Archive for the ‘Elizabeth Banks’ Category

Weekend Fix: Paul Blart Gets Taken Down!

February 1, 2009

Hey guys, I’m down with some kind of flu and not feeling too great, and I want to be ready for the Super Bowl tonight, so there won’t be much analysis today. All you really need to know is that Taken had a great weekend ($24.5 million), The Uninvited ($10.5 M) and New In Town ($6.7 M) were relative disappointments, and something finally removed Paul Blart ($14 M) from the top spot. All is well in the world again. Here are the full weekend numbers:

WAIT! For some reason, I feel obligated to give Hotel For Dogs a shout out. After it’s so-so opening of $17.7 million a couple weeks back, it’s been a very solid performer, dropping just 27% last weekend, and 32 % this weekend, for a not-half-bad $48 million total. Okay, now, onto the weekend numbers:

Top 12 For January 30-February 1
# Movie Title 3-Day Gross % Change AVG. Total
1 Taken $24,625,000 New $7,736 $24,625,000
2 Paul Blart: Mall Cop $14,000,000 -35% $4,367 $83,375,000
3 The Uninvited $10,512,000 New $4,485 $10,512,000
4 Hotel For Dogs $8,706,000 -32% $2,755 $48,229,000
5 Gran Torino $8,600,000 -47% $2,852 $110,547,000
6 Slumdog Millionaire $7,680,000 -28% $4,703 $67,244,456
7 Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans $7,200,000 -65% $2,447 $32,784,000
8 New In Town $6,750,000 New $3,478 $6,750,000
9 My Bloody Valentine: 3D $4,260,000 -58% $3,030 $44,610,000
10 Inkheart $3,700,000 -51% $1,394 $12,792,000
11 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button $3,611,000 -41% $1,698 $116,540,000
12 Bride Wars $3,570,000 -48% $1,798 $53,936,587
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

What do you think about the weekend? Is Puffy Face (Renee Zellweger) in need of a major career revival? Have you seen Taken? And Lost fans, are you excited to see Maggie Grace (Shannon) find box office success with Taken? I know I am!

Friday Estimates: With $9.5 Million On Its First Day, Taken Will Take The Weekend

January 31, 2009

Friday turned out to be a pretty good day at the box office this weekend, and movies basically have tonight to keep making money, before their box office potential is slashed in half by Super Bowl Sunday. Based on Friday Estimates, though, Taken will easily run away as the weekend champ.

The Liam Neeson action picture, Taken, found a great $9.5 million on Friday, which was far and away the best on the chart. This debut establishes Liam Neeson as a viable box office draw, which is good, because I’m fairly certain that most people knew him as “that guy in a bunch of movies” and the voice of Aslan in the Narnia films. For the rest of the weekend, I’ll give Taken a pretty typical-for-Superbowl-Weekend multiplier of 2.5 and say it should end up with about $24 million for the frame.

The Uninvited opened to a fair $4.5 million on Friday. It’s a bit curious to me that this didn’t break out more, but I think that January’s recent glut of horror films at the cinema must have finally had an effect on the box office. Still, because of low production costs, this is hardly a flop, and it should be able to rake in $12 million over the three day weekend, good enough for 2nd or 3rd place, since Paul Blart: Mall Cop will be looking at a similar total. It will be intersting to see if The Uninvited has a smaller decline next weekend because of its Super Bowl lowered totals.

New In Town could only muster up $2.6 million of ticket sales, as it appears that people just aren’t excited to see Renee Zellweger in any kind of movie, especially one as bad as this. I’m telling you all, winning the Oscar for Best Actress is a box office death sentence. Give New In Town $7.5 million over the weekend. Here are the full Friday Estimates:

Friday Estimates For January 30, 2009
1. Taken – $9.5 million
2. The Uninvited – $4.5 million
3. Paul Blart: Mall Cop – $4 million
4. Gran Torino – $2.8 million
5. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans – $2.6 million
6. New in Town – $2.6 million
7. Slumdog Millionaire – $2.25 million
8. Hotel For Dogs – $1.9 million
9. My Bloody Valentine 3-D – $1.5 million
10. Bride Wars – $1.2 million
11. The Wrestler – $1.1 million
12. Inkheart – $1.1 million

Weekend Preview: Can The Uninvited Take Down Taken On Super Bowl Weekend?

January 30, 2009


It’s Super Bowl Weekend this weekend, and in terms of the box office, that means it’s time for counter-programming. With every man in the U.S. glued to the sofa on Sunday, studios traditionally hope to release movies that will engage female viewers. But the curious thing about this year is that among the three new releases, it seems that the harder they target women, the less box office potential they have. Opening this week is the male oriented action film, Taken, a psycho-stepmom horror flick, The Uninvited, and a generic romantic comedy, New In Town. Strangely enough, as the subject matter gets girlier, the receipts should be lower.

The number one film this weekend will be Fox’s Taken, which is getting a huge release into 3,183 theaters. The film, which stars Liam Neeson, will have to make almost all of its money on Friday and Satruday, since the Super Bowl will absolutely obliterate ticket sales. Taken tells the story of a retired CIA agent, who must rescue his daughter and her friend when they are abducted in France. Besides Neeson, the film stars two beautiful actresses who have been written off popular TV shows, Maggie Grace (killed off of Lost) and Famke Jansen (her character left when she turned out to be a man on Nip/Tuck). Despite the lack of Sunday box office, awareness is pretty good for this one, advertising has been effective, and it’s got some fairly good reviews. All of this should lead to a nice $19 million weekend.

The only other newcomer competing for the top spot this weekend is The Uninvited, the latest in what has become a veritable parade of horror movies this January. The feature from Paramount stars Elizabth Banks as a woman who comes to tend to a sick father’s bedside. All of the sudden, though, the man’s wife has died, and he has become engaged to this younger woman. His daughters are creeped out by the new fling, and they set out to get to the bottom of what’s going on. It’s a mixture of a ghost story and a psychotic stepmom story. The advertising on this has been strong and highly effective, giving audiences a good idea of the plot. Also, with a PG-13 rating, and three central female characters, this seems like a horror release that is woman-friendly, which should help it a bit this weekend. For a movie of this genre, reviews aren’t bad, and earlier in January The Unborn, My Bloody Valentine: 3D, and Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans all managed to open in the $19-22 million range, and while the Super Bowl will take that dwn a notch, I don’t why audiences would have just suddenly gotten tired of horror again. Almost every other box office prediction is giving this an $11-12 million opening, but I think The Uninvited, which is flying into 2,344 theaters, is looking at $17 million over the weekend.

The final new release of the weekend is the only offering that is truly targeting women, but its prospects are still looking grim. New In Town is a romantic “comedy” from Lionsgate starring Puffy Face herself, Renee Zellweger, and Harry Connick Jr.. (I will admit that she looks a bit less “puffy” in this movie, so maybe she’s taking it easy on the botox…) The plot here is so thin that I won’t even go over it, but suffice it to say, it looks terrible. Like Bride Wars terrible. I’m pretty sure winning the Oscar for Best Actress is actually a curse that makes all of your following films extremely bad, because I don’t see why else Zellweger would sign on to this. I guess she just needs work like anyone else. Reviews are awful, it’s getting a release of 1,941 theaters, and there’s been minimal advertising for this stinker. Give New In Town $6.5 million for the frame.

Among holdovers, Paul Blart: Mall Cop is still very much a force to be reckoned with. Since the Sandler-produced comedy is a film geared at young males, it will drop a bit harder this weekend, but a 45% drop will still give it $12 million for the weekend, and $80 million overall. Clint Eastwood’s box office stalwart, Gran Torino, will continue its great run, and a 40% drop will put the film at $10 million for the weekend and $111 total. Given the geek factor and the Super Bowl factor, Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans should see a fanboy-style drop of about 60% to $8 million. Meanwhile, Slumdog Millionaire should continue its increible resilience as it expands into about 200 more theaters, which might give it a sweet 12th weekend of $8 million. Here’s my full forecast for the weekend:

Predicted Top 12 For January 30-February 1
1. Taken – $19 million
2. The Uninvited – $17 million
3. Paul Blart: Mall Cop – $12 million
4. Gran Torino – $10 million
5. Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans – $8 million
6. Slumdog Millionaire – $8 million
7. Hotel For Dogs – $7.5 million
8. New In Town – $6.5 million
9. The Curious Case Of Benajmin Button – $4.5 million
10. My Bloody Valentine: 3D – $4.3 million
11. Bride Wars – $4 million
12. Inkheart – $3 million

What do you all think of my forecast? Does it make sense, or am I as hopeless as The Cardinals on Sunday? Let’s hear your predictions in the comments! Go Steelers!

5 Reasons You Love Elizabeth Banks (And Probably Didn’t Even Know It!)

January 28, 2009

Would it surprise you if I told you that the biggest female box office star of the last decade was Elizabeth Banks? I’m sure many of you probably don’t even know who she is! Well, as it turns out, Elizabeth Banks, whose new film The Uninvited opens in two days, has cumulatively grossed more money at the U.S. box office than any other woman in the 2000’s. Crazy right? While Elizabeth Banks does not exist on the levels of Jolie or Kidman, she gets way more roles, that are funnier, cooler, and more interesting, and on top of all that, she’s hotter! Since it’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time for The Box Office Junkie’s weekly list, here are 5 Reasons You Love Elizabeth Banks, whether you know her or not:

5. Scrubs!
If you’re part of the massive cult that makes up the world of Scrubs fans, then you’re already familiar with Ms. Banks, who frequently guest stars on the NBC ABC comedy as Zack Braff’s fellow doctor/girlfriend/ baby mama. She showed up at the end of the fifth season, and comes by for a visit every now and then!

4. First Lady At The Box Office, And In The White House
For Oliver Stone’s presidential film, W., Elizabeth transformed herself into Laura Bush, our country’s former First Lady, who must be so relieved that the last eight years are finally over. Starring alongside Josh Brolin, Banks looked the part as well as she acted it, and she received rave reviews for her portrayal in the political film.

3. She’s Part Of The Apatow Crowd
Elizabeth Banks has done herself well by staying close with Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, and Judd Apatow. By starring in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, and Role Models, Banks has wisely been making herself one of the few women, along with Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie, that can legitimately draw men into theaters. It’s nice to see that despite her success, she doesn’t consider herself “above” comedy. And, yes, I’m looking at you, Academy Awards.

2. The Beautiful Betty Brant
You may not remember her very well, but Elizabeth Banks appears in all three of the massively lucrative Spider-Man movies as Miss Brant, the raven-haired secretary for newspaper mogul, Jonah Jameson. Personally, I’m a big fan of Miss Brant, and I know that she must have a cult following somewhere on the internet. My new mission is to find them! If you consider yourself part of the Betty Brant Fan Club, let me hear you sound off in the comments!

1. The Insanely Awesome Slither
Okay, movie geeks, this one goes out to you. Slither is a film from 2006 about an alien plague that turns people into all sorts of slug-like, mutant creatures. The intentional B-movie failed miserably at the box office, earning just $7 million, but true fanboys (and critics!) carried the Slither banner with utmost pride. Truthfully, this isn’t usually my cup of tea, but I watched this film, and LOVED IT. Seriously, if you’re in need of a fun evening, go watch this. Maybe it would have done better in the EEE.

There you go. Hopefully I’ve been able to shed some light on the most successful female actress of this decade, whose other hits include the football drama Invincible, Fred Claus, Catch Me If You Can, and Wet Hot American Summer. Now, it’s your turn. Did you know who Elizabeth Banks was? Will you see her in The Uninvited? And, most importantly, are you a member of the Betty Brant fan club?