Box Office Guru Preview: Underworld Battles Oscar All-Stars

Inkheart also opens this weekend; Revolutionary Road, Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon expanding.

Ron Howard's political drama Frost/Nixon, which did score a nod for the top prize from the Academy, also widens to about 800 runs this weekend. But unlike Road, this film has been steadily eroding away at the box office and posted a mediocre $4,375 average last weekend from 153 sites. Universal is hoping that the five Oscar nominations will reignite interest and open up a new chapter to the run now that it's a bonafide contender in a real awards race. The studio wisely bought plenty of television ads during the Inauguration on Tuesday to keep it on the radar with those interested in the subject matter. With no huge stars, Frost/Nixon truly needed Oscar's love in order to pull in paying customers so the next four weeks will be the most lucrative part of the theatrical run. A weekend gross of roughly $4M could result.


Frost/Nixon

After hauling in a jaw-dropping $531M domestically and $997M worldwide, The Dark Knight will get one last mission this weekend with its re-release on Friday in about 250 locations including 143 IMAX sites. The eight Academy nods could fuel interest and lead many to see it again, plus those who were sold out of the IMAX run last summer get a chance to see the large-format version with crowds not likely to be as big. Of course millions now own the mega-smash on DVD so potential is limited, but the Gotham City faithful will seize this opportunity to see it on the big screen one last time. A gross of about $1M may result.


The Dark Knight

Last weekend, funnyman Kevin James did what buddy Adam Sandler twice failed to do last year - score a number one box office hit. The Sony hit Paul Blart: Mall Cop doesn't have much direct competition this weekend so the PG-rated pic will attempt to spend another week on top. A 40% drop may occur giving the security guard comedy about $19M for the frame and a robust $62M in ten days.

Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino only dipped by 26% last weekend over the Friday-to-Sunday session. Despite a total snub from the Oscars, it should be another strong hold this time. Expanding Academy Award nominees will provide competition here and there, but still a relatively low 20% slide to around $17M may result. That would lift the total for Torino to a superb $98M.

Lycans should cut into sales of My Bloody Valentine 3D which is set to drop sharply like most films of the genre. But the Lionsgate offering is more liked by audiences than most horror entries so a total collapse may not happen. Look for a 50% fall to around $10.5M which would boost the cume to $38M.

Fox Searchlight's Notorious is another film likely to have pulled in the bulk of its audience on opening weekend so it too could see sales get chopped in half. That would give Biggie Smalls about $10M for a $36M sum after 10 days. The kidpic Hotel for Dogs could hold up better so a 35% decline would give Paramount roughly $11M this weekend and push the ten-day tally to $36M.

LAST YEAR: With seven different films grossing $10-20M each, theaters were busy with plenty of business. The spoof comedy Meet the Spartans was king though opening to $18.5M for Fox on its way to $38.2M. Close behind was Lionsgate's bloody actioner Rambo with $18.2M finding its way to $42.8M. Fox's wedding comedy 27 Dresses fell a spot to third with $13.4M while the monster flick Cloverfield tumbled 68% from first to fourth with $12.7M. The Paramount thriller scored the second biggest opening in history ($40.1M) for a film that didn't reach $100M following only Scary Movie 4 ($40.2M). Debuting in fifth was Diane Lane's crime pic Untraceable with $11.4M for Sony leading to a $28.7M final.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Comments

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Gotta go out of town this weekend so no movies for me, DAMMIT I GOTTA SEE LYCANS!!! Jk those movies suck. Not much comes out til Coraline. BRING ON WATCHMEN!

Jan 22 - 04:31 PM

vitajex

Mike M

Underworld will pull under 25M this weekend and end with between 40-55M for the run.

Revolutionary Road is going DOWN after getting only a Supp Actor nom. That film will quickly be forgotten and be sold in the $5 bin at Wal-mart in a year.

Button will stay strong and will definitely end over $100M.

When the hell is Brendan Fraser going to do something different? Even 'The Rock' tries to branch out and do new stuff. Fraser hasn't done a none-action movie since Gods and Monsters. And he's funny too! Do some more comedies, for cripes' sake!

Jan 22 - 04:36 PM

A Delicious Pudding

David McMichael

Since Gods and Monsters? Hmm... I feel like there might have been something... um.... oh. Right. Crash.

Jan 22 - 09:38 PM

nate2709

Nate 2709

oooooooooooooh, Inkheart or another terrible Underworld flick (without Beckinsale this time), I guess I'll be doing a lot of reading this weekend.

Jan 22 - 10:09 PM

inactive user

Jared King

A Delicious Pudding beat me to the point. And that's his name, if you don't know that my comment seems crazy!

Anyway, "Inkheart" I predict will be number one. R ratings hurt movies. So does not be screened in advance. Not that reviews will stop fans. And "Watchmen" will make plenty of cash, but "Underworld" dosen't have a following the size of "Watchmen."

vitajex, are you being a little harsh "RR"?

Jan 23 - 12:10 AM

Funkmaster Flex

Phillip Martin

I'm all for actors branching out, but I'm not sure Dwayne Johnson is the best role model (I'm thinking of The Gameplan right now...). I haven't been to the theater since Quantum of Solace, and I've really got the itch to go this weekend. I usually go to see action movies since it doesn't matter to me if I see a drama on a 42" screen or a 100' screen to me. Lycans will probably get my vote this weekend. It's got its issues as all popcorn flicks do, but it has style. Since I don't feel like seeing a whole lot of substance (period piece best picture nominations I'm looking at you), I think I'll tune out and enjoy Rhona Mitra in leather and Bill Nighy in a skirt (felt odd typing that sentance).

Jan 23 - 08:33 AM

inactive user

Jared King

I haven't been to theatres since "The Dark Knight". It's been hard.

Jan 23 - 02:07 PM

Gimy

Gimy Moo

i was on the fence with Underworld until i kept seeing trailers without mitra. eh, snooze. i'll rent it for sure but the trailers weren't all that entertaining. just looks like a dead franchise trying to make a quick buck. no beckinsale and the lead chic who's hot isn't even featured? uh...ok...

Jan 23 - 09:16 AM

Funkmaster Flex

Phillip Martin

I figure the worst that can happen is that it'll make me so mad that I won't see another movie in the theater until Watchmen.

Jan 23 - 10:01 AM

inactive user

Jared King

I haven't been to theatres since "The Dark Knight". It's been hard.

Jan 23 - 02:07 PM

Unbreakable Samurai

Unbreakable Samurai

I actually have to many choices myself, I'm all kinds of happy with all the award movies finally coming to my city. And Inkheart looks like it could actually be alright.

Jan 23 - 09:07 PM

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