Archive for the ‘Adam Sandler’ Category

8 Legitimate Box Office Draws

November 25, 2009

When I was editing my Weekend Fix video, cutting out clips and fast forwarding through parts of it to keep the time down, I cringed a little bit when I had to cut out the bit about Sandra Bullock being one of the few remaining box office draws.  Indeed, gone are the days when nothing more than an actor’s name could draw audiences to the box office in droves.  Very few movie stars actually exhibit consistent drawing power.  Unlike the Old Hollywood Era of yesteryear, these days, big box office grosses have more to do with spectacle, story, or popular franchises than they have to do with the actors’ popularity. Still, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few names that can truly mobilize the masses and get people into the theaters.  Therefore, since I didn’t get to say my piece in my video, and it is List Wednesday, I present to you (in no particular order) these eight legitimate box office draws:

Sandra Bullock

The fantastic $34.1 million debut of The Blind Side inspired this list, and Sandra Bullock has proven time and time again that she can open movies.  Beautiful, hilarious, and yet somehow down-to-earth and relatable, Bullock comes across as funny and appealing to guys, and appealing as an everyday woman to her fellow females.  While her main audience is certainly females, and most of her big box office hits are romantic comedies (Miss Congeniality – $106 million, Two Weeks Notice – $93 million, The Proposal – $163 million), she’s proven a few times that she’s more versatile than that.  Look no further than Speed, with its $121 million gross, or The Blind Side‘s current box office performance- she’s a true-blue box office star.

Adam Sandler

I wrote about Sandler’s box office viability extensively a while ago.  You can read that post here.  All you have to know, is that this man is one of the smartest decision makers in Hollywood.  He knows his target audience, and he constantly releases films that they want to see.  Voila!  You’ve got a formula for great box office results.

Jim Carrey

The go-to man for comedy.  Jim Carrey, more than any other funnyman in the last 20 years, has established himself as the most popular comedian at the box office.  Audiences love his brand of absurd facial expressions and heartfelt sincerity.  He’s been trying to branch out lately, but when he sticks to high profile, big budget releases like Fun With Dick And Jane ($110 million), Bruce Almighty ($242 million), How The Grinch Stole Christmas ($260 million), Liar Liar ($181 million), and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls ($108 million) features, he really hits his stride and rakes in the dollars.  I personally love it when Carrey mixes his comedy persona with some more serious roles, like in The Truman Show, which resulted in great reviews great box office ($125 million).

Jennifer Aniston

People love to tear down Jennifer Aniston, saying she hasn’t been successful as a movie star and that she should have stuck to TV.  I beg to differ.  When Aniston sticks to the breezy romantic comedy genre, she’s remarkably popular.  She’s found big success with films like Along Came Polly ($88 million), The Break Up ($118 million), Marley And Me ($143 million), He’s Just Not That Into You ($93 million).  By my calculations, that makes someone a movie star.

Will Smith

Like Sandler above, way back in the day, I dedicated a whole post to Will Smith’s box office success.  I don’t need to tell you how famous he is… Just read the old post and add 2008’s $227 million gross for Hancock to the mix.

Brad Pitt

The godfather of all celebrities has really established himself as a major box office force in the 2000s.  He doesn’t have as much of a defined genre as some of the other people on this list, but he typically plays cocky, comedic characters, though he has done his fair share of dramas as well.  In the last decade, he’s found success with Oceans Eleven ($183 million), Troy ($123 million), Oceans Twelve ($125 million), Mr. And Mrs. Smith ($186 million), Oceans Thirteen ($117 million), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button ($127 million), and Inglorious Basterds ($120 million).

Katherine Heigl

Heigl is certainly the youngest and least proven actor on this list, but in the last three years, since che burst onto the scene in TV’s Grey’s Anatomy, she has chosen her film roles wisely, and I have my eye on her as the young box office star with the most potential drawing power.  She already has figured out that her bread and butter is in the romantic comedy genre.  In 2007, she starred in Knocked Up, which grossed $146 million.  In 2008, she took 27 Dresses to $76 million.  And in 2009, she helped The Ugly Truth to $88 million.  If she continues to pick strong roles within her genre, she’ll keep seeing strong returns.

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Review: "Funny People"

August 9, 2009

Funny People, the (relatively) new comedy by Judd Apatow starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen might be the first movie ever to release both the original and its sequel in one feature-length film.

George Simmons (Sandler) is a wildly successful comedy star, who can go nowhere without being recognized but lives alone, with no real companions. Ira (Rogen) is a young, broke, aspiring stand-up comic. When George is diagnosed with a form of Leukemia and given a slim chance of survival, he begins to question how he has lived his life. He sees Ira performing a stand up routine and hires him as an assistant and joke writer.

That’s the first movie. It then spins off into a second, tangentially related plot in this rather bloated, often grim comedy. I felt like there was a lot Apatow wanted to do with this film, and he ultimately decided just to throw it all in. It could have been an expose of the vapid lives of the famous who are recognized by everybody and k known by none. It could have been the story of the pain and agony that often lies behind the comic genius (the ‘sad clown’ parable we know all too well). It could have been about a man discovering what mattered in the last months of his life. It could have been about the rekindling of an old flame, or about the male camaraderie of an old veteran and a young novice. Instead, it tries to be all these things and more. While I wouldn’t claim it would be impossible to mix some of these themes into one film, Funny People is laden with multiple unimportant side plots and finds trouble un-jumbling and balancing all it tries to achieve.

I wouldn’t say it wholly fails, it succeeds in part with most of what it attempts. But had it trimmed the edges it could have wholly succeeded with all it attempted. It catches you by surprise, for instance, when Simmons’ old flame (Leslie Mann) appears one-third of the way through the movie and immediately starts crying because she had always loved him.

It’s a rather nihilistic, depressing comedy. Apatow said he was trying to make it “twice as serious, and twice as funny” as any of his other films. He succeeded with the former. But as I stated, it ends up feeling like two movies; one where George copes with death, another where he gets re-entangled with the love of his life. The way I ultimately felt about it was that the first half was a better film, but I laughed more in the second. But truth be told, I was anxious for the thing to end.

Sandler is the star of the show, playing a serious and complex character like he never has (well, at least since Billy Madison). He kind of lampoons himself throughout; his George Simmons is known for stupid comedies and characters that make really weird noises. But he’s lonely and isolated, and faced with his own demise. The first half especially showed me the Sandler with the real acting chops.

Apatow did a decent job of creating very flawed, very real characters. At face value, they are all somewhat despicable. Pretty much every character in the film does something disgusting, but somehow you come off liking them anyway. Eric Bana and Leslie Mann
are both disloyal people who ultimately want to save their family, and even though Bana’s character comes off as a tool for the first half of his time on screen, he is shown to be no more of an ass than Simmons; that it was all a matter of perception.

Laughs weren’t exactly commonplace, and were never fits of hysteria. But the film has strong characters and some good things thrown in, even if it gets a little muddled. You might not want to sit through in a theater, but it’s worth seeing at some point.

7.2/10

This Week In Blockbusters: "Funny People"

July 29, 2009

We’ve been Hungover, and we’ve seen Bruno using a dustbuster in… innovative ways. This Friday, the third big comedy of the summer hits theaters… It’s the third film that Judd Apatow has been throth (that’s the ‘three’ version of ‘both’) the writer, director, and producer. The first two were The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. The former is one of my favorite comedies ever, while I thought its follower was rather forgettable. Hopefully, Funny People will deliver. Apatow, who has created an entire genre of comedy, is known for making risky comedy with a dramatic heart. For instance, despite the crudities in The Forty Year Old Virgin, Steve Carrel’s character Andy was a genuine, sweet-natured guy who you actually felt for. Apatow has said this new film is him trying to be “Twice as serious, and twice as funny. Wish me luck!”

The film is about an older comedian, played by Adam Sandler, who is diagnosed with cancer and takes under his wing a young up and coming stand up comic (Seth Rogen). Sandler isn’t known for his dramatic talents to the common public, who seem him as making dumb comedies where he talks funny and throws in fart jokes for good measure. But he has impressed my with his serious work, which I first saw in Spanglish, where I realized the guy could act. I’d prefer he’d do more of that, and less of Zohan, and it seems this film might be moving that direction.

I’m sure it will be funny, and maybe a little sad at times. I’m sure Sandler will yell, and Rogen will play the exact same character he always has, but I think this could be a pretty good move for the Apatow team.

"Funny People" Red Band Trailer

July 9, 2009

God bless the internet.

Remember when, for R-rated comedies, we had to watch an edited, super-lame attempt at them showing humor, all the while only hinting at the cursing, nudity, and disgusting antics that were contained in the movie? Well those were the “green band” trailers, those watered-down puny attempts that the MPAA deemed acceptable. God I hated them!

Okay, not really. But the internet has become a valuable tool for movies like these, where they can do the unofficial “Red-band” trailers and release them on the web, and the hippies at the MPAA can’t get their filthy paws on it. I’ve posted a few on this site, and here’s another. It’s the Red-band trailer for the new Judd Apatow comedy, Funny People, starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen.

I laughed, though that trailer didn’t really tell me anything about the movies plot, save that it’s about two comedians. But the ‘cleaner’ version tells me Adam Sandler’s character is diagnosed with a malignant cancer and isn’t given much time left. That makes it sound a little more serious, doesn’t it?

Appatow has redefined comedy in many ways, taking serious situations and putting laughs to them. For this film he called it his attempts to do one that was “twice as serious,” but still “twice as funny. Wish me luck!”

It’s a bold move, and I bet it pays off.

DVD Sales: Bedtime Stories Hops Atop An Easter-Fueled Chart

April 23, 2009

Here’s the latest DVD Sales Chart from The-Numbers for the week ending April 12th. I’ve added my notes below:

-I was wrong about Bedtime Stories bombing last week on DVD. It looks like it just hit stores a day early, and it registered on the chart as having a poor debut. The reality of the situation is actually much rosier, though, and Bedtime Stories has accrued a solid $28 million over eight days. Not bad for the disappointing Disney/Adam Sandler collaboration that struggled to pass $100 million.

The Day The Earth Stood Still? More like The Day The DVDs Stood Still. It’s not that the Keanu Reeves sci-fi remake bombed with its $14 million debut, but when you factor in the fanboy effect, this is really not a great start on the home market for the Fox film, which also underwhelmed this fall, barely making it to $79 million despite huge buzz.

-Wow. The week of Easter is a great time to be a family film on DVD. Look at the giant boosts that the holiday offered all family-oriented films. A 16% increase for Bolt! A 117% increase for Beverly Hills Chihuahua! A 218% increase for High School Musical 3! A 300% increase for Kung Fu Panda! Pretty impressive stuff. The family effect also helped out The Tale Of Despereaux moderately, as it found a humble $9.8 in its first week on DVD, which is onl $300,000 less than it earned in its opening weekend.

Top 30 Selling DVDs for the Week Ending April 12, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Change Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Weeks in Release
1 Bedtime Stories 1,462,555 562.2% 1,683,409 $25,005,595 $28,779,482 1
2 Day the Earth
Stood Still, The
883,383 -.-% 883,383 $14,650,377 $14,650,377 1
3 Bolt 729,084 16.6% 2,840,035 $13,244,030 $50,450,485 3
4 Marley and Me 726,305 -52.4% 2,251,541 $12,581,128 $40,813,246 2
5 Tale of
Despereaux, The
577,270 -.-% 577,270 $9,807,817 $9,807,817 1
6 Madagascar: Escape
2 Africa
537,196 173.7% 5,683,889 $4,981,795 $87,187,398 10
7 Yes Man 531,931 -.-% 531,931 $9,202,034 $9,202,034 1
8 Twilight 414,927 -35.6% 7,086,697 $8,057,882 $127,962,468 3
9 Slumdog Millionaire 273,059 -67.6% 1,115,447 $4,172,342 $18,341,308 2
10 Doubt 258,287 -.-% 258,287 $4,571,680 $4,571,680 1
11 Beverly Hills
Chihuahua
240,151 117.2% 2,768,695 $3,840,014 $47,753,286 6
12 High School Musical
3: Senior Year
225,526 218.0% 2,914,409 $4,053,153 $52,111,158 8
13 Seven Pounds 223,040 -55.9% 729,113 $3,789,450 $12,433,176 2
14 Not Easily Broken 217,628 -.-% 217,628 $4,256,804 $4,256,804 1
15 Kung Fu Panda 207,978 300.5% 8,332,557 $1,904,392 $126,522,601 22
16 Pinocchio 176,530 76.2% $2,999,245 494
17 Quantum of Solace 169,949 -54.1% 1,752,836 $2,962,636 $31,383,986 3
18 Tigger and Pooh
and a Musical Too
156,640 -.-% 156,640 $2,974,594 $2,974,594 1
19 Madagascar 156,493 274.5% $1,719,858 178
20 Bee Movie 109,838 -.-% 4,836,258 $908,481 $76,570,787 57
21 Role Models 104,719 28.6% 1,588,449 $1,779,176 $26,987,749 5
22 Shrek the Third 98,869 -.-% 11,578,058 $874,269 $173,439,755 74
23 Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword 95,797 -.-% 95,797 $1,340,200 $1,340,200 1
24 Australia 86,634 16.9% 1,301,995 $1,471,912 $21,941,887 6
25 Stuart Little 83,962 76.4% $712,837 469
26 WALL-E 80,148 121.9% 8,623,786 $1,297,372 $136,193,424 21
27 Milk 52,303 14.3% 459,790 $914,779 $8,219,568 5
28 Transporter 3 52,004 -6.3% 978,246 $893,117 $17,467,792 5
29 Punisher: War
Zone, The
51,054 14.6% 363,646 $1,003,553 $6,857,322 4
30 Cadillac Records 40,087 1.6% 281,076 $801,339 $5,423,709 5

The Top Ten Box Office Stars (Allegedly)

January 6, 2009

Each year, the Quigley Publishing Company conducts a poll to answer the question: Who are the top ten box office draws? Via Quigley’s website:

“The Quigley Poll, conducted each year since 1932, is an annual survey of motion picture theatre owners and film buyers, which asks them to vote for the ten stars that they believe generated the most box-office revenue for their theatres during the year. Long regarded as one of the most reliable indicators of a Star’s real box-office draw because the selections are done by people whose livelihood depends on choosing the films that will bring audiences to their theatres.”

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of these generic “End of the Year Top Ten” lists, but the above explanation shows that this is not just a list founded on emotion and trendiness- it’s founded on economic viability, as concluded by the collective group of theater owners. Plus, the poll does hold a certain degree of authority, since it’s been published in the International Motion Picture Almanac for the past 77 years. So without further ado, here’s the list of stars, along with the 2008 films in which they starred:

1. Will Smith (Hancock, Seven Pounds)
2. Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, Tropic Thunder)
3. Christian Bale (The Dark Knight)
4. Shia LaBeouf (Indiana Jones; New York, I Love You; Eagle Eye)
5. Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones)
6. Adam Sandler (Don’t Mess With The Zohan, Bedtime Stories)
7. Reese Witherspoon (Four Christmases)
8. George Clooney (Leatherheads, Burn After Reading)
9. Angelina Jolie (Kung Fu Panda – voice, Changeling, Wanted)
10. Daniel Craig (Quantum Of Solace, Defiance)

I think that the list is pretty accurate overall, though I would question how much drawing power Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig actually have. I’m more inclined to give the edge in drawing power to Indiana Jones and James Bond over the actors who play them. Yes, they each had a blockbuster that came out this year that made a ton of money, but their stars definitely didn’t make big hits out of 2006’s Firewall ($48 million), or 2007’s The Golden Compass ($70 million vs. its $205 million budget) and The Invasion ($15 million). Sometimes you can be in many successful films, but not be a huge draw in your own right- just ask Elizabeth Banks. In fact, if you look only at raw box office numbers, you know who the biggest star of this entire decade is? Stan Lee.

What about you? Who is your personal box office draw? Mine is definitely Ryan Gosling- I’ve been a total convert ever since I saw him in Lars And The Real Girl.

Weekend Fix: Marley And Me Shuts Out Competition On The Biggest Christmas Weekend Ever

December 28, 2008

Fueled by the powerful debuts of Marley And Me, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Bedtime Stories, and Valkyrie, the box office was in full force this weekend, pulling in record numbers for the Christmas frame. It appears that in the midst of a recession, while retail sales are rapidly declining and unemployment is on the rise, the movies offered American audiences a perfect escape from the harsh realities of life. If only the holidays could help our economy as much as they help the movie industry! Over the four day weekend, the Top 12 pulled in an amazing $264 million. Over the three day weekend, the Top 12 pulled in an estimated $194 million, an increase of 15% over the same weekend last year.

Marley And Me nabbed the top spot this weekend, with a humongous $51.6 million opening. Based on the popular bestseller by Josh Grogan, Fox’s already successful Marley And Me officially shuts up all those who claimed that Jennifer Aniston would never be able to become a full-fledged movie star. Between this and 2006’s The Break Up, it seems she has found her niche in relationship movies that are not quite romantic comedies. This is also a big victory for Owen Wilson, as this marks his comeback from his unfortunate and highly publicized suicide attempt last year, so it’s nice to see him doing better. Marley And Me had a fantastic per theater average of $14,849 ($10,632 for the 3-day), the best in the Top 12. Fox has advertised this movie so well. Just like with last December’s Alvin And The Chipmunks, they sold the cute-factor, with commercials that showcased the adorable canine, and it payed off in a big way! In fact, cuteness, sweetness, and schmaltz are all perfectly acceptable in the holiday season. With great family playability and good enough reviews, this should continue to do solid business over the next few days and weeks, and I don’t see any reason why Marley And Me shouldn’t breeze all the way to $170 million in the near future. A true success in every way.

In second place this weekend was David Fincher’s Oscar bait, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, which took in a great $39 million. The Paramount picture exceeded expectations and had a brilliant per theater average of $13,052 ($9,103 for the 3-day). Audiences responded to the fresh and innovative storyline, proving that a good story is the best way to sell a movie. But the story didn’t do all the work here- Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett definitely pulled in some viewers, and the good reviews and Oscar buzz pulled in even more. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button fought against its long playtime, avoiding the three-hour-curse that plagued King Kong in 2005, and performed like a champ. With awards season already upon us, Button should continue to perform strongly, and I’ve gotta say, it is nice to see a movie that can be considered both mainstream and an awards-contender. If it wins some major honors, the sky is the limit in terms of box office, but even if it doesn’t, $140 million is all but assured.

Disney’s Adam Sandler picture (oxymoron?), Bedtime Stories, came in third place this weekend, earning $38.6 million over four days. Bedtime Stories is a classic case of a movie that is a victim of high expectations. Even if its $38.6 million debut isn’t necessarily bad, everyone was expecting this to do better, and absolutely no one thought that The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, which was playing in 700 less theaters and is over an hour longer than Bedtime Stories, could match its debut. So why wasn’t it bigger? Well, I think there are a couple of factors that led to this result. To begin, reviews were bad. Very bad. On top of that, people associate Adam Sandler with a very specific kind of character (see: slacker and/or raunchy), and perhaps that didn’t work so well during the holiday season, where wholesome characters are more welcome. But don’t get me wrong- Bedtime Stories is far from a failure. In fact, with a very large theater count and a good $10,630 venue average ($9,103 for the 3-day), Bedtime Stories should stick around for a while, and will have no trouble making it to $140 million.

Proving that he’s still a star, Tom Cruise also had a good weekend at the cineplex, as United Artists’ Valkyrie took in an estimated $30 million. This movie had a lot working against it. The first problem, Tom Cruise. Mr. Cruise has wisely toned down his antics and raves over the past year, and it looks like audiences are finally ready to move on from Oprah-gate and Lauer-bash. The second problem , a war theme. In the past few years, films about war have not done well at all. You see, movies are about escapism, and when our country is currently at war, no one wants to go to the theater to see what’s already on the news 24/7. It appears, though, that Valkyrie, which takes place during WWII, is far enough removed from our current situation to be affected by the poor receipts that have plagued movies about the Iraq War. With a good $11,075 average ($7,942 over the 3-day), Valkyrie could return Tom Cruise to his $100 million days.

The next four spots on the chart were occupied by last weekend’s top four releases. Warner Brothers’ Yes Man, starring Jim Carrey, did pretty well, dipping just 10% over the three day weekend ($16.5 million), and pulling in $22 million over four days, for a total of $50 million. The Sony drama Seven Pounds was also down 10% ($13.4 million over the 3-day), grabbing an additional $18 million over the four day weekend, which gives the Will Smith vehicle a very underwhelming $40 million total. The Tale Of Despereaux held it’s own, making $11.4 ($9.4 million over the 3-day, a 7% drop) million for a humble $27.7 million total. And sci-fi actioner The Day The Earth Stood Still notched a $10.3 million weekend ($7.9 over the 3-day, a 20% drop) for a $63.3 million total.

Way back in ninth place was Lionsgate’s attempt at Sin City, a much worse movie called The Spirit, which only managed to earn $10.4 million in it’s four day debut, but just $6.5 million over the regular weekend. Despite a cast made up of Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, and Scarlatt Johannson, The Spirit had a weak $4,125 venue average ($2,595 over the 3-day). This was a movie marketed to teens and fanboys, and it’s front-loadedness is already apparent. Look for The Spirit to disappear quickly.

December stalwart Four Christmases added an extra $7.1 million ($5 million over the 3-day) to it’s great $111.8 million cume. The Warner Brothers comedy will probably disappear pretty quickly now that Christmas has passed. Next on the list was Miramax’s Doubt. After expanding into 1,228 theaters, the dramatic Oscar contender starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams, did pretty well, considering its dour subject matter. Over four days, it pulled in $7.1 million for a $6,294 per theater average ($5.7 million over the 3-day, for a $4,479 average). Doubt has currently earned $8.8 million. Rounding out the Top 12 was Twilight, a movie that has done quite well for itself over the past six weeks. Summit’s teen vampire flick found another $6.5 million this weekend, boosting its total to $167 million. (As a side note, I just learned about all this drama going on among Twilight fangirls! The studio wants to recast Taylor Lautner in New Moon for someone with bigger muscles, but the fans want Taylor as Jacob! Read more here…it’s kind of hilarious.) Results for both the 4-day and 3-day weekends are below:

Top 12 for December 25-28 2008
# Movie Title 4-Day Gross
Total
1 Marley And Me $51,675,000 $51,675,000
2 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button $39,000,000 $39,000,000
3 Bedtime Stories $38,598,000 $38,598,000
4 Valkyrie $30,000,000 $30,000,000
5 Yes Man $22,400,000 $49,591,000
6 Seven Pounds $18,100,000 $39,026,000
7 The Tale Of Despereaux $11,400,000 $27,945,000
8 The Day The Earth Stood Still $10,400,000 $63,615,000
9 The Spirit $10,350,000 $10,350,000
10 Four Christmases $7,300,000 $111,817,000
11 Doubt $7,100,000 $8,825,000
12 Twilight $6,000,000 $167,063,207
All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

Top 12 for December 26-28 2008
# Movie Title 3-Day Gross
1 Marley And Me $37,000,000
2 Bedtime Stories $28,069,000
3 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button $27,200,000
4 Valkyrie $21,531,000
5 Yes Man $16,450,000
6 Seven Pounds $13,400,000
7 The Tale Of Despereaux $9,367,000
8 The Day The Earth Stood Still $7,900,000
9 The Spirit $6,510,000
10 Doubt $5,675,000
11 Four Christmases $5,045,000
12 Twilight $4,518,000

All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

Friday Estimates: Marley Remains Top Dog

December 27, 2008

The Friday Estimates chart looks almost identical to Thursday, as Marley And Me stayed on top the day after Christmas with a fantastic $14 million. It’s looking to earn around $55 million over the weekend, when all is said and done. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and Bedtime Stories each took in around $10 million, and both should finish the four-day weekend with $40 million under their belts, which is great for Benjamin Button but a bit underwhelming for Bedtime Stories. Bryan Singer’s Valkyrie, starring Tom Cruise, continues to exceed expectations, notching another $8 million on Friday. It looks to be heading for $30 million by Sunday. The Spirit is already revealing it’s front-loadedness, falling 25% to $3 million from Thursday to Friday. It’s should match my original prediction of $12 million over the four days. Also of note, Doubt and Slumdog Millionaire are still doing their thing near the bottom of the chart. Here are the rest of the results:

Top 12 for December 26, 2008
# Movie Title Daily Gross
1 Marley And Me $14,o00,000
2 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button $10,200,000
3 Bedtime Stories $10,100,000
4 Valkyrie $8,000,000
5 Yes Man $5,500,000
6 Seven Pounds $4,550,000
7 The Spirit $3,000,000
8 The Day The Earth Stood Still $2,200,000
9 The Tale Of Despereaux $2,100,000
10 Four Christmases $2,000,000
11 Doubt $1,470,000
12 Slumdog Millionaire $1,280,000
All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

Christmas Day Estimates: Oh My Dog! Marley And Me Opens To $14.5 Million On First Day!

December 26, 2008

Wow, I don’t think anyone saw this powerful of a debut coming! And that applies to more movies than one! The top three films had the top three Christmas Day debuts EVER. Marley And Me just broke the all-time record for best Christmas Day box office with an estimated $14.5 million! It could be looking a sizzling $58 million debut! The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button didn’t do too badly either, with $11.8 million. The long play-time will cut into it’s gross a bit, but a $45 million projection ain’t too shabby. Assumed front-runner Bedtime Stories took third place with $10.5 million, but I believe it will do much better in the next few days, considering Christmas is a day when many families do choose to stay in. It might finish with $45 million. Even Valkyrie (to my chagrin, I’ll admit it) managed to pull in $8.5 million in ticket sales! The Tom Cruise starrer could make it to $30 million by Sunday. Thanks goodness for The Spirit, which helped maintain some predictability at the box office by only earning $4 million. Give it a still-way-better-than-it-deserves $15 million weekend. Wow, what an amazing day at the box office! Unlike last weekend, the new releases have captured moviegoers’ attention, and people flocked to the theaters in droves this Christmas. Here are the estimates:

Top 12 for December 25, 2008
# Movie Title Daily Gross
1 Marley And Me $14,500,000
2 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button $11,800,000
3 Bedtime Stories $10,500,000
4 Valkyrie $8,500,000
5 Yes Man $6,000,000
6 Seven Pounds $4,750,000
7 The Spirit $4,000,000
8 The Day The Earth Stood Still $2,750,000
9 Four Christmases $2,250,000
10 The Tale Of Despereaux $2,000,000
All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

It’s funny, though. My family has never even considered going to the movies on Christmas Day, and I’ve always felt like a lot of people are in the same boat as me. I don’t even change out of my pajamas, much less go out! It just wouldn’t feel appropriate to me. Anyone else agree? Or do YOU go to the movies on December 25th? Let me know in the comments! Happy holidays!

Weekend Preview: An Avalanche Of New Releases Hope To Find Holiday Success

December 25, 2008

Well Christmas time is officially here! Kids are out of school, parents are off from work, and families are reunited for the holidays. Ah, Christmas! Snow is falling across the country, and sleigh bells are jingling through the sky. My gooey, sentimental, cheerful side is telling me how sweet it is that carols are being sung and people are smiling. My analytical, bottom line, box office side is telling me that this is the time that Hollywood can earn a ton of cold hard cash. Not surprisingly, there are five new wide releases this weekend: Bedtime Stories, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Valkyrie, Marley And Me, and The Spirit.

Seeing as it’s Christmas Eve, and my whole family is coming into town tomorrow morning, and I need to get my sleep (or else Santa won’t come!), this will be a slightly abridged Weekend Preview. I’ll go over each of the new films coming out this weekend with just a couple sentences, ranking them from least box office potential to most over the four day weekend. Oh, wait a minute- did I say films? I meant gifts!

The Orange At The End Of Your StockingThe Spirit (Lionsgate – 2,509 theaters) It’s like 300 and Sin City, just with a terrible advertising campaign, and even worse reviews. $12 million

The Inevitable Chapstick In Your StockingValkyrie (United Artists – 2,711 theaters) It is 2008, and I’m wondering what people dislike more: movies about war or Tom Cruise? $14 million

Nice! A Best Buy Gift Card!The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (Paramount – 2,988 theaters) I had this idea for a screenplay like five years ago! Grrrrr. It looks extremely intriguing, and reviews are pretty good, but a three hour runtime will limit the number of people willing to see it, and the number of times it can be played in theaters. $23 million

Oh Snap, This Is A Nice SweaterMarley And Me (Fox – 3,480 theaters) Jennifer Aniston is on the comeback train, people love Owen Wilson, and who doesn’t love a cute dog? A good romantic comedy with solid leads can be a big draw, and the PG rating will bring in some families. $27 million

An Ipod!Bedtime Stories (Disney – 3,681 theaters) Seems to be following the Night At The Museum trajectory. Sandler is a proven draw, and Disney has marketed the heck out of this one. It is the clear choice for families, on this, the most family-driven weekend of the year. And as a side note, I am aboslutely enamored with Keri Russell. $45 million
Predicted Top 12 for December 25-28
1. Bedtime Stories – $45 million
2. Marley And Me – $27 million
3. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button – $23 million
4. Yes Man – $19 million
5. Seven Pounds – $16 million
6. The Tale Of Despereaux – $15 million
7. Valkyrie – $14 million
8. The Spirit – $12 million
9. The Day The Earth Stood Still – $7.5 million
10. Four Christmases – $5 million
11. Twilight – $5 million
12 Bolt – $4.5 million

Alright guys, have a great holiday. Posting won’t be too frequent for the next couple days, but I’ll try to get Thursday/Friday numbers and the Weekend Fix up as soon as I can. Have a very merry Christmas!