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

Friday, March 23, 2007

Weekend Boxoffice #24

Spring is here, which means that movies are opening in fast, furious fashion, to clean out the crap from winter and lead audiences into funny, intelligent movie experiences.

In theory, of course. Your actual funny, intelligent movie experience may vary.

This week, there are six movies opening, on at least 1500 theaters each:

TMNT (3110 screens). Yes, that's the official name of the movie. For some reason, studios think kids love initials more than actually saying "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". Anyhow, this looks dumb, and it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to see it aside from little boys. It'll still probably make around $16 million, but who knows, could be a lot more.

THE LAST MIMZY (3017 screens). I'd like to believe that families would be smart enough to take their kids to this rather than TMNT, but The Last Mimzy is a real stupid title, the commercials don't do a very good job bringing across the movie, and reviews haven't been good. I think it'll do some cash from the we-have-to-take-the-kids-to-something-they-are-driving-me-crazy-no-not-those-damn-turtles market, but I can't imagine this is really going to break out. $6.9 million.

SHOOTER (2806 screens). I think this will be number 1 for the weekend. It looks entertaining, Wahlberg's a likable actor, and the reviews have generally been good. $26.2 million.

THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2 (2447 screens). They don't have my eyes. $12.7 million.

REIGN OVER ME (1671 screens). I love Don Cheadle, and I like Adam Sandler, and I want to see this movie, but... I don't know. It looks like a downer; you know that if they can't find a funny scene to put in the commercial to at least make you think it's a funny Adam Sandler movie, then this must be really serious. Which can be a good thing, if the film is great, and the reviews have been decent. Though I saw Mike Binder's last film (Man About Town, with Ben Affleck) and wow was that bad. So... I don't know. $8.1 million.

PRIDE (1518 screens). I'm not sure what the audience is for an earnest little movie about black swimmers, and I think there's way to much competition out there right now for this to do well. $4.7 million.

Sadly, all these new movies mean that some older films are being bounced out of theaters; the big victim is Zodiac, which is losing two-thirds of its screens in its 4th weekend. It never did catch on, though I bet it'll find ots audience on DVD.


At 10:57 AM, Blogger Emily Blake said...

I think Reign Over Me is going to be the winner this weekend. It looks like a story - a real story instead of a repeat of crap we've seen over and over like, say, Shooter. I think people are looking for that.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

My heart hopes you are right. My head laughs.

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Matt said...

Reign Over Me looks kind of forced to me. Something about Mike Binder's writing irritates me, although I did like the Kevin Costner movie he did a couple of years ago. Also, as good as Sandler was in Punch Drunk Love, he looks to be "acting" in this one. Sadly, I know quite a few adults that want to see TMNT. Blah! Although I'm not a big fan of recent action movies, not really a fan at all, I think Shooter looks at least decent. Definately a rip off of Fugitive, and First Blood. I think I'll go see Zodiac again.

At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Joe Valdez said...

Shooter will probably open strong and then inch toward $100 million in total grosses.
I don't think Reign Over Me is going to make a red cent. Spanglish was directed by James Brooks and it tanked - showing the serious side of Sandler - and Mike Binder isn't James Brooks.

I see fewer and fewer movies like the ones I grew up with - Ghostbusters, The Terminator, Back To The Future - that are embraced both critically and by the movie going public.

Most of the movies discussed here seem to divide evenly between serious films - where everyone takes a pay cut and the picture doesn't make a dime, but maybe says something - and complete bullshit, like Night at the Museum, where everyone is trying to get paid. What was the last huge movie that was actually good? Batman Begins? The Incredibles?

At 7:53 PM, Blogger Emily Blake said...

Oh, Joe, you are so negative.

I prefer to think positively about the American movie-going public and their intelligence level. I know, everybody tilt their head at my cute naivete.

I suppose at the end of the weekend we will se who is right...

And who is dead.

Or just who is right, really.

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Scott, weren't you a theater manager when the first Turtles movie came out? No one was expecting the attendance that racked up. I think Turtles will wind up strongly at #1.

Scott, do you remember a fellow manager named Walter? He and I were running the Fantasy back then and he tried to line up four cheap TMNT costumes for ushers to wear out on the sidewalk. I told him I thought licensed character costumes would be expensive and he barked at me, "What are you talking about? They're f**king frogs!"

At 8:36 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

I didn't run it, but I know they made a fortune. But there is something just a little cooler about the bad costumes in the original movie. And the fact that one was Corey Feldman. This just looks like CGI crap.

At 9:01 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Shooter toward 100 million? No way. It'll open okay and stick around for a week or two, maybe hitting 60 million and being called a modest success. Reign O'er Me (it's original title/spelling) won't do much, although it looks kinda interesting. A perfect wait-for HBO flick though.

TMNT - 22 Million
300 - 17 million
Shooter - 14 million
Hill Have Eyes 2 - 10 million
Wild hogs - 9-10 million
Mimzy - 8 million
Pride - 6 Million
Reign - 5 million

At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Joe Valdez said...

I think the "American movie going public" are pretty smart, actually. And I don't consider myself beyond reproach when it comes to fine cinema. Austin Powers is one of my favorite movies.

It's fairly blatant though when a movie is actually trying to be good, and when the people involved are just trying to get paid.

I have no problem with audiences. It's weak directors, greedy producers, and lazy writers who deserve to be taken out to the woodshed and whipped with a switch.

Emily, that includes you if your short film is terrible.

Patrick, I'll buy you a beer if Shooter doesn't make $100 million in the U.S.

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Tracy said...

I actually went to see the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Raphael was my favorite – something about bad boys… I mean, bad turtles. I even named my own pet turtle Raphael. Am I going to go see TMNT (has the price of ink gone up so much that we can’t spell the dang thing out…jeez)? I’m not sure. Maybe if my 14-and 11-year-old children want to, but chances are not; I couldn’t get them to watch the original with me. They just kept looking at me as if I was crazy when I tried to explain how much of a big craze this was back in the days when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

I’m just not sure enough time has passed to make this a “remake”. I feel as if I should be a grandparent watching it with my grandchildren as they feed me applesauce through a straw. Everything seems to be the P. Diddy, Bad Boy remix nowadays.

I must say, I do like the variety this weekend. Sometimes you’re in the mood for serious and thought provoking, and sometimes you just want senseless, brainless fun. I think there used to be something about variety being the spice of something or other – just maybe not the box-office, huh?

At 11:24 PM, Blogger Allen said...

id' like to see TMNT because as a guy i his mid twenties I grew up watching the cartoon and playing with the action figures.

At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Blair said...

TMNT is interesting to me, one because of the history there, and two, because the interviews with the director seem to say it will be as serious as the first movie (though the trailers don't seem to indicate that at all). The CGI doesn't look too bad, just highly stylized, and who isn't stylizing nowadays? I think they went with TMNT because they're technically not teens anymore. This is supposed to be (like Superman Returns) the "real" third movie (ignoring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III -- that time-traveling WTF?).

Those costumes were state of the art back with the original, Scott. They were Henson things! My understanding about voices, this time 'round, is that they wanted the 4 turtles to be people you've never heard of, so you'd focus on the characters and not the actors. However, known actors round out the rest of the cast.

And, other than source material, this as the current cartoon series are not related.

See, I used to be a big fan, because the original TMNT comics showed me that not all stories are bright and beautiful (even though TMNT was created as a spoof). In the first issue alone they got beat the hell up, near-evicerated the Shredder, shoved a grenade down his pants, and kicked him off a building (no, he didn't come back).

However, unless I hear fantastic things about it, I'll probably wait for video. I just don't have time to go to anything.

The Last Mimsy -- my friends out there went to a special screening. "Utter crap" was the verdict. The plot was really thin, ("A movie that could have been better told in a half hour, stretched out over two"), and the CG was bad, the acting was bad, etc. The only reason my friend didn't leave is because he knew someone who worked on it, and they went with him.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Friday's "official" estimated numbers (just for Friday) --

TMNT $8.6 million
300 $6.0 million
Shooter $4.7 million
Wild Hogs $4.0 million
Hills Have Eyes 2 $3.8 million
Premonition $3.2 million
Last Mimzy $2.8 million
Reign Over Me $2.5 million
Pride $1.2 million

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Emily Blake said...

Well I may have to take the iocane powder.

Joe, does that mean if my short film is awesome, which it will be because I am a freaking genius, that I get to take you out to the woodshed and beat you with a switch?

At 6:21 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Put him in a wood chipper. It's more of an homage that way.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Damn, I just about nailed it! The totals are looking like this:

TMNT - 25-28
Shooter - 14
Hills/Eyes 2 - 11
Mimzy - 9
Reign - 8
Pride - 4

Well, I was pretty close anyway, and most of those are near my estimates.

Oh, and Joe, Corona will do.

At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Joe Valdez said...

Emily, I wouldn't want the next Joss Whedon to chafe her hands doing anything as menial as chasing after me with a switch. Certainly you could just get your AD to do it. Or the president of your fan club. Drink no odorless poisons, I expect great things out of you.

Patrick, you're a good prognosticator, and humble. You could have gotten an imported beer out of me, easily.

At 10:37 PM, Blogger wcmartell said...

My question about MIMZY - didn't *anyone* involved question that title?

- Bill

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Dante Kleinberg said...

This year has been sort of barren for movies. The only official 2007 movie I've seen so far was 300, and that was sort of grasping at straws, just to get out see SOMETHING.

Looking ahead, nothing excites me until Spider-Man 3. I might go see Blades of Glory with some friends, but I don't expect it to be very good. Is that sad?

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Well, the first few months of the year are usually pretty barren. I haven't seen a single 2007 movie yet.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Barren, yes. Very, althought the Summer is usually good for a decent popcorn flick, other than that we'll have to wait until Wes Anderson, The Coens, PT Anderson, etc, release their movies, hopefully later this year.

At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People have always called it TMNT! This is one of the rare cases where the abbreviation is actually justified.

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

The official numbers, for posterity's sake:

TMNT $24.3 million
300 $19.9 million
Shooter $14.5 million
Wild Hogs $13.9 million
The Last Mimzy $10 million
The Hills Have Eyes II $9.7 million
Premonition $9.6 million
Reign Over Me $7.5 million
Pride $3.5 million


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