Welcome to another Oscar-award winning edition of The Reject Report! Okay, I am kidding. This column isn’t going to win awards any time soon, but there are plenty of movies that may win box-office glory this weekend.
Returning favorites like Cloverfield are back again, and new wide releases Rambo and Meet the Spartans are set to do battle. Also in theaters is Untraceable and How She Move. Plus, on the heels of the Academy Award nominations come expanded re-releases of some of the nominees, including Michael Clayton and No Country for Old Men. The Oscar-nominated Juno is still in theaters as well. It’s bound to be an exciting weekend ahead.
Before we go into the latest movies, let’s update the numbers for the full four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Cloverfield has officially set both the January three-day weekend and MLK Jr. weekend records. Their four-day total stands at $46,146,546. 27 Dresses received $27,442,040 and The Bucket List got $16,664,347 for the four days. Juno had $9,954,874 and First Sunday 7,801,017. All figures are courtesy of Box Office Mojo.
So that’s your update of the holiday numbers. Now, let’s look ahead to the latest movies.
Rambo is the return of John Rambo to the big screen, and it’s being released by Lionsgate to over 2,700 theaters. It once again stars Sylvester Stallone as the ex-Vietnam vet who leads a group of mercenaries up to a Burmese village where a group of aid workers has gone missing. Julie Benz and Matthew Marsden also star. This is the fourth Rambo movie as you know: the series started with First Blood back in 1982, with ensuing sequels Rambo: First Blood II and Rambo III. What’s with all this Eighties redux at the theaters? Reminds me of Bruce Willis reprising his Die Hard role last year. Or, for that matter, Stallone coming back in Rocky Balboa.
In a sure sign of doom, the makers of the movie originally planned to hold off screening this flick for critics. Now I hear they may allow critics to view this after all. The other thing going against this movie is that it’s a hard-R flick loaded with violence. Fat chance the kids will see this. So I think we are looking at $17 million for Rambo. Not a good showing ahead.
Next from Fox is Meet the Spartans, which looks to be a spoof of 300. Not only that, but they rib Donald Trump and his Apprentice “you’re fired” routine, and do a complete ribbing of everyone. It’s sort of like what we’ve seen from Scary Movie, Date Movie and all those other flicks.
The good news? Carmen Electra is in the cast! The bad news: Carmen Electra is in the cast! Honestly, has this babe ever appeared in a movie that’s ever been good? Ever?! Okay, maybe she might have, but it escapes my mind. Her record for appearing in good movies has to rank right down there with the likes of Gina Gershon and Jessica Simpson.
I don’t hold out much hope for Meet the Spartans and think it will only do about $12 million in business in the 2,600 theaters it is in. There’s too much competition at the theaters and people have seen this kind of stuff before. Ho, hum.
Next is Untraceable, a thriller from Screen Gems starring Diane Lane, Joseph Cross, Billy Burke, and Colin Hanks. Here, Lane stars as an FBI agent for the cyber crime division who is sent on a mission to hunt down this dangerous serial killer who is, as they say, untraceable. This guy posts live video of his victims getting tortured on the Internet.
Sick stuff. What is it about January that brings out the worst in movies? This sounds gruesome. Anyway, I think it will get $9 million.
Last new movie due out this weekend is How She Move. It’s directed by Ian Iqbal Rashid and focuses its attention on the emerging inner-city world of step-dancing. It stars Rutina Wesley as Raya, an aspiring medical student who enters a step-dancing competition in the hopes of paying for her expensive private school education. The movie follows her path to success and the obstacles that go with it — jealousy, the works. This movie was made in Canada and was a big hit at the Sundance Film Festival. I think it will get $8.5 million.
Out in expanded release this weekend are a couple of Oscar-nominated flicks. Michael Clayton, which stars George Clooney as a law firm fixer, received seven nominations including Best Picture and Best Actor (Clooney). It will be in 1,000 theaters. No Country for Old Men has eight nominations including Best Picture, and will be in about 1,500 theaters. Personally, I think the competition is too tough for these movies and I don’t see them getting into the Top Ten, though I could see both of them making about $2 or $3 million.
You know, I look at this weekend and I think these new releases are only going to do modest business. You have one movie that looks half decent in How She Move, but the other three look like Razzie-award contenders, especially Meet the Spartans. And there’s still a big monster movie out there getting a lot of word of mouth. Yes, I think Cloverfield will carry the day once again with a $22 million weekend, for a second winning weekend at the box office. And here is how the box office is likely to play out:
|Meet the Spartans
|The Bucket List
|How She Move
|National Treasure: Book of Secrets
There you have it! Back at weekend’s end for the box office recap. Until then, don’t run into any monsters on the street.