a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Friday, January 05, 2007

Weekend Boxoffice #13

I figured I'd keep this weekly prediction column going, even though new releases are going to be rather lowbrow for a while, the curse of the January/February movie dump.

Opening today:

HAPPILY N'EVER AFTER (2381 screens). This is a grammatically-wonky title -- it's unclear what the apostrophe is replacing -- and I have no real idea what the film's plot is or who the main character is. Still, the ad's linking it to Shrek will help, and people will probably see it. $11.7 million.

CODE NAME: THE CLEANER (1736 screens). I saw the commercial for this, and wow does it look bad. You can almost see Lucy Liu's career finish its death rattle. I suppose Cedric the Entertainer has his fan base, though that didn't help his version of The Honeymooners. $5.3 million.

FREEDOM WRITERS (1360 screens). On the downside, it looks earnest and very familiar, and I have no idea who will go see it; I think most teens will be apathetic, and most adults have plenty of stuff up for Oscar running that they still need to see (my shortlist: Children of Men, Pan's Labyrinth, Dreamgirls). But the one review I skimmed of this (in the LA Times) sort of liked it, and it is written and directed by writer Richard LaGravenese, who I like. But it's hard to see it making more than about $5.0 million.


CHILDREN OF MAN (from 16 screens to 1210). The buzz on this is just getting better, and though the screen count is still low, it should do around $10.1 million.

Look for NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM (which is the season's big breakout hit, thanks to a lack of alternatives), THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS and DREAMGIRLS to finish 1-2-3 this weekend, in that order, probably all making between $12 million and $19 million.

What have you seen? What do you recommend, or not? What are you likely to see this weekend?


At 8:19 AM, Blogger shecanfilmit said...

I'm going to see Children of Men this weekend. I have no opinion about the rest of the box office.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Emily Blake said...

I'm an English teacher in the LA ghetto. I think I'm legally required to see Freedom Writers.

But one of my coworkers saw it this week and said it was really good, so I definitely plan on seeing it.

My students usually make pretty good barometers, but they're not seeing anything this weekend. So it'll be a low box office all around.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger Robert Hogan said...

I saw Night at the Museum and liked it. If you have your doubts about this flick give it a try, you might be surprised.

I'm not really interested in anything coming this weekend. My wife (also a teacher) is all excited about Freedom Writers, but she also had the opportunity to meet the woman the film is based on. I agree the film looks like something I may have seen a couple times before. If we see anything this weekend, that will probably be it.

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Gotta go with Children of Men.

My guess:
Night at the Museum - 21 million
Happyness - 11 million
Dreamgirls 10 million
Children of Men - 8 million
Freedom Writers - 5.5 million
Happily N'Ever - 4 million
Cleaner - 3 million

At 7:52 PM, Blogger Emily Blake said...

Freedom Writers wasn't full, but it had a healthy audience - albeit full of teachers - who clapped at the end. Plus, word of mouth is good. Expect it to do okay and stay strong next weekend.

At 1:22 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

The verdict is that I was pretty close on Children of Men. Freedom Writers did almost $10 million, which is encouraging that there is an audience out there for this kind of movie.

Happily N'Ever After got terrible reviews, and did about $6.8 million. Code Name: The Cleaner got terrible reviews, and did $4.6 million.

Night at the Museum continues to chug away, with another $24 million.

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Formerly, The Dude Spoke said...

Children of Men is an outstanding film, as is Pan's Labyrinth. Can't recommend them enough.


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