Halloween has past. October is no more. We have now entered the cool, gray month of November, and with it comes the Fall holiday movie season. They’re kicking it off early this year, right here at week number one with two big releases.
Both of them, Megamind and Due Date, will surely come out of the gate full force. Even Tyler Perry’s new film will add to the collective change being pulled in this weekend. The theaters are going to be jammed packed this weekend, and it probably won’t matter who comes out on top. Everyone’s sure to be a winner.
Todd Phillips’s films had mostly been decent successes. Films like Road Trip, Old School, and Starsky and Hutch were able to make bank on moderate budgets. Then 2009 hit, and The Hangover became a monster. Opening with $44.9 million and closing out at $277.3 million just in domestic, it raised the bar (probably superfluously) for whatever project he came upon next. With Due Date, Phillips and Warner Brothers look to catch comedic lightning in a bottle two times in a row.
They’ve brought Robert Downey, Jr. on board to help, and it certainly will. Between Downey and Zach Galifianakis, the star power in Due Date is anything but untested when it comes to comedy. Despite all this, Due Date doesn’t seem to have the oomph factor or the Summer release Hangover had. It will open big, definitely bigger than anything Downey has done outside of the Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes tent pole films. However, don’t look for it to match The Hangover‘s numbers by any stretch.
It’s not very funny, and it might be another factor in Due Date not doing too well, but here is the noticeably unfunny trailer for the film. Enjoy:
What would the holiday movie season be without a computer animated blockbuster? What would that blockbuster be without a couple of A-list stars providing voices? Nothing. That’s what. So shut your mouth, put on your 3-D glasses, and pipe money back into the machine. In all honesty, though, DreamWorks has been delivering top-notch animated features their last couple of outings. Some (myself included) even consider How to Train Your Dragon a better film than Toy Story 3. For those of you who haven’t closed the page yet, you can expect Megamind to be every bit as popular as Dragon, and maybe even moreso.
DreamWorks Animation has had a few hits at this first weekend in November spot. Bee Movie pulled in $38 million its opening weekend in 2007, and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa made $63.1 million when it opened in 2008. Megamind, seemingly more of a brand than Bee Movie but not an established franchise like Madagascar, will likely fall somewhere in between those two figures. It could be on the high end of that, pulling in Monsters Vs. Aliens numbers in the $55-60-million range. The stronger possibility, though, is that it comes in somewhere in the high $40 millions. Regardless, you can expect Megamind to come out in the #1 spot and even expect it to beat out Disney’s Tangled as the animated hit of the Fall.
See, the blue guy, the “villain,” is the misunderstood one, and the hero, the one with the huge chin and sounds like Achilles, is really the immoral one. It’s really deep and nuanced. Oh, who am I kidding. Watch the funny guy who sounds like Buddy the Elf blow up in this trailer for Megamind:
For Colored Girls is the new Tyler Perry movie, so it will top $20 million. The name Madea appears nowhere in the title, so it won’t break past $30 million. That mid-$20 million range has become standard for Mr. Perry, who is continuing his standard two-movies-a-year schedule here in 2010. There really isn’t any other way to analyze his films. If Madea is the focal point, which isn’t the case here, the film will come out like gangbusters. Otherwise, it will still open big, but nothing record-breaking.
The films of the Saw franchise have had a typical, second-weekend drop somewhere in the high 60-70% range. There doesn’t seem to be any reasoning behind Saw 3-D not having the same type of drop here. Even being called the worst film in the franchise by many, its drop probably won’t be more than 68%. Despite its opening being nowhere near the top opening of the series, it’s already in the black on paper based on its reported $20-million budget. Expect its domestic run to top off somewhere around $55 million.
Nothing elsewhere in the rest of the top 10 will come of as much of a surprise this weekend. If anything does surprise, it will be RED, which, in its fourth weekend out will more than likely be the tops of the already released films. Expect it to top $70 million in total domestic sales by the end of the weekend, more than enough to consider it a moderate success already.
Just the fact that Danny Boyle has a new movie out should get interest piqued. The man could direct someone mowing grass and give it enough style to make it an Oscar candidate. Now look at 127 Hours, the film about Aron Ralston, a thrill-seeking adventurer whose arm becomes trapped under a boulder. 127 hours later, Ralston freed himself, but how he did it sounds like something straight out of a Saw film. James Franco stars as Ralson in a performance that is gathering quite a lot of awards buzz. 127 Hours is sure to be a film that will get a lot of notoriety, and you can check it out this weekend, as it opens in New York and L.A.
Find out just how exciting Danny Boyle can make a story of someone trapped under a rock for five days. Check out the trailer for 127 Hours right here:
A film that probably doesn’t feature anyone sawing off their own arm to free themselves from impending death is Fair Game. Instead, it stars Naomi Watts as CIA agent Valerie Plame in the real-life story about how she and her husband, played here by Sean Penn, became targets of the American government. Fair Game is directed by The Bourne Identity and Go director Doug Liman, but don’t expect any high speed chases, Oakenfold music or Taye Diggs. Any of those three would probably make this film better on paper, but judge for yourself. Fair Game opens in select cities across the nation.
Last but certainly not least in the featured films in limited release is Four Lions, the first film released by Drafthouse Films. Our very own Cole Abaius called the film laugh-out-loud hilarious in his review, and, if a film can make that man laugh, you know it’s funny. I once watched Cole sit stone-faced through a Louis C.K. performance. I can’t back that up and may have actually hallucinated the whole thing, but if it amplifies his endorsement of the comedy in Four Lions, so be it. Four Lions opens in New York, L.A., Austin, Washington D.C, Seattle and Boston.
Want to laugh but also want to feel really really really uncomfortable at what you’re laughing at? Of course you do. Check out the trailer for Four Lions right here:
If these numbers hold, the weekend top 10 is looking at $140.8 million a huge increase from last weekend. This massive upturn in ticket sales between the last weekend in October and the first weekend in November is typical and a sure sign the holiday movie season has officially begun. With the release schedule set between now and the end of the year, it’s looking like box office numbers are going to finish strong in 2010. Yeah, there will be some disappointments, but there will be just as many surprises. We’ll be sure to bring you all the box office coverage, peaks and valleys alike.
We’ll be back on Sunday night to go over the weekend numbers.
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