Archive for the ‘Receipts’ Category

Friday Estimates: Blind Side Is On Top, Brothers Opens Solidly, Everybody’s Fine Is Anything But

December 5, 2009

Early Friday estimates are in, and you know why I’m excited?  Because it snowing where I live! (Like in the picture above) You know why else I’m excited?  Because Brothers had a pretty solid debut!  Armored and Everybody’s Fine weren’t so lucky.  In the end, though, The Blind Side and New Moon are going to top the box office once again.  Read on for the Friday box office results, along with my notes and early weekend projections.

1. The Blind Side – $6.8 million
The Sandra Bullock football drama that everyone seems to love will rise to number one this weekend.  With almost $7 million on Friday, a $22 million weekend is in the cards. 

2. New Moon – $5.1 million
The emo-vampire flick saw another steep drop on Friday, but it should still find another $16 million this weekend, good for a whopping $256 million total.

3. Brothers – $3.6 million
I gotta say, I’m pretty proud of myself for predicting this one so accurately!  I knew I wasn’t the only one excited for this!  The drama could see an $11 million weekend.  If only I’d done as good of a job predicting Everybody’s Fine…

4. Armored – $2.4 million
The crime caper with surprisingly good reviews found about $2.4 million on Friday, and since this skews to a younger demographic, there should be a slight bit of frontloadedness here.  It should find $7 million over the frame.


5. Old Dogs – $2 million
6. 2012 – $2 million
7. A Christmas Carol – $1.9 million
8. Ninja Assassin – $1.6 million

9. Everybody’s Fine – $1.3 million

Alright, alright.  I’ll admit, I was off in my prediction for this family film, but oh well- it happens!  The Robert De Niro feature will earn around $4 million this weekend.

10. Planet 51 – $1 million

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Weekend Fix: Star Trek Prospers With $76.5 Million On Opening Weekend! Will It Live Long?

May 10, 2009

UPDATE #3: WHAT?! This post has 22 comments?! That’s AWESOME! Keep ’em coming! I finally got the Weekend Fix posted, so I hope you enjoy!
UPDATE #3.5:
Okay, Weekend Actuals just came in, and Star Trek exceeded expectations even more! Craziness! – Grady

Weekend figures just arrived, and Star Trek’s weekend gross is a sweet $75.2 million! ($79.2 million including Thursday!) On Saturday, Star Trek pulled in another $27.2 million, a 1% increase from Friday. Clearly, this film is reaching a much larger audience than just the old Trekkies. Otherwise, we would have seen a fanboy-style dip on Saturday. The Sunday drop to $21 million was quite good, as well, and it shows that good Friday and Saturday word-of-mouth prevented any dip due to Mother’s Day. It appears that Paramount’s advertising got its job done, and audiences are connecting with the raved-about reboot. Also, you should know that in the confusing shuffle of whether or not to count the Thursday showings in the weekend gross of Star Trek, it looks like the accepted figure is that Star Trek made $4 million during Thursday showings. I suppose that the other $3 million earned on Thursday were from showimtes close enough to midnight that they’re just being counted as Friday shows. This is how the weekend looked:

Thursday: $4 million
Friday: $26.9 million
Saturday: $27.2 million (+1.3%)
Sunday: $21.1 million (-22%)
TOTAL: $79.2 million

Bravo, J.J. Abrams! You’ve successfully brought the franchise back to life! Indeed, with a sizzling $21,190 venue average over the three day weekend, 95% positive reviews, and an amazing $79.2 million over three and a half days, look for Star Trek to stick around for weeks to come. Batman Begins, a reboot that compares to Star Trek well, opened to $48 million on the way to $205 million. That’s a 4.27 multiplier. If Star Trek could manage that kind of a multiplier, we’re looking at a $300 million hit. Due to the sci-fi nature of the story, I don’t know how likely that is, but as good word spreads and Trekkies line up again and again to see this, I’m willing to go on record saying that I think $250 million is a likely achievement for Star Trek. It could surpass that, but I certainly think it will make it there. We’ll have to wait and see!

Next, we have X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Isn’t it weird to think that last week, this film is all anyone could talk about? With the Enterprise now clearly in its way, though, Wolverine feels like a distant memory, and its harsh second weekend drop isn’t helping out. This weekend, Wolverine fell a massive 69% to $26.4 million (exactly what I predicted!), for a ten day total of $129 million. To be clear: this is not good. The Fox film cost $150 million to make, and that’s not including the HUGE costs of advertising and reshoots. Following its current trajectory, $170 million seems like a likely finish for Wolverine. So are you satisfied with its gross? You do the math. Perhaps Fox should’ve taken a page out of Paramount’s book and spent a longer time crafting a great movie, because even though Trek didn’t open as big as Wolverine, it’ll be sticking around a lot longer!

Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past performed like a champ this weekend. After last week’s slightly underwhelming $15.2 million debut, the Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy, fell just 33% to $10.3 million this week. Ghosts currently sits with $30.1 million, but with a few more drops like this over the next few weeks, Warner Brothers could have a nice $50-55 million little hit on their hands.

Meanwhile, Obsessed has already exceeded that! With a 46% drop to $6.6 million, the Beyonce/Ali Larter catfight film is once again validating my theory about the Era of Easy Entertainment, and after seventeeen days, Obsessed grossed $56.2 million. (That’s about one dollar for every hair that got ripped out of Beyonce’s weave during the making of this film!) The cheap thriller will be remembered as a solid Spring success.

The only other new opener this weekend was Next Day Air, an urban drug comedy starring Donald Faison. The Summit film failed to catch on with audiences or critics, and it only managed to pull in $4.1 million during its opening frame.

Finally, I just want to give a shout out to Monsters Vs. Aliens. The Dreamworks film from way back in March has performed admirably after its $58 million debut. Currently Monsters has multiplied its opening by about 3.2, giving it a $186 million total. Big international sales as well as DVD revenue will push this film, budgeted at $175 million, into the black.

Top 12 Actuals For May 8-10
# Movie Title 3-Day Gross % Change AVG. Total
1 Star Trek $75,204,289 New $21,190 $79,204,289
2 X-Men Origins: Wolverine $26,408,288 -69% $6,438 $129,032,435
3 Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past $10,258,141 -33% $3,231 $30,054,386
4 Obsessed $6,560,266 -46% $2,521 $56,207,576
5 17 Again $4,232,422 -33% $1,458 $53,994,515
6 Next Day Air $4,111,043 New $3,613 $4,111,043
7 The Soloist $3,949,430 -30% $1,890 $23,845,177
8 Monsters Vs. Aliens $3,260,440 -44% $1,492 $186,774,042
9 Earth $2,666,219 -39% $1,486 $26,264,242
10 Hannah Montana The Movie $2,193,043 -47% $953 $73,861,795
11 Fighting $2,010,075 -50% $1,040 $20,453,095
12 State Of Play $1,918,295 -48% $1,245 $33,986,760
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

This weekend, the Top 12 films grossed a fantastic $142.7 million, a 21.3% increase over the same weekend last year! Year-to-date, box office revenue is up 14% and attendance is up by 12%!

Weekend Fix: Hannah Montana Rules The Easter Roost

April 12, 2009

Sorry about the delay in getting this week’s Weekend Fix posted, but I was at home celebrating my birthday and Easter with my family. It was a great weekend. Anyway, at this point, if you’re a box office follower, you already know that The Hannah Montana Movie crushed the competition with $34 million, Observe And Report underwhelmed with $11.1 million, and Dragonball: Evolution flat out flopped with a very sad $4.6 million. You already know that Fast And Furious dipped a large 59% to $28.7 million, while Monsters Vs. Aliens had a much softer 31% drop to $22.6 million, giving them $118 million and $144 million, respectively. You already know that Knowing and I Love You, Man saw tiny drops of 18% and 17%, further verifying their leggy nature. Thus, because I know that you know these things, because I know that you have other box office websites you visit, because I know that a generic summation of the weekend’s events would be pointless, I’m not going to do a regular write-up. Let me just sum up what I noticed this weekend in a few bullet points:

1. Once again, the fangirls have flexed their box office muscle. With the Twilight DVD already having sold 6 million copies in its first two weeks, and the fantastic $34 million opening of The Hannah Montana Movie, tween girls are proving themselves to be one of the most lucrative audiences in America. Young girls defintely displayed more buying power than the guys Observe And Report was targeting, and certainly more than Dragonball‘s disinterested gamer audience.

2. Miley Cyrus, Tyra Banks, and Taylor Swift are going to take over the world. Honestly, Disney nabbed up all three moguls for The Hannah Montana Movie, and I’m a bit weary of the founding of this triumvirate of power. Seriously, people, we need to be concerned! We live in a country with more women than men, and if these ladies grab enough influence, we might be mandated to sing, dance, make myspace videos, and smile with our eyes until the day we die!

3. Seth Rogen is no Paul Blart. The actor has had a rough run in the recession. Zack And Miri Make A Porno only found $31.4 million last year, and Observe And Report stumbled out of the gate with $11.4 million. It looks like while comedy is in, mean comedy is not. I Love You, Man is just as bawdy, but it’s thriving, probably because it seemed like a whole lot more fun than Observe And Report. We’re in the Era Of Easy Entertainment- audiences don’t want to think too hard, and the Rogen/Faris comedy looked a bit drab and not lighthearted enough.

4. Sunshine Cleaning, after adding 119 theaters, held right where it was last week at $1.8 million dollars. The Amy Adams and Emily Blunt film is becoming a nice, little sleeper hit.

Top 12 For April 10-12
# Movie Title 3-Day Gross % Change AVG. Total
1 Hannah Montana The Movie $34,000,000 New $10,904 $34,000,000
2 Fast And Furious $28,782,880 -59% $8,290 $118,042,070
3 Monsters Vs. Aliens $22,617,000 -31% $5,468 $141,009,000
4 Observe And Report $11,140,000 New $4,085 $11,140,000
5 Knowing $6,670,000 -18% $2,280 $68,006,117
6 I Love You, Man $6,412,000 -17% $2,426 $58,997,000
7 The Haunting In Connecticut $5,710,000 -40% $2,098 $46,300,000
8 Dragonball: Evolution $4,650,000 New $2,132 $4,650,000
9 Adventureland $3,433,000 -40% $1,830 $11,450,000
10 Duplicity $2,996,625 -28% $1,525 $36,848,220
11 Race To Witch Mountain $2,000,000 -38% $921 $62,056,000
12 Sunshine Cleaning $1,804,000 0% $3,017 $7,223,257
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

Fast, Furious, And Front-Loaded

April 9, 2009

Current chart-topper, Fast And Furious, earned $30.5 million on its first Friday, on the way to a massive $70.9 million in its opening weekend. That represents a pretty low internal multiplier of 2.32. For those uninitiated to internal multipliers, they are calculated by simply dividing the total weekend gross by the Friday gross. So in this case, $70.9 million/$30.5 million = 2.32 internal multiplier. In general, a fairly typical internal multiplier is about 3.0. Often you’ll see a family film garner a higher multiplier of about 3.5-4.0, and often you’ll see teen and horror films earn something closer to a 2.0-2.5. These internal multipliers are helpful in figuring out the overall multiplier for a film, which is the total gross divided by the opening weekend. (For example, if a film earns $75 million total after opening to $25 million, it would have a multiplier of 3.0, which is again the standard multiplier for most movies.) Internal multipliers pretty much match up with overall multipliers, so I’d expect something around a 2.3 multiplier for Fast And Furious, giving it about $165-170 million when all is said and done.

I only bring this up because I was looking at the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday box office for Fast And Furious (found right here), and it’s front-loadedness is already quite apparent. Whereas most films saw a 10% increase on Tuesday, F&F fell 9%, and when the rest of the pack fell about 6% on Wednesday, F&F fell 17%. A lot of this is due to the fact that the film opened so huge, and trust me, Universal is more than satisfied with the amount of money Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are raking in, but I expect it to fall pretty quickly from here.

How much do you think Fast And Furious will earn overall?

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 Fix: Gran Torino, Bride Wars, And The Unborn All Have Strong Openings

January 11, 2009

What a great weekend at the box office! Amidst reports of peaking unemployment, retail failures, and recessionary woes, the box office continues to shine throughout this winter season. It appears that people are eager to escape from all the depressing news bogging them down by taking a good ‘ole trip to the movie theater. The Top 12 movies grossed a cumulative $129 million, an increase of 22% over last year. While many of the holdovers got hit harder than expected, the three robust debuts of Gran Torino, Bride Wars, and The Unborn set a promising tone for the rest of 2009.

The number one film this weekend is Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino, which earned a fantastic $29 million, after expanding into 2,808 theaters. I believe that this debut will be considered massively important, as it marks another milestone in the ever continual internationalization of cinema. Truly, I can’t remember another film with a large Asian cast to have such audience support. Of course Clint Eastwood was the main draw here, but it’s still a promising sign for the industry. The debut gave the Warner Brothers Oscar bait a per theater average of $10,337, the best in the Top 12. Let me take a moment to break down how great of a venue average that is: Last weekend Gran Torino was playing in 84 theaters and had a per theater average of $33,571, which means that while the theater count increased 3,300% , the per theater average only fell 69%, which is pretty incredible. After five weekends in theaters, Gran Torino has amassed $40 million, and with awards season kicking into high gear, I’m thinking that this shouldn’t have any trouble making it to $100 million in the near future.

Let’s talk about this next film as little as possible. I’ll try to sum it all up in one sentence and then move on to something worth talking about. Fox’s Bride Wars debuted in second place with $21.5 million, which gave it a pretty good (but not surprisingly Satanic) venue average of $6,665. Why, Anne Hathaway? Why?!

The Unborn came in thrid place, with a stronger opening than anyone was expecting. The Universal horror flick scared up a solid $21 million, effectively marking that the 2006-2007 horror slump is over. The recognition here really belongs to Universal’s marketing department, who put together genuinely creepy trailers and television ads that gave people a good of the story (A long-lost, evil, unborn twin is coming to terrorize his sister). I’m usually not a fan of horror movies, but even I wasn’t unexcited for The Unborn. Whereas a movie like Seven Pounds opened poorly because people had no idea what it was about, The Unborn showed that the opposite was true, and I’m thinking that The Uninvited will reap similar benefits later this month. The film had a great $8,950 venue average, but any hope for longevity is pretty doubtful. First, there is the simpe reality that horror releases are notoriously front-loaded, and on top of that, there is a new horror title coming out for the next three weekends. It doesn’t really matter, though, because these movies are so cheap to produce. The Unborn will be pretty fortunate to make it to $50 million, before selling well on DVD.

Wait a second, is it Christmas Weekend all over again? The four Christmas Day releases fill up the next four spots on the chart, albeit with much lower numbers and some fairly steep drops. Provided with fresh titles on the scene, audiences forgot about the old films. Fox took away some of its own audience with Bride Wars, and consequently, the Jennifer Aniston starrer, Marley And Me, dropped 53% to $11.3 million, and has earned $123 million overall. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button fell 49% to $9.4 million for the weekend, and a $94 million cume. Perhaps poor word-of-mouth has spread, because Bedtime Stories fell a harsh 58% to $8.5 million, giving it $97 million total. The Brad Pitt and Adam Sandler features will each surpass $100 million in the next week. Tom Cruise’s comback movie, Valkyrie declined 53% to $6.6 million, and has found a solid $71 million overall.

The Jim Carrey vehicle Yes Man fell 56% this weekend to $6 million. After its dispappointing $18 million opening, Warner Brothers’ Yes Man has been leggier than anyone would have guessed, and it has now earned a total of $89 million, which represents an impressive 5.0 multiplier.

In ninth place, we have Not Easily Broken, a marital drama from Sony released in just 724 theaters. Proving that melodrama is a genre that does have some life in it, Not Easily Broken earned $5.6 million, which gave the film a good $7,735 per theater average. While this result is a nice surprise for the weekend, it pales in comparison to the kind of numbers that Tyler Perry can pull in for a similar movie. He truly does have the golden touch.

Moving down a notch to another overly dramatic film, the Will Smith snoozefest Seven Pounds dropped 61% to $3.9 million over the weekend frame. With $66 million in the bank after four weekends, the ultra serious Sony drama will go down as one of the few missteps in Smith’s otherwise impeccable career.

Future Best Picture winner Slumdog Millionaire (that is, if Wall-E isn’t nominated) dropped just 20% to $3.7 million this weekend for a $34 million total. It’s still pulling in a solid $6,206 venue average, but Fox Searchlight needs to pump up the advertising and the theater count, because there is certainly lots of life left in this vibrant title, especially as it rakes in the awards.

Down in 12th place is Twilight, the teenage vampire movie from way back in November that can’t be stopped. Perhaps it’s just riding on the news of star Taylor Lautner returning for the sequel, but the Summit Entertainment feature fell just 40% to $2.8 million, and it has grossed a stunning $181 million over eight weekends. Here are the full weekend results:

Top 12 for January 9-11 2009

# Movie Title 3-Day Gross
% Change AVG. Total
1 Gran Torino $29,025,000 888% $10,337 $40,065,000
2 Bride Wars $21,500,000 $6,665 $21,500,000
3 The Unborn $21,095,150 $8,950 $21,095,150
4 Marley And Me $11,350,000 -53% $3,263 $123,710,171
5 The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button $9,450,000 -49% $3,247 $94,330,000
6 Bedtime Stories $8,550,000 -58% $2,435 $97,180,000
7 Valkyrie $6,662,000 -53% $2,347 $71,509,383
8 Yes Man $6,155,000 -56% $2,083 $89,411,000
9 Not Easily Broken $5,600,000 $7,735 $5,600,000
10 Seven Pounds $3,900,000 -61% $1,588 $66,830,000
11 Slumdog Millionaire $3,730,000 -20% $6,206 $34,074,855
12 Twilight $2,789,000
-40% $1,902 $181,395,000
All Numbers Courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

Friday Estimates: GRAND Torino At The Box Office

January 10, 2009

I’ve just got to be real with you- I way underestimated the box office of the premiering films, and I overestimated the holdovers. Things just took a rather unexpected turn this weekend, but don’t worry, I’m not about to sit here and dwell on it. After all, pretty much everyone got it wrong!

This weekend proved to be a pretty big draw for American audiences, as all three openers debuted to pretty good results. Gran Torino, after launching into wide release in its fifth week, earned an estimated $9.8 million on Friday, which is fantastic. The NFL playoffs should detract from its overall multiplier a little bit, but it’s still headed for around $29 million for the weekend. Much to my dismay, Bride Wars also opened well with $8 million on Friday. It should make it to around $24 million for the weekend. I don’t want to talk about it. The Unborn also managed an $8 million Friday, and because it will be front-loaded, I’m seeing an $18 million weekend. Still, that’s a fairly good debut, which means that audiences may be ready for horror movies again after two years of disappointing receipts. Give it a month before people are tired of these movies again… The only other new film hitting the charts was Not Easily Broken, a small film playing in just 724 theaters. It opened in 7th place, $2 million on Friday. Look for a $6 million weekend.

With the new options shining so brightly, there were some very large drops among returning features. Among holdovers, Marley And Me is looking at $10 million for the weekend, Benjamin Button should find $9 million, and Bedtime Stories $8 million. Here’s the Top Ten Friday Estimates:

Friday Estimates for January 9th
1. Gran Torino – $9.8 million
2. Bride Wars – $8 million
3. The Unborn – $8 million
4. Marley And Me – $3 million
5. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button – $2.7 million
6. Bedtime Stories – $2.1 million
7. Not Easily Broken – $2 millino
8. Valkyrie – $1.9 million
9. Yes Man – $1.9 million
10. Seven Pounds – $1.1 million

Weekend Preview: Sorry Clint Eastwood, Bride Wars And The NFL Are BFF’s

January 9, 2009

January has historically been a rather bipolar month at movie theaters. On the one hand, studios often dump some of their very worst films in January, and this month’s releases are pretty much awful more often than not. On the other hand, however, January is also the time when studios will expand their quality, smaller titles, hoping to capitalize on the positive effects of awards season and build enough buzz to garner the ever elusive Oscar nomination. The second weekend of 2009 follows this tried-and-true formula to a tee: There are two new wide releases, Bride Wars and The Unborn, which are getting absolutely obliterated by critics, and then Clint Eastwood’s buzzy Gran Torino, which is launching into wide release after four weekends in a limited count.

I truly hate that I’m writing this, but the top spot this weekend could go to Bride Wars, the utterly derivative wedding comedy from Fox. Okay, Kate Hudson’s choice of role has always been rather questionable, but how Anne Hathaway ended up in this dreck is beyond me. I’m sorry to sound so cynical, but I can’t be the only person who is so over Hollywood’s love of stereotypical bridezilla comedy. The movie follows two lifelong friends, whose weddings are suddenly scheduled on the same day. When they find this out, they launch a war to take down the opposing bride, completely forgetting that they are best friends. Obviously, these are well-developed, three-dimensional characters who actually act like real human beings, and it sounds hilarious, right? Wrong. Unfortunately for all mankind, Bride Wars does actually have a good amount going for it. Last year, 27 Dresses, another wedding-centered film targeting women, opened to $23 million, which bodes rather well for Bride Wars. Also helping will be the fact that the NFL playoffs are this month. While millions of men are glued to the TV screen, millions of disinterested wives will go to the movies, and Bride Wars has made it clear that it is a cinematic destination for women only. I have to give Fox a little bit of credit for wisely counter programming. Advertising has been very strong, but I think that its box office will be limited to a small extent by its horrendous reviews. I only say “to a small extent” because when movies are exclusively targeting women, females seem to settle for some truly bad entertainment. Men do it too. So do Christians. I don’t quite understand it. Anyway, the comedy is out in 3,226 theaters, and I’ll give it the narrow victory this weekend, with a $19 million opening.

Completely switching gears, Warner Brothers’ Oscar bait, Gran Torino, is expanding from 84 to 2,808 theaters, and it will be duking it out with Bride Wars for the top spot. The Clint Eastwood-directed drama is targeting older males, pretty much the exact opposite audience of its main competition, and though the NFL playoffs will help Bride Wars, they should have a negative effect on Gran Torino‘s performance. Still, the venue averages for Gran Torino have been amazing solid, up in the $20-30,000 range these past few weeks. While these numbers will come down to earth over the next few days, they tell us that Gran Torino should still start off pretty well in wide release. The racial drama’s good reviews and word-of-mouth will certainly help it as well. I’m predicting an $18 million weekend, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up coming out on top.

The final new wide release of the weekend is The Unborn, a typical January horror release. It’s funny- this is a film that is probably just as bad as Bride Wars, but I just don’t seem to mind. I feel like horror is never really that good, and if I consistently expect nothing, I’ll always be delighted! In truth, poor reviews don’t matter much for the Universal fright-fest. Teens will be the main audience for The Unborn, and they are pretty much review-proof. This should play out like almost every other horror title: Teens will rush out the theater this weekend to watch it, and then it will plummet in its second weekend, and then it will earn some dough on DVD. The Unborn will definitely benefit from being the first of four horror movies this January, and the ads have actually been pretty scary, so I think this one should do alright. Playing in 2,356 theaters, it should earn $14 million.

Among holdovers, there should be some pretty standard (for January) 30-40% drops. Former top dog Marley And Me will stick by its constant companions, Bedtime Stories and The Curious Case Of Benajmin Button. The films might garner similar weekend totals of $13.5 million, $13 million, and $12 million, respectively. Bedtime will cross the $100 million milestone, and Button will be only a few million dollars behind. Here are my full Top 12 predictions:

Predicted Top 12 for January 9-11
1. Bride Wars – $19 million
2. Gran Torino – $18 million
3. The Unborn – $14 million
4. Marley And Me – $13.5 million
5. Bedtime Stories – $13 million
6. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button – $12 million
7. Yes Man – $8.5 million
8. Valkyrie – $8 million
9. Seven Pounds – $6 million
10. Slumdog Millionaire – $3.9 million
11. The Tale Of Despereaux – $3.8 million
12. Doubt – $3.6 million

Also, if you guys use Digg, Delicious, Furl, StumbleUpon, etc., I’d really appreciate a tag! We’re a small little group of Box Office Junkies around here, so let’s invite a few more people to the party!