomatometer.


Somebody forgot to bring the hot dog buns to this BBQ.

In "The Covenant," the descendants of five families with supernatural powers will settle an old score. Since the movie was not screened, we’ll have to wait to see what kind of spell it will weave on the critics. In the meantime, we can play our favorite game, Guess the Tomatometer!

Mad props to "Jbourne37," who edges out "Dionne Warwick" and "Gary Coleman" as our new favorite psychic friend. He/she came the closest to guessing the Tomatometer for both "Crank" and "Idiocracy." And let’s not forget "gerke," who correctly guessed the Tomatometer for "The Wicker Man."

Recent Ben Affleck Movies:
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41% — Jersey Girl (2004)
07% — Surviving Christmas (2004)
44% — Daredevil (2003)
06% — Gigli (2003)

After welcoming in four new wide releases per week for seven straight weekends, the North American box office slows it down a bit on Friday with only one saturation release and a pair of moderate national bows.

Sony courts the teen horror crowd with its supernatural thriller "The Covenant." Meanwhile, Focus targets mature adults with the crime thriller "Hollywoodland" and The Weinstein Co. goes after the action audience with the martial arts pic "The Protector." With a slate of Labor Day weekend pics coming off of their lukewarm holiday performances, the overall marketplace is sure to be sluggish and could slump to its lowest point of the year.

Four prep school dudes learn of their ancestral powers and stir up some evil in the new teen chiller "The Covenant." Sort of a "Lost Boys" for today’s youth, the PG-13 film will target the horror audience as well as the back-to-school date crowd. Renny Harlin, who has seen highs with "Die Hard 2" and lows with "Cutthroat Island," directs. "Covenant" should play primarily to teens and young adults and Sony has a strong track record when it comes to attracting that crowd with these kinds of films. Last fall, the studio scored a big hit with "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" which bowed this very weekend with $30.1M, but saw more modest results with "The Fog" which opened in October with $11.8M. Each one still hit the top of the charts. The marketing push on "Covenant" has not been too fierce so a debut closer to "Fog’s" is likely. Competition for teens is not very strong at the moment so many should pick this for their weekend moviegoing choice. Attacking 2,681 theaters, "The Covenant" could scare up around $11M in ticket sales this weekend.


More teen-horror hijinks in "The Covenant"

Academy Award winner Adrien Brody plays a not-so-super sleuth in the 1950s who investigates the suicide death of Superman actor George Reeves in the new crime thriller "Hollywoodland." The R-rated Focus release also stars Diane Lane, Ben Affleck, and Bob Hoskins. After last year’s dominance at the Oscars by numerous indie flicks, "Hollywoodland" tries to get the awards season started early by getting a headstart over some of the fall’s other promising non-studio films. The casting of the "Gigli" star as the Man of Steel, however, might diminish its chances a bit as many industry voters won’t be able to help but snicker when the daredevil himself comes on screen. Mature adults will be the target audience and women might outnumber the guys by a small margin. The film’s subject matter will certainly be intriguing for film industry folks, but it will be a tougher sell to mainstream moviegoers. "Hollywoodland" will have to reach its audience in a hurry as parent company Universal will target the exact same crowd with its ensemble-driven period crime mystery "The Black Dahlia" a week later. Debuting in moderate national release in 1,548 theaters, "Hollywoodland" might capture about $8M this weekend.


Adrien Brody gets rough while investigating the death of tv’s Superman

The "Quentin Tarantino Presents" marketing technique is back once again with the Thai martial arts pic "The Protector" starring Tony Jaa. The R-rated film from The Weinstein Co. finds the acrobatic action star seeking revenge on those who wronged his people. Jaa’s "Ong Bak" made a moderate splash at the North American box office last year when it opened to $1.3M from 387 theaters for a mild $3,449 average on its way to a $4.6M domestic take. A year and a half later, more American action fans know of Jaa, though he’s still far from a sizable draw. Two years ago, the Weinsteins saw stellar results when using the "Pulp Fiction" director’s
name in the marketing of Jet Li‘s "Hero" which ended up topping the box office for two straight weeks on its way to a $53.6M gross. Lionsgate also used the QT tactic to drive in business for its horror pic "Hostel" last January which also bowed in the top spot. "Protector" will appeal mostly to young men who love martial arts and crossover to other groups is unlikely. The second weekend of "Crank" will draw upon many of the same folks so competition will be tough. Fighting its way into around 1,400 theaters, "The Protector" might kick up about $6M this weekend.


Tony Jaa, doing his own stunts, in "The Protector"

More independent films open in New York on Friday hoping to expand further around the country in coming weeks. Polychrome Pictures debuts the Asian American pic "Red Doors" in a pair of Manhattan locations. The dysfunctional family pic won the top prize at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Film Philos goes into one solo house with the coffee cart vendor drama "Man Push Cart" which world premiered at Sundance last winter.

"Invincible‘s" undefeated season should come to an end this weekend as the Disney sports drama enters its third outing. A 40% decline would see the Mark Wahlberg pic gross around $7M pushing the 17-day cume to $47M. After a second place bow over the weekend, the Lionsgate actioner "Crank" pumped itself up to the top spot on Tuesday with solid midweek business. Jason Statham saw his "Transporter 2" fall 55% a year ago when it came off of its Labor Day debut. "Crank" could see a slightly smaller drop. A 50% tumble would give the poison pic roughly $5M for the sophomore frame and a ten-day sum of $20M.

Nicolas Cage‘s "The Wicker Man" did not make too much of a dent at the box office last weekend. A 45% drop to around $5M seems likely giving Warner Bros. only $19M in ten days. Indie sensation "Little Miss Sunshine" should step back a bit after a strong Labor Day frame and could slide 30% to $5M as well. That would lift the cume for the year’s most recommended film to $42M making it the fifth biggest hit in company history for Fox Searchlight after "Sideways" ($71.5M), "The Full Monty" ($45.9M), "28 Days Later" ($45.1M), and "Napoleon Dynamite" ($44.5M). In another week, it will vault to number two for the Fox subsidiary.

LAST YEAR: Sony scored a huge surprise winner with the suspense thriller "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" which bowed bigger than expected with a hefty $30.1M grossing more than the next five films combined. The fright flick went on to scare up a sturdy $75.1M. Comedy sensation "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" followed in second with $7.7M in its fourth date while "Transporter 2" fell from first to third with $7.4M. The political drama "The Constant Gardener" and the airline thriller "Red Eye" rounded out the top five with $4.7M and $4.5M, respectively. Samuel L. Jackson debuted poorly in sixth with his action-comedy "The Man" which took in a weak $4.1M on its way to just $8.3M for New Line.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

J-horror vet Takashi Shimizu and stars Amber Tamblyn and Arielle Kebbel presented an all-new trailer for their upcoming pic, "The Grudge 2" — and shared a few story tidbits with the audience, revealing just how much Sarah Michelle Gellar there is in the scary sequel.

But before turning to Shimizu and his starlets for "The Grudge 2," Columbia/Screen Gems screened their trailer for "The Covenant," a supernatural teen thriller coming out in September.


Curious about the next installment of family-fun action in "The Grudge 2?"

In what looks like “The Craft” for guys, the story centers around four teenage descendants of a centuries-old group of families with supernatural powers, whose relatives formed a “covenant” hundreds of years earlier to banish a fifth power-hungry family. As we see in the trailer, these modern-day warlocks rule the school in “O.C.” fashion – using their powers to levitate short skirts on hot girls, for example. When the new guy at school turns out to be a vengeful descendant of the fifth, banished family of sorcerers, the foursome (led by the handsome, young-Billy Zane-look-alike Steven Strait) must battle it out with him using all manner of magic.

Given that premise, the trailer looks surprisingly impressive. Sure, there’s the requisite over-stylized unsupervised teen party on the beach, and the making out in cars, but there’s also some cool special effects that make the action exciting to watch (at least in the trailer). The young warlocks throw fireballs, and hurl trash cans at each other with levitation. They use magic to levitate their Hummer over a cliff for kicks on a joyride. In the trailer’s closing moments, main dude Caleb (Strait) is startled by a conjured spook while driving, and swerves into an oncoming semi-truck – the car shatters on impact, then reassembles seconds later on the other side of the truck, car and driver intact. At Comic-Con, the audience breathed a collective “wow.” Did I mention Renny Harlin directs?

“The Covenant” hits theaters September 8.

But on to the main event. Shimizu was introduced to the stage by pal and “Grudge 2” producer Sam Raimi, who then brought out Amber Tamblyn (“Joan of Arcadia”) and co-star Arielle Kebbel (“John Tucker Must Die”). Shimizu, of course, directed 2004’s “The Grudge” as well as the Japanese original versions, “Ju-On” and “Ju-On 2” (amazingly, two even earlier video-only versions of “The Grudge” bring Shimizu’s “Grudge” film tally up to six, with a third Japanese-language sequel forthcoming).


You’ll find out what happened to Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) after "The Grudge," in "The Grudge 2"

The trio presented the world premiere of footage from “The Grudge 2,” in the form of a creepy, tension-filled extended trailer. Fans of the first American “Grudge” will recognize a few returning characters like scary Japanese hair-ghost Kayako, scary little Japanese boy ghost Toshio, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yes, Sarah Michelle Gellar is back, but as the trailer quickly reveals, she ain’t sticking around too long.

It turns out that after the end of “The Grudge,” caretaker Karen Davis (Gellar) became afflicted with the curse, and now lays coma-like in a hospital bed. Her sister Aubrey (Tamblyn) arrives in Tokyo to find out what happened, and Karen jolts up to warn her, “Don’t go in that house!”

Soon enough, Karen is dead – suicide, perhaps? – and we see her laying on the ground, a pool of blood seeping from her head. Aubrey says, “My sister is dead. Why? What do you want?”

We see flashes of scary “Grudge” faces. A Japanese guy (Edison Chen) is developing photos in a darkroom when he notices something in a picture; he leans in closer to the pan, and the scary “Grudge” girl leaps out of the pan, grabbing his head. Freaky!

Next, we see scenes of mousy brunette schoolgirl Allison Fleming, who sees the scary little Japanese boy under her desk during class. We also see Allison standing, black hair growing superfast down her body as she watches, frozen in horror.

The trailer ends with the scary little ghost boy, with a red number 2 in his eye.

In a session with the press, Tamblyn and Kebbel revealed more about the movie, the story, and their characters (and Tamblyn confirmed that Gellar’s character Karen does indeed die):

Instead of taking its story from “Ju-On 2,” “The Grudge” and “The Grudge 2” serve as part one and two of the story from the first “Ju-On.”

There will be three separate storylines, each involving Aubrey, Allison, and Trish (Jennifer Beals), and all will eventually interconnect.

Aubrey, following her sister’s death, goes to investigate the “Grudge” house; along the way, she learns of other cases involving the curse and its victims.

Allison is the new girl at the International High School in Tokyo. She is ugly and unpopular, and the cool girls play a trick on her by pretending to befriend her. They take her to the cursed “Grudge” house to scare her, which brings out the curse.

As with the other “Grudge” films, “The Grudge 2” will bear director Shimizu’s signature filmmaking style, with non-sequential time order, quick cuts, psychological rather than gory scares, and a story that makes the audience think a lot to figure it out.

Tamblyn also joked to watch out for a dance scene with Kebbel and Takako Fuji, who plays the frightening ghost girl, Kayako.

"The Grudge 2" is directed by Shimizu with a screenplay by "The Grudge" (2004) writer Stephen Susco, and hits Halloween-time theaters on October 13.

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