This Valentine’s Day, meet the movie romances doomed to be forever single — single-digit on the Tomatometer, precisely! From annoying YouTube people to Paris Hilton, from stalkers to acting bad enough to steam a 1912 Renault: Here’s 24 movies with central romances that got less than 10% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Joe Johnston‘s remake of The Wolfman won’t be arriving in theaters until next year, but why wait ’til then to get a look at Benicio del Toro in all that makeup?

Renowned makeup artist Rick Baker — most recently known as “the reason Norbit got an Oscar nomination” — sat down for a chat with Entertainment Weekly recently, and he was kind enough to bring a pair of stills to give folks an idea of what to expect when the remake shows its claws. Observe:


Click over to EW.com for the exclusive hi-res images

Not bad, eh?

As it turns out, Baker’s an entertaining interviewee, even without the stills — he held forth on a number of Wolfman-related topics, including the challenges of turning his leading man into a werewolf (“he’s practically the Wolfman already”) to the toughest projects he’s ever worked on (“I had to turn Eddie Murphy into a believable old Chinese man”). To read the full interview, click on the link below!

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Say what you will about her script choices and off-screen behavior of late, but Lindsay Lohan has never been a slouch when it comes to getting her name in the news — and to prove it, we’ve got not one, not two, but three Lindsay-riffic news items for you.

Last week was just packed with Lindsay news, starting with the starlet’s nude photo shoot for New York magazine. The photos, taken by Bert Stern, were meant to recreate Marilyn Monroe‘s “Last Sitting,” the series shot by Stern in 1962, six weeks before Monroe’s death. Skeevy? Morbid? Perhaps. But hey, with Lindsay in her birthday suit, all parties involved had to know where most of the attention would be focused. (The link’s at the bottom of the article, and if you somehow haven’t seen the photos yet, here’s your warning: Obviously NSFW.)

In and of itself, the Lohan shoot isn’t the sort of thing we’d normally talk about here — but it sparked a flurry of interest in (surprise!) the starlet’s acting career, which many assumed to be in suspended animation after Georgia Rule and I Know Who Killed Me (more on the latter later). One of the bits of information that bobbed to the surface in the photoshoot’s wake was the announcement — exclusively confirmed to E! News — that Lohan has signed on to star opposite Jack Black in a comedy titled Ye Olde Times. From the article:

A source at Patriot Pictures, which is producing the yukfest, told E! News that the film follows two rival Renaissance Faire troupes as they make their way through the competitive circuit. It’s unclear whether Lohan will be one of Black’s repertory players or a member of a competing Ren Faire faction.

It sounds — dare we say it? — like something worth seeing. Something rather like the opposite of I Know Who Killed Me, in other words, leading us to our third bit of Lindsay news, which is that the aforementioned flop was the unquestioned “winner” of this year’s Golden Raspberry Awards, held Saturday morning in Santa Monica. I Know Who Killed Me made Razzies history, actually, racking up an unprecedented eight trophies. View the carnage below:

Worst Picture:
I Know Who Killed Me

Worst Actor:
Eddie Murphy, Norbit

Worst Actress:
Lindsay Lohan, I Know Who Killed Me

Worst Supporting Actress:
Lindsay Lohan (as Aubrey), I Know Who Killed Me
Lindsay Lohan (as Dakota), I Know Who Killed Me

Worst Screen Couple:
Lindsay Lohan & Lindsay Lohan, I Know Who Killed Me

Worst Remake or Rip-Off:
I Know Who Killed Me (Rip-Off of Hostel, Saw, and The Patty Duke Show)

Worst Prequel or Sequel:
Daddy Day Camp

Worst Director:
Chris Siverston, I Know Who Killed Me

Worst Screenplay:
Jeffrey Hammond, I Know Who Killed Me

Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie:
I Know Who Killed Me

Source: E! Online
Source: Variety
Source: New York Magazine

A terrorist attack is played out through multiple perspectives in the high-octane political thriller Vantage Point which leads the four-pack of new openers which also includes three small comedies. Sony will score its first number one hit since October with this star-driven actioner which boasts a cast that features Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, Matthew Fox, and William Hurt. The PG-13 pic has the biggest marketing and distribution push of any new release this weekend so a comfortable lead over its competitors should be expected. None of the actors are guaranteed box office sensations, but together they equal one big bankable A-lister.

Adults will make up the primary age group and appeal seems strong to both males and females. The intriguing style of the film will make it stand out from the crowd, although fellow action options Jumper and Fool’s Gold will provide some competition. Plus many adults will be preoccupied with their last chance to see the Oscar nominees before Sunday night’s big show. The five Best Picture candidates banked $14M over Presidents’ Day weekend. Vantage Point should play to the same folks that came out for other star-driven non-special effects action and suspense pics from this time of year like Sahara ($18.1M), The Interpreter ($22.8M) and Premonition ($17.6M). Attacking over 3,000 locations, Vantage Point could open to about $21M this weekend.


Vantage Point

Jack Black and Mos Def star in the video store comedy Be Kind Rewind playing two men who recreate top Hollywood movies after their tapes get damaged. The PG-13 film from New Line comes from acclaimed French director Michel Gondry who after Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep has built up his share of fans on this side of the Atlantic. A marketplace full of new comedies will split that crowd so Rewind will have to rely on fans of the director and stars to come out. Jumper and Vantage Point will also take mainstream moviegoers out of the picture. Breaking into roughly 800 theaters, Be Kind Rewind could bow to about $3M.


Mos Def and Jack Black in Driving Miss Daisy, er, Be Kind Rewind

Larry the Cable Guy returns for more blue collar humor in the Lionsgate comedy Witless Protection opening on Friday. The standup comedian plays a small town sheriff that kidnaps a woman in FBI custody for a road trip to solve a case. Rated PG-13, the pic has the goal of establishing the funnyman as a box office draw, but if the grosses of his last two films are any indication, this one will be gunned down quickly. Two years ago, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector debuted to $6.9M while last year’s Delta Farce slumped by half to a $3.4M bow. Diminishing returns could again be in order especially since Witless will not be released as wide. Opening in 1,333 locations, Witless Protection might collect about $3M this weekend.


Larry the Cable Guy and Jenny McCarthy in Witless Protection

After many delays, MGM releases the comedy Charlie Bartlett which stars that iron guy Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis, and Anton Yelchin as the title character. The R-rated film tells of a private school kid who becomes an underground shrink and pill pusher in public school. Teens are a core component of the target audience, but the restrictive rating will keep many of them out. The marketing push has not been strong and a lack of starpower and excitement will keep the grosses low. Juno‘s brand of high school fun in its 12th weekend could see a bigger audience. Entering about 1,000 theaters, Charlie Bartlett may debut to around $2M.


Anton Yelchin and Robert Downey, Jr. in Charlie Bartlett

Fox’s sci-fi actioner Jumper should take a big jump down this weekend. Word-of-mouth is not all that great and Vantage Point will steal away much of the action crowd. Look for a 50% drop to about $13.5M which would give the Hayden Christensen flick $57M in eleven days.

The Spiderwick Chronicles got off to a solid start last weekend as the only major offering for families and with no new kidpics entering the scene, a smaller decline is assured. Sophomore drops for Disney’s own Presidents’ Day weekend films from the past two years were 37% for Bridge to Terabithia and 21% for 2006’s Eight Below. Spiderwick could fall in between with a 30% fall giving Paramount $13M for the frame and $44M after eleven days.

Following a potent debut, Step Up 2 The Streets will suffer a sizable drop. The dance sequel may lose 45% of its take and gross $10M pushing the eleven-day cume to $42M. Warner Bros. should see its comedy adventure Fool’s Gold drop by 35% to around $8M. Total would climb to $54M.

LAST YEAR: Spending its second weekend on top, Sony’s Ghost Rider starring Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage fell hard but still pulled in $20.1M to top the box office over Oscar weekend. Jim Carrey gave horror a chance with The Number 23 and debuted in second with a solid $14.6M bow. The New Line release eventually grossed $35.2M and was the first of many thrillers in 2007 that marked major Hollywood stars doing their first scary movies. Disney’s Bridge to Terabithia slipped one spot to third with $14.2M in its sophomore frame. Fox’s comedy Reno 911!: Miami debuted in fourth with $10.3M representing half of its eventual $20.3M final tally. Fellow comedy Norbit rounded out the top five with $9.8M in its third session. Opening at the lower rungs of the top ten were the Billy Bob Thornton drama The Astronaut Farmer with $4.5M and the slave trade drama Amazing Grace with $4.1M from a more limited release. Totals reached $11M for Warner Bros. and $21.3M for Goldwyn/Roadside Attractions.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Hollywood plays the race card this weekend opening a pair of star-driven comedies, one for white moviegoers and the other for black audiences. Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson get the wider release with the romantic adventure comedy Fool’s Gold while debuting in 741 fewer theaters is Martin Lawrence‘s family reunion laughfest Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. Adding to the mix is the standup comedy concert pic Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show which will also try to tickle funnybones from coast to coast. Not all three films will get to laugh all the way to the bank.

Five years and one day after their date flick How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days became a number one hit, McConaughey and Hudson reteam for Fool’s Gold. Directed by Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama), the PG-13 picture tells of an ex-couple that must band together to find sunken treasure. The Warner Bros. release looks like a winner on paper. Take two stars with a proven track record, put them in a film that combines romantic comedy with action adventure, and hefty grosses from both genders should come rolling in. The marketing has certainly been pushing all the right aspects trying to sell this as a Romancing the Stone for today’s twentysomethings and thirtysomethings.

But the film’s poor execution will be a major liability in the long run. Reviews have been among the worst of any film in this new year. Since Fool’s Gold will play to an over-25 crowd, the thumbs down from critics could have an impact. Bad word-of-mouth will certainly kick in after this weekend and hurt future weeks. Then again, critically-panned comedies packed with big stars usually sell pretty well with the paying public. Gold will play to the same crowd that powered 10 Days to a $23.8M bow and McConaughey’s 2006 rom-com Failure to Launch to $24.4M. Both skewed female and heavily white. The actor’s latest offering could open in the same neighborhood but should suffer weaker legs. Opening in 3,125 theaters, Fool’s Gold may bow to about $23M.


Hudson and McConaughey in Fool’s Gold

Moviegoers not up for Matt and Kate’s excellent adventure can spend the weekend with Martin Lawrence and his lively family in the Universal comedy Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. Directed by Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man, Undercover Brother), the PG-13 film packs ample starpower into one film with co-stars Cedric the Entertainer, James Earl Jones, Michael Clarke Duncan, Mike Epps, and Mo’Nique. Four of the stars come from a standup comedy background which only raises the volume in the laughter department. The film finds Lawrence playing a self-help guru and talk show host in Hollywood who returns to his Georgia home to reunite with the family he left behind.

Roscoe Jenkins will pull in most of its business from the African American audience. Turnout should be robust given the starpower. Sure the family reunion story has been done a hundred times, but moviegoers will want to see all the big names under one roof giving them two hours of laughs. In the right film, and when surrounded by other marquee stars, Martin Lawrence is still a big draw at the box office. His comedy sequel Big Momma’s House 2 opened to $27.7M around this time of year in 2006.

Plus with this weekend’s Top 20 set to offer no other films led by black casts, direct competition will be minimal. The Ice Cube comedy First Sunday debuted to $17.7M a month ago and Martin and gang could do better. Reviews will not be very good, but that should not matter much. The only limiting factor will be the theater count. Debuting in 2,384 locations, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins could collect around $20M this weekend.


Martin Lawrence in Roscoe Jenkins.

For those who like their laughs purely from standup comedians on stage, Picturehouse releases Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show. The R-rated pic follows the Hollywood star and a group of comics on the road during their 2005 tour. Hannah Montana and U2 have had great success with their concert films over the last two weeks. But Wild West lacks the music and the 3D element that helped to make those two score at the box office. Most of the successful standup comedy hits at the box office have been from African American funnymen so Vaughn’s experiment does not have a proven formula to follow. Plus none of the comedians are big stars which is why Santa’s brother had to include his name in the title in order to grab the attention of potential ticket buyers. Most will probably wait for the DVD which is sure to have some unrated bonus material. Rolling into about 800 theaters, Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show could take in roughly $3M this weekend.


The marquee says it all.

Miley Cyrus rocked her way to the top of the charts last weekend with her Hannah Montana concert pic which opened to a scorching $31.1M with $15 tickets resulting in more than two millions admissions. The fan fever has spilled over into the midweek period as Monday and Tuesday grosses remained red hot with takes of $3.3M and $2.9M, respectively. A full-week tally of about $42M seems likely and with Disney extending the run of the film, more wheelbarrows will be needed to haul away the green. Still, most fans planned ahead of time to see Best of Both Worlds during the first week since it was promoted aggressively as a one-week-only run. Parents may hesitate to shell out more of the pumped up ticket prices for a second helping. Sales could fall by 45% to about $17M which would push the ten-day cume to an amazing $59M.

The Eye settled for a decent second place finish over the Super Bowl frame and like most fright flicks, should not enjoy a good hold on the second weekend. The new menu of comedies won’t provide too much competition so a decline of 50% would leave Lionsgate with about $6M lifting the total to $21M after ten days.

Fox’s female-skewing comedy 27 Dresses will take a direct hit from Matt and Kate’s reunion. Look for the Katherine Heigl film to fall by 40% to $5M for a 24-day score of $64M. Playing to a slightly different audience, Rambo took a sizable blow over the Super Bowl frame and should see its drop stabilize to 50%. That would leave the ultraviolent Lionsgate sequel with $3.5M putting the overall cume at $36M.

LAST YEAR: Following soon after his first-ever Oscar nomination for Dreamgirls, Eddie Murphy rocketed to number one at the box office with the powerful $34.2M debut for the comedy Norbit. The Paramount release went on to gobble up $95.7M domestically and about $160M worldwide. Opening in second with a respectable $13.1M was the thriller Hannibal Rising which went on to gross $27.7M for The Weinstein Company. The previous weekend’s top two films followed, but switched their order. Universal’s Diane Keaton comedy Because I Said So held up well and grossed $9.2M while the horror pic The Messengers fell harder and took in $7.2M for Sony. Rounding out the top five was the unstoppable holiday hit Night at the Museum with $5.8M in its eighth frame.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

No awards season — even a strike-tainted one — would be complete without the Razzies, right? Of course not. And that’s why we’ve thoughtfully assembled all of this year’s nominees in one convenient location.

The Razzies, now entering their 28th year, have been celebrating the worst in film since 1980, when John Wilson took a raspberry trophy, spray-painted it gold, and stuck it to Can’t Stop the Music. This year’s nominees are suitably distinguished, and they all follow below (with Tomatometers in parentheses). ‘Fess up, Vineketeers — how many of these have you seen? And enjoyed?

Worst Picture:
Bratz (7 percent)
Daddy Day Camp (1 percent)

I Know Who Killed Me (8 percent)
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (14 percent)
Norbit (9 percent)

Worst Actor:
Nicolas Cage, for Ghost Rider (27 percent), National Treasure: Book of Secrets (32 percent), and Next (30 percent)
Jim Carrey, for The Number 23 (8 percent)
Cuba Gooding, Jr., for Daddy Day Camp and Norbit
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Adam Sandler, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry

Worst Actress:
Jessica Alba, for Awake (21 percent), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (35 percent), and Good Luck Chuck (3 percent)
Logan Browning, Janel Parrish, Nathalia Ramos & Skyler Shaye, for Bratz
Elisha Cuthbert, for Captivity (7 percent)
Diane Keaton, for Because I Said So (5 percent)
Lindsay Lohan (as Aubrey), for I Know Who Killed Me
Lindsay Lohan (as Dakota), for I Know Who Killed Me

Worst Supporting Actor:
Orlando Bloom, for Pirates of the Carribbean: At World’s End (45 percent)
Kevin James, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Rob Schneider, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Jon Voight, for Bratz, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, September Dawn (13 percent), and Transformers (57 percent)

Worst Supporting Actress:
Jessica Biel, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry and Next
Carmen Electra, for Epic Movie (2 percent)
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Julia Ormond, for I Know Who Killed Me
Nicolette Sheridan, for Code Name: The Cleaner (4 percent)

Worst Screen Couple:
Jessica Alba with Dane Cook (for Good Luck Chuck), Hayden Christensen (for Awake), and Ioan Gruffudd (for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer)
Any combination of two totally air-headed characters in Bratz
Lindsay Lohan and Lindsay Lohan, for I Know Who Killed Me

Worst Remake or Ripoff:
Are We Done Yet? (8 percent, remake/ripoff of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House)
Bratz (a ripoff if ever there was one)
Epic Movie (ripoff of every movie it rips off)
I Know Who Killed Me (ripoff of Hostel, Saw, and The Patty Duke Show)
Who’s Your Caddy? (7 percent, ripoff of Caddyshack)

Worst Prequel or Sequel:
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (16 percent)
Daddy Day Camp
Evan Almighty (24 percent)
Hannibal Rising, (15 percent)
Hostel: Part II (44 percent)

Worst Director:
Dennis Dugan, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Roland Joffe, Captivity
Brian Robbins, Norbit
Fred Savage, Daddy Day Camp
Chris Sivertson, I Know Who Killed Me

Worst Screenplay:
Geoff Rodkey and David J. Stem & David N. Weiss, Daddy Day Camp

Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer, Epic Movie
Jeffrey Hammond, I Know Who Killed Me
Barry Fanaro and Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Eddie Murphy & Charles Murphy, Jay Sherick & David Ronn, Norbit

Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie:
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
Captivity
Hannibal Rising

Hostel: Part II
I Know Who Killed Me

Source: Razzies

Five new films push their way into nationwide release on Friday hoping to challenge two-time champ The Rock making for what should be a free-for-all at the North American box office with many different studios having a realistic shot at claiming the number one spot. Among the top contenders are Sony’s crime thriller We Own the Night, the Lionsgate comedy Why Did I Get Married?, and the George Clooney vehicle Michael Clayton which expands nationally after its scorching debut in limited release. Adding to the mix are the costume drama Elizabeth: The Golden Age and the baseball tale The Final Season. The box office race should be a tight one with as many as four films likely to reach the low double digit millions.

Oscar nominated actors Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix face off as brothers on different sides of the law in the new action thriller We Own the Night. The R-rated pic co-stars Robert Duvall and Eva Mendes and will target an adult audience with a slightly male skew. The former Marky Mark proved his box office pull last spring as the only major star in Shooter which bowed to $14.5M and a $5,176 average by targeting the same audience. Things will be more difficult this time because of the intense competition for mature audiences especially from Michael Clayton. But Night‘s biggest advantage over Michael is that it has two commercial stars instead of just one. The combo should lead to a slim edge at the cash registers.

Despite its awkward title, Night has been pushing itself as an action-packed thriller with faces people love to watch. Reviews have been mixed and with such a crowded field, it will be hard to stand out as a must-see option. Starpower should be the main factor here and showdowns between two solid actors are usually popular with ticket buyers. Opening in over 2,000 theaters, We Own the Night could debut to about $12M.


Phoenix and Wahlberg in We Own the Night

Taking on those boys with some machismo of his own, George Clooney heads into wide release with his legal drama Michael Clayton which Warner Bros. has drummed up plenty of awards buzz for. The R-rated pic bowed to a sizzling $47,994 average last weekend from its platform bow in the Clooney-friendly towns of New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto. This weekend, the thriller will face the real test when it enters every major market across the 50 states. Thanks to his political outspokenness, the Academy Award winning actor has become a polarizing figure. He could easily win an election to become mayor of Hollywood, but in other parts of the country people would gladly pay theaters to not play his movies.

Clayton will test his drawing power since the film has no other box office anchors in it. Co-stars Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, and Sydney Pollack are well-respected, but they don’t sell tickets. There is plenty of direct competition which is why the film got a head start a week early. Buzz from its red hot platform bow has spread helping to build interest. The crowd will consist of the same people that opened Syriana to $11.7M, The Black Dahlia to $10M, and Zodiac to $13.4M. Night will take away some males and Elizabeth will steal some females so a huge gross will be hard to find. But over the long-term the film could have legs. Expanding into 2,511 locations, Michael Clayton stands as the widest of the new offerings and may capture around $11M over the Friday-to-Sunday period.


Clooney as Clayton

Tyler Perry‘s latest relationship comedy Why Did I Get Married? finds trouble brewing when four married couples come together for an annual winter getaway. The writer/director’s films have always tapped into his loyal fan base with African American women at the core. His 2005 smash Diary of a Mad Black Woman surprised the industry with its first-place debut with $21.9M and a $14,771 average and was followed a year later by Madea’s Family Reunion which grew bigger with a $30M launch. Perry’s last pic Daddy’s Little Girls, also a February release, saw more modest numbers with a $11.2M opening as the filmmaker did not star in the pic.

Married does not have the promotional value of Black History Month or the help of Presidents Day which Girls had early this year. However, Perry’s new film will not face any direct competitors for its target audience. Girls had to face the second weekend of Eddie Murphy‘s hit comedy Norbit which offered some audience overlap. Plus Married boasts more starpower with Perry back on screen and an added boost will come from Janet Jackson who is always a strong draw at the box office with the target audience every time she makes a rare appearance in a movie. The PG-13 film from Lionsgate is unlike anything else in the marketplace right now and with few buzzworthy films aimed at black moviegoers in recent months, it should successfully connect. Debuting in 2,011 theaters, Why Did I Get Married? might open with roughly $12M this weekend.


Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?
Another female-driven film, but taking place centuries ago and across the pond, is the historical drama Elizabeth: The Golden Age which finds Cate Blanchett reprising the role of the British Queen which made her a star nine years ago. The PG-13 pic also finds Geoffrey Rush returning and adds Clive Owen to the mix telling the story of the later years of the monarch’s 16th century reign when threats from Spain and a possible love affair at home led to new challenges. Though at the core a costume drama like its predecessor, Universal’s marketing has played up the action and adventure elements in hopes of attracting men looking for warfare and battle scenes. That may backfire when word gets out that there is actually very little action on screen.

The first Elizabeth opened in limited release in November 1998 and rolled through awards season that winter eventually reaching an impressive $30M while never playing in more than 600 theaters. It also bagged seven Oscar nominations including Best Picture. Now the studio is hoping that a built-in audience will want to take another trip to the past. Though the first was an acclaimed picture, no real demand ever surfaced for a sequel. So it will be tough for Golden Age at the box office especially with all the competition. Female-led dramas often struggle in the marketplace since it is often too hard for adult women to drag men with them to the multiplex for these stories. New films from Clooney and Wahlberg offer more cross-gender appeal. Ordering her troops into 2,000 theaters on Friday, Elizabeth: The Golden Age might take home about $8M over the three-day period.


Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush in Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Likely to strike out at the box office this weekend is the high school baseball pic The Final Season which stars Sean Astin, Larry Miller, and Powers Boothe. The PG-rated film offers no starpower and has generated very little excitement for itself in the marketplace. Most sports fans interested in the national pastime will tune into the playoffs on their television sets this weekend. A quick trip to DVD is assured for this one which has no guarantee to clinch a spot in the top ten. Opening in about 1,000 theaters, a weekend take of just $2M could be in the works.


The Final Season

Among holdovers, The Game Plan surprised the industry two weeks in a row by taking the number one spot. Given its strong legs and continued lack of competition for the family audience and younger teens, a third round on top is not totally out of the question. Should all the newbies eat into each other and all fail to reach the $12M mark, the Disney kidpic by default may stay put. A 25% decline would give The Game Plan a third weekend tally of $12.5M pushing the 17-day total to a solid $58M.

Paramount and DreamWorks were caught by surprise by the lack of strength for the opening of the Ben Stiller comedy The Heartbreak Kid. With nothing to keep it afloat, a 45% decline might be in order especially since adults will be distracted by a wide assortment of other options. That would give the Farrelly brothers a sophomore session of about $7.5M and a cume of only $25.5M after ten days.

LAST YEAR: Sony used the Friday the 13th before Halloween to launch the sequel to one of the most successful horror films in history and captured the number one spot. The Grudge 2 bowed on top with $20.8M accounting for more than half of its $39.1M final. Eventual Oscar champ The Departed slipped to second with $19M easing only 29% for Warner Bros. The Robin Williams political comedy Man of the Year debuted in third with $12.3M before finishing with a disappointing $37.3M for Universal. Rounding out the top five were the Sony toon Open Season with $11.1M and New Line’s fright franchise flick Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning with $7.5M for a steep 60% plunge. Opening with weak results in sixth was the action pic The Marine with $7.1M on its way to $18.8M for Fox. The religious-themed drama One Night with the King bowed to $4.1M with a good $4,518 average and finished with $13.4M for 8X.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Two new star-driven Hollywood comedies face off at the box office this weekend in an attempt to unseat Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix from the top spot. Adam Sandler headlines the gay marriage pic I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry while John Travolta goes one step further starring as a heavy-set mom in the musical Hairspray. For the first time in nearly a month, no new release gets an early midweek headstart.

Adam Sandler is back for his annual trip to blockbusterland in Chuck and Larry starring with Kevin James and Jessica Biel. The PG-13 film reunites Sandler with director Dennis Dugan (Big Daddy, Happy Gilmore)
and tells the story of two heterosexual firefighters who pretend to be married to each other to take advantage of the financial benefits. The former Saturday Night Live star only does one film per year and each comedy has a specific well-defined plot. That has led to a string of hits at the box office as fans so far have not had too much of him. Earlier this year, Eddie Murphy reached $34.2M with Norbit‘s opening while Will Ferrell bowed to $33M with Blades of Glory. Chuck should go a little higher.

The former wedding singer has scored $100M blockbusters in each of the last five years and aims to extend the streak to six with his latest summer offering. Last June, his comedy Click bowed to $40M on its way to $137.3M while 2005’s The Longest Yard debuted to $47.6M over three days before heading to a $158.1M final. Sandler is one of the most reliable box office draws in the business and his usual fan following, skewing a bit more male, should be back again this time. Reviews have been bad as usual but should not factor in much. Potter and Transformers will still provide some competition for young males and females may be swayed more to Hairspray. Universal’s marketing push has been on par with past films from the actor and Sandler has been hitting up all the standard talk shows for his yearly sales pitches. Tying the knot in 3,492 theaters, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry could open to about $37M.


The happy couple

John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, Christopher Walken,
Amanda Bynes, and newcomer Nicole Blonsky join forces for the lavish musical Hairspray, the 2007 movie version of the popular Broadway version of the 1988 cult film from John Waters. The new PG-rated pic has earned glowing praise from critics which will certainly help its cause in a summer full of action hits aimed at young males. Hairspray will skew more female and could appeal to multiple generations given the broad range of stars from teen queens to middle-aged sex symbols.

New Line does not have an easy sell here. However the studio was wise to program the release into the second half of summer knowing that audiences may be all actioned out by now and looking for something different. Musicals rarely hit the big screen during the summer although in 2001 Moulin Rouge opened wide to $13.7M and a $6,019 average leading to a respectable $57.4M gross. Hairspray hopes to become a hit like Chicago and Dreamgirls, rather than a dud like Rent or The Producers. Broadway musicals don’t always translate well onto the big screen but starpower often helps to make them click with moviegoers. Hairspray boasts a solid line-up of Hollywood stars and with strong reviews should
attract a good following at the box office. Dancing into more than 3,000 theaters, the Adam Shankman-directed film could collect about $19M this weekend.


Nikki Blonsky in Hairspray

A space team is sent on a mission to repair the dying sun in Fox Searchlight’s futuristic thriller Sunshine which launches in limited release in ten theaters on Friday. Michelle Yeoh, Chris Evans, and Cillian Murphy star in this latest film from director Danny Boyle which expands to more cities in the weeks ahead.


Something resembling sunshine in Sunshine

Warner Bros. will take on the two new comedies and try for a second weekend on top with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Had the film opened on a Friday and concentrated its whole audience into three days, the dropoff would easily have been more than 60%. However, the Wednesday launch last week softened the Friday-to-Sunday tally so a smaller decline should result. The biggest foe will actually be Potter himself as the seventh and final book in the wildly popular series will go on sale early Saturday prompting millions of fans to invest their time into reading rather than munching on popcorn in front of a big screen. A 55% drop would give Phoenix around $35M for the frame and a mammoth 12-day cume of $210M.

Transformers should also have a decent hold since no new action entries are hitting the multiplexes. The Paramount/DreamWorks release might fall by 45% to roughly $20M boosting the total to a towering $262M. Disney and Pixar also look to see a good hold for Ratatouille. The animated rodent comedy may slide by 35% to $12M for a sum of $165M to date.

LAST YEAR: For the third straight weekend, Johnny Depp‘s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest led the field and grossed $35.2M boosting the 17-day total to a staggering $321.9M. Sony’s animated film Monster House debuted in second place with $22.2M and was followed by fellow freshman Lady in the Water from Warner Bros. which disappointed with a $18M launch. Final domestic tallies reached $73.5M and $42.3M, respectively. Rounding out the top five were the comedies You, Me and Dupree with $12.8M and Little Man with $11M. Another pair of comedies debuted outside the top five. MGM’s Clerks II bowed to $10.1M on its way to $24.1M, while Fox’s My Super Ex-Girlfriend opened to only $8.6M leading to a $22.5M final.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura hasn’t gone as far as hiring a screenwriter just yet, but don’t be too surprised when he does…

Fans of the "Beverly Hills Cop" series may be pleased to learned that the producer is definitely planning on (maybe) kick-starting the franchise again. Apparently Eddie Murphy is down with the idea, although it doesn’t look like any contracts have been signed just yet.

Here’s what LDB told CS.net:

Quote:


"’Happening’ would be too strong a word, but we are working on a take," he told us. "We have not hired a writer yet, but we’ve been analyzing the franchise and asking lots and lots of people about Alex Foley. ‘What do you love about Axel and what would you want to see with an Axel Foley movie?’ I think we have enough information now that we’ll probably be hiring a writer in the next four to eight weeks and taking a good shot at it."


And all this time I thought "Beverly Hills Cop 3" had demolished the franchise. Huh. As an Eddie Murphy fan, I’d be a whole lot happier with this than with, say, "Norbit 2." Right?

Source: ComingSoon.net

Call it the weekend of the actor/producer. Three new films with stars that do double duty behind the scenes (or have good agents that can snag a free credit) enter a marketplace filled with big-budget tentpole pics quickly eroding away.

Seth Rogen headlines and executive produces the new comedy "Knocked Up," Kevin Costner stars and produces the crime thriller "Mr. Brooks," and Elisabeth Shue acts in and co-produces the sports drama "Gracie." Following an explosive May at the box office, the first weekend of June should see ticket sales calm down a bit before George and Brad usher in the next big wave of sequels.

For adult moviegoers sick of pirates, ogres, and webslingers, Universal has the answer – the raunchy romantic comedy "Knocked Up." The R-rated film from Judd Apatow ("The 40-Year-Old Virgin") stars Rogen and Katherine Heigl as a stoner loser and a just-promoted entertainment newswoman, respectively, who share a one night stand which leads to an unplanned pregnancy. Older teens, young adults, and couples make up the target audience here and the studio is hoping to bring back the same folks that opened "Virgin" to $21.4M on its way to a stellar $109.3M (five times its debut) two summers ago.

With mindless popcorn sequels dominating the marquees for the past month, "Knocked Up" brings a breath of fresh air into the multiplexes. Moviegoers looking for new characters and new situations will be pleased. The marketing push has been strong but television spots are not too funny, mostly because the bulk of the humor is too racy to feature on broadcast television. But when opening weekend audiences find out how much funnier the actual film is compared to the trailer and commercials, red hot word-of-mouth will keep the pic playing week after week.

The public’s appetite for studio comedies has been healthy over the last six months with "Wild Hogs," "Night at the Museum," "Blades of Glory," and "Norbit" selling an amazing $626M worth of ticket stubs combined. "Hogs" even popped back into the top ten last weekend in its thirteenth session signaling the hunger in the marketplace right now for something good that will make people laugh. Universal enjoys going after adults on the weekend after Memorial Day. In 2005 it debuted the serious Russell CroweRenee Zellweger boxing pic "Cinderella Man" to $18.3M while last year the studio exceeded expectations with the $39.2M bow of the date flick "The Break-Up." "Knocked Up" should play to much of the same audience as the Jennifer Aniston film, although with less starpower and no tabloid gossip about the star’s personal lives, the grosses won’t soar as high.

Critics have been praising "Knocked Up" and its strong cross-gender appeal will make it a hit with the date crowd. A unique concept and a great title will also help sell the film. "Pirates" will only be in its second weekend and will still be pulling in a broad audience so there will be some competition. But "Knocked Up" has great buzz and will start selling itself after people begin pouring out of the Friday night shows. Opening in 2,873 theaters, the Universal release may gross about $24M this weekend and witness small declines in the weeks ahead.


"Yay, pregnancy."

Less than a year after co-starring with Ashton Kutcher in "The Guardian," Kevin Costner teams up with the "Punk’d" star’s gal pal Demi Moore in the new psychological thriller "Mr. Brooks." In the R-rated film, the former bodyguard plays a family man who moonlights as a serial killer while the ex-G.I. Jane stars as a detective hot on his trail. The MGM release should play to the oldest audience of any major release out now. That’s a good thing since direct competition will not be too fierce. But despite some moderately good reviews, Brooks is anchored by two aging actors who were bulletproof box office stars fifteen years ago, but are not all that reliable at the turnstiles nowadays.

"Knocked Up" has much more buzz around it and will take away much of the thirtysomething crowd, but the forty-plus audience might give "Mr. Brooks" a try. Older adults did little for "Georgia Rule" which bowed to just $6.8M but April’s "Fracture" had a decent $11M opening. Costner should draw an audience more like the one that came out for the Anthony Hopkins thriller. The marketing push has not been too forceful so a large turnout is not likely. Invading 2,453 theaters, "Mr. Brooks" may generate a $9M debut.


Where Dane Cook gets his career advice.

Picturehouse targets the Lady Foot Locker crowd with its new drama "Gracie" which tells the true story of a teenage girl in the late 1970s who fought to play competitive soccer when the sport did not open its doors to her gender. The PG-13 flick stars Dermot Mulroney, Elisabeth Shue, and Carly Schroeder and has been marketed squarely to its core audience of teenage girls. "Gracie" is unlikely to score any goals with other audience segments and is not being released in too many theaters so a modest opening is likely. Reviews have been mixed. Kicking its way into about 1,000 locations, "Gracie" might find itself with an opening weekend take of around $3M.


The mullet-headed heckler is always an important training component.

Fox Searchlight invades the arthouses once again with its Russian fantasy epic "Day Watch," the sequel to Timur Bekmambetov‘s "Night Watch" which became a mammoth blockbuster in its home country in 2004. Last year, "Night Watch" bowed in the U.S. to a sturdy $35,475 average from only three theaters and eventually collected $1.5M from 158 sites. "Day Watch" continues the battle of Light vs. Darkness in an adventure set in Moscow with digital effects that could rival any $200M-budgeted Hollywood tentpole pic. The R-rated film debuts on Friday in New York and Los Angeles with two theaters in each city plus a solo house in San Francisco. More markets across the country will be added in the weeks ahead.


"Day Watch"

None of the newbies looks like first-place material so "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End" should easily retain its box office crown. However, a substantial fall is likely. As a third part of a franchise coming off of a big holiday bow, the drop would of course be large. "Dead Man’s Chest" fell by 54% in its sophomore frame. Add in the fact that fan reaction isn’t exactly stellar and the ship should sink by a large amount. Don’t expect the latest "Pirates" to suffer the 67% crash that the third "X-Men" flick saw a year ago when it came off of the Memorial Day frame. Instead, it could perform more like 2004’s "The Day After Tomorrow" which fell 60% coming off of the same holiday weekend. Luckily for Johnny Depp and pals the competition is not too fierce this weekend. A similar 60% tumble would give "At World’s End" about $46M worth of weekend loot which would boost the ten-day cume to $218M.

"Shrek the Third" will also not have much in the way of competition for its family audience, but comedy fans will certainly abandon ship and head for "Knocked Up." The ogre franchise makes a sizable portion of its money from teens and young adults and those folks are going to be moving on. Last weekend’s 56% drop was affected by the arrival of "Pirates." This weekend, it could stabilize and fall by 45%. That would give "Shrek the Third" around $29M for the weekend and $256M after 17 days.

"Spider-Man 3," the only May threequel with the actual number three in its title, has also been fading away. A 45% drop would give the Sandman saga roughly $8M boosting the cume to $319M.

LAST YEAR: Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn proved more popular than super heroes as their romantic comedy "The Break-Up" knocked "X-Men: The Last Stand" out of the number one spot in only its second weekend. The Universal comedy opened to $39.2M on its way to a better-than-expected $118.7M. The mutant sequel tumbled 67% to $34M in its sophomore frame for the runnerup position. Paramount’s toon sensation "Over the Hedge" held up well in third with $20.6M followed by "The Da Vinci Code" with $18.6M and "Mission: Impossible III" with $4.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

If there’s one thing better than a movie in which Eddie Murphy plays multiple (wacky) characters, it’s got to be a movie based on a kitschy old TV show. Welcome to "Fantasy Island"!!

According to sources, Mr. Murphy will indeed play multiple roles in a big-screen version of ABC’s "Fantasy Island," which ran from 1978 to 1984 and therefore was probably never watched by anyone reading these words right now. (The show starred Ricardo Montalban and it was about a magical island on which guest stars could have their fondest wishes come true … temporarily.)

And the news just gets better: Murphy will be reuniting with his "Norbit" screenwriters on this flick, which he’ll get to work on right after "Starship Dave." No word yet on who’ll be directing this inevitable masterpiece. And how has nobody made a "Love Boat" flick yet?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Two promising new comedies target different age groups and look to close off a red hot March box office with strong opening weekend sales.

Paramount offers the Will Ferrell pic "Blades of Glory" while Disney goes after the kids with the animated flick "Meet the Robinsons." Together, the pictures should help the marketplace surge and allow the top ten to cross the $100M mark for the fifth consecutive frame. The box office has not seen this kind of streak since last summer. Smaller films entering the multiplexes include the action pic "The Lookout" from Miramax and Universal’s uplifting drama "Peaceful Warrior."

Comedy king Will Ferrell skates into theaters everywhere looking for another gold medal with his newest laugher "Blades of Glory." The PG-13 film finds the funnyman and Jon Heder playing rival figure skaters who must team up as a pair in order to compete again. Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Jenna Fischer, and Craig T. Nelson co-star. "Blades" boasts the two main ingredients to a successful comedy hit – a bankable star and a unique concept. Add in the very funny commercials and trailers and Paramount is well-positioned to score its second number one hit of the year joining fellow star-driven comedy "Norbit." Both pics were produced by DreamWorks.

Ferrell left the competition in the dust last summer with "Talladega Nights" which bowed to a robust $47M on its way to a $148M final. "Blades" doesn’t have as big of a marketing push or the prime summer play period so its opening will not soar as high. But the former "Saturday Night Live" star will again prove that he is a reliable draw. The industry had some doubts in 2005 when both "Bewitched" and "Kicking and Screaming" failed to reach $65M. Ferrell’s 2004 hit "Anchorman" debuted to $28.4M and "Blades" should play out like that one, only bigger. Teens and young adults will be the driving force plus there is plenty of cross-gender appeal. Though the marketplace is crowded with many options, there aren’t too many direct threats. "Wild Hogs," the only major comedy, is getting old as is "300" which most high school and college students have already seen. Spinning into over 3,000 theaters, "Blades of Glory" should finish in first place and win about $37M over the weekend.


Ferrell and Heder in "Blades of Glory."

Disney uses its patented moves to go after the family audience with its latest animated offering "Meet the Robinsons." With most digital toons these days being of the PG variety, "Robinsons" carries a G rating which it hopes will help convince parents to buy tickets for even the youngest of their children. The story follows an orphan boy who befriends a kind family and features the voices of Angela Bassett, Tom Selleck, and Adam West. In the cartoon world, films sell best when they are comedies and feature popular comedians in central roles. "Robinsons" at least has the first factor working for it.

The marketing has been strong and trailers have been funny. But unlike the studio’s last film for kids, "Bridge to Terabithia," this time competition will be a force. "TMNT" and "The Last Mimzy" will only be in their second weekends and are set to steal away about $20M worth of business from the same target audience. Luckily, the weekend’s two other new films will attract different segments of the moviegoing crowd. "Meet the Robinsons" does not have the firepower to reach the heights of Pixar pics. Rather, it may bring out the same size audience as last fall’s "Open Season" which bowed to $23.2M from an ultrawide 3,833 locations. "Meet the Robinsons" bows in roughly 3,200 sites but could exploit its studio’s brand name to deliver a similar gross of about $23M.


Let’s "Meet the Robinsons."

Years after leaving the sitcom world of NBC’s "3rd Rock From the Sun," Joseph Gordon-Levitt anchors the heist thriller "The Lookout." The R-rated Miramax release comes from writer-turned-rookie-director Scott Frank and co-stars Jeff Daniels. Starpower is seriously lacking here and that will hurt its box office prospects. Reviews have been good, but the target audience of young adults have "Blades of Glory," "300," and "Shooter" to choose from and all of them offer more for the money. With only so much marketing and distribution strength behind it, the film will have a tough time just getting an invite to the top ten. "The Lookout" debuts in about 1,000 theaters on Friday and could collect about $4M over three days.


Jeff Daniels and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in "The Lookout."

In an unorthodox approach, Universal will be releasing the inspirational drama "Peaceful Warrior" in 615 theaters this weekend but most moviegoers will actually be getting free tickets through a promotion with Best Buy. The PG-13 film starring Nick Nolte was given a limited release last summer and grossed more than $1M from just over 40 theaters. Universal will report box office grosses that include regular paid sales plus full ticket prices for each free admission. With $15M worth of free tickets allocated for opening weekend, it will be unlikely that the paid portion will make up a sizable amount. Film fans who visit the promotional web site can get up to ten complimentary tickets each. However, the studio should get some extra buzz that it could benefit from when the DVD is released a few months down the road.


Nick Nolte and Scott Mechlowicz in "Peaceful Warrior."

The Ninja Turtles ruled the box office last weekend in "TMNT," but will face a formidable foe in Disney’s "Meet the Robinsons" which will play to the same audience. A 40% drop would give the animated actioner $14M for the frame and $43M after ten days. Warner Bros has also been raking in the dough with its stylish war epic 300 which has been holding up surprisingly well. Another 40% fall will put the R-rated battle pic at $12M boosting the cume to $180M after 24 days. Mark Wahlberg‘s "Shooter" could decline by 45% to $8M giving Paramount a ten-day total of $27M.

LAST YEAR: Smashing the March opening weekend record set four years earlier by its predecessor, "Ice Age: The Meltdown" shot straight to number one with a colossal $68M debut. The Fox juggernaut went on to gross $195.3M domestically and a towering $657M worldwide giving the "Ice Age" duo over $1 billion in global grosses. Dropping to second was "Inside Man" with $15.4M. Warner Bros. launched its urban drama "ATL" in third with $11.6M on its way to $21.2M. Rounding out the top five were "Failure to Launch" with $6.5M and "V for Vendetta" with $6.3M. The horror flick "Slither" creeped into eighth place with a $3.9M opening leading to a $7.8M final. Sony claimed the year’s most notorious flop with "Basic Instinct 2" which bowed to $3.2M on its way to a pathetic $5.9M before sweeping the Razzie Awards.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

A crowded box office saw six new films shove their way into the multiplexes this weekend, but it was the Warner Bros. animated film "TMNT" that led the way knocking the studio’s own historical battle film "300" from the number one spot.

Mark Wahlberg‘s new sniper pic "Shooter" enjoyed a decent opening in third place while the rest of the debuting films saw more modest results. Overall, the box office was vibrant with seven different pictures hitting double digit millions.

Turtle power conquered North America as "TMNT" ruled the weekend with an opening of $25.5M, according to estimates. The PG-rated toon averaged a powerful $8,183 from 3,110 theaters and collected an amount that was almost identical to the record $25.4M debut of the live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from March 1990. However, ticket prices were much lower 17 years ago and films played in fewer theaters so that hit’s $12,661 average from 2,006 locations was more impressive. With few new choices for kids in recent weeks, "TMNT" was able to corner the market for young ones. However, long term success could be challenging as Disney will unleash its rival animated entry "Meet the Robinsons" this Friday.

After two weeks on top of the charts, the Spartan war epic "300" dropped to second place but still held up well despite the onslaught of new films. The Warner Bros. blockbuster fell by only 38% to an estimated $20.5M and lifted its cume to a staggering $162.4M after 17 days. The R-rated smash now looks likely to reach the $200M mark domestically — a level no March film has ever reached before.

Overseas, "300" dominated the marketplace with its invasion of the U.K. and several key European countries with a colossal $48M from 33 markets with 5,000 prints. That pushed the international total to $79M and the global gross to $241M. 300 should dominate the spring box office worldwide and could go on to surpass $500M.

Mark Wahlberg‘s new action thriller "Shooter" opened in third place with an estimated $14.5M from 2,806 locations. The Paramount release averaged a good $5,168 per theater and played to an adult aduience. Studio research showed that two-thirds of the crowd for the R-rated film was age 25 or older. "Shooter" finds the recent Oscar nominee playing a former marine wrongly accused of trying to kill the U.S. President. The budget was just over $60M.

With no new comedies opening among the half-dozen new releases, Buena Vista’s motorcycle laugher "Wild Hogs" held strong once again and slipped only 25% to an estimated $14.4M. The Tim AllenJohn Travolta pic has upped its cume to $123.8M to date making it 2007’s second biggest blockbuster trailing only the Spartan tale. "Hogs" is also the top-grossing release for Disney since Johnny Depp‘s pirate smash from last summer.

Three films claimed estimates near the $10M mark and could see their rankings get shuffled when final numbers are reported on Monday. New Line opened its kids adventure "The Last Mimzy" with an estimated $10.2M from 3,017 theaters for a mild $3,381 average. The sci-fi tale earned mixed reviews and faced stiff competition for children from "TMNT."

After enjoying a career-high opening, Sandra Bullock saw her critically-panned suspense thriller "Premonition" fall by a reasonable 43% in its second weekend to an estimated $10.1M. Sony has scared up a solid $32.2M in ten days for the $20M production and should conclude with $55-60M.

Fox Atomic, the studio’s division that targets teens and young adults, bowed its horror sequel "The Hills Have Eyes II" to the tune of $10M, according to estimates. Averaging a mediocre $4,087 from 2,447 locations, the R-rated zombie flick opened 54 weeks after its predecessor which itself was a remake. The first "Hills" performed better and opened to $15.7M and a $5,996 average last March on its way to $41.8M. Eyes 2 cost $15M to produce and played mostly to an under-25 audience. Males and females were almost equally represented.

The Adam Sandler drama "Reign Over Me" debuted in eighth place with an estimated $8M from 1,671 sites for a commendable $4,788 average per theater. The R-rated film about a man who loses his way in life after his family is killed on September 11 earned good marks from critics. Given the difference in subject matter, "Reign" played primarily to adult women and not to the young male crowd that the funnyman usually attracts with his comedies. Studio research showed that 59% of the audience was female and 60% was 25 or older. The $20M production co-stars Don Cheadle and Jada Pinkett Smith and opened a bit below Sandler’s mature pic "Spanglish" which bowed to only $8.8M in 2004.

Lionsgate’s swim team drama "Pride" tanked in its opening weekend diving into just $4M, according to estimates. Starring Cheadle’s "Crash" co-star Terrence Howard, the PG-rated film averaged a weak $2,655 from 1,518 locations and earned mixed reviews from critics. Rounding out the top ten was the killer doll flick "Dead Silence" with an estimated $3.5M in its second weekend. Off a steep 55%, the Universal release has grossed $13.3M in ten days and should finish with just under $20M.

With all the new faces, six films tumbled out of the top ten over the weekend with declines of more than 50% each. Chris Rock‘s latest film "I Think I Love My Wife" fell 51% in its second weekend to an estimated $2.8M for a ten-day cume of only $10M. A final gross of about $15M seems likely. Disney’s fantasy drama "Bridge to Terabithia" dropped 55% to an estimated $2.3M in its sixth frame. With a strong $78.9M in the bank, Bridge looks to end its run with $82-84M.

Sony’s "Ghost Rider" took in an estimated $1.7M, down 59%, for a $113.2M cume. The Nicolas Cage actioner should finish with roughly $116M. Paramount’s serial killer drama "Zodiac" has been one of the year’s big underperformers and crumbled 63% to an estimated $1.2M. The $65M film has collected only $31.7M thus far and looks to end with a disappointing $34M.

The Eddie Murphy hit "Norbit" has performed much better for Paramount and grossed an estimated $1M this weekend, off 63%, pushing the total to $94.1M. A $96M final is likely. Hugh Grant‘s latest comedy has made half as much. "Music and Lyrics," co-starring Drew Barrymore, fell 60% to an estimated $920,000 pushing the total to $49.2M. Look for a $51M final.

Fox Searchlight once again generated the best per-theater average in the Top 20 with Mira Nair‘s "The Namesake" which expanded from 41 to 117 theaters and grossed an estimated $1.4M. Averaging a sturdy $11,581 per site, the PG-13 pic upped its total to $2.7M and will add another 125 theaters this Friday.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $120.6M which was up 27% from last year when "Inside Man" opened at number one with $29M; and up 39% from 2005 when "Guess Who" debuted on top with $20.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

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