Welcome to another Reject Report on this, the last weekend before summer movie season begins. As is fitting for April, we have absolutely no blockbusters in store this weekend. The four new box office contenders rolling out this week in wide release — Obsessed, Fighting, The Soloist and Earth — are all likely to record modest showings at best. So expect another fairly down weekend at theaters, even more so than last weekend when 17 Again won with $24 million.
By the way, I am not expecting 17 Again to win the weekend. It is sinking fast, as it has been dropping all week and got beat on Wednesday night. Anyway, on to the latest movies, starting with a new flick that just entered wide release the other night.
We will begin by talking about the movie Earth, a Wild Kingdom-esque documentary featuring three families of animals travelling the earth. It’s the first in a line of movies under the Disney Nature line. It was released on Wednesday to coincide with Earth Day and all the “green” activities going on this week.
Well, the early box office returns are in and Earth has proven to big a big hit already for Disney, taking in $4,023,788 on Wednesday, way more than the $1,037,415 brought in by 17 Again. Not a bad showing. Whether it holds up by the end of the weekend remains to be seen, though. I suspect it might be one of these one-day sorts of showings.
The other three new movies in wide release roll out on Friday and none of the three look like big hits in the making.
First, there is Fighting, which stars Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard. It’s the story of a young counterfeiter from the sticks who comes to New York and himself immersed into the game of underground street fighting.
This is being released into 2,300 theaters but it sounds like a fairly hard sell and a modest draw, somewhere in the $7 million range. I have seen some predictions of a higher total, but I just don’t think Fighting will make all that much money.
Next is The Soloist, which, like State of Play, lays claim to being another one of these newspaper-industry-goes-to-hell type movies that glorifies newspaper reporters. Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, and Catherine Keener star in this story of a journalist who discovers this homeless man who plays cello on the streets of LA, and then writes about him for the paper. The movie is based on the true story of Nathaniel Ayers, with Jamie Foxx playing Ayers and Robert Downey Jr. playing the LA Times reporter Steve Lopez.
I have this movie coming in at around $10 million, and the reason why has to do with the theater count, which runs at about 2,000. If it were higher, maybe it would do better business. But State of Play only did about $14 million in business last weekend, and I remember there was another movie called Resurrecting the Champ which had similar subject matter (a sports reporter rescuing a homeless man) which did really brutal business. The box office was unbelievably bad, something like $1.6 milllion. Now, I know this is a different movie, but I don’t have a lot of confidence that it will contend for first place based on what we have seen from the recent history of newspaper-reporter movies. So I say it’ll be $10.5 million for The Soloist, and that’s about as far as it will get.
Finally, we get to Obsessed, a sex-charged thriller with Idris Elba, Ali Larter and Beyonce Knowles. This is about a happily married asset manager who starts getting stalked by a temp worker, threatening everything he’s worked to achieve. To me, this movie looks exactly like the type of movie that might make $16 million dollars and win the weekend, because it’s in 2,500 theaters and has some star power behind it. True, so does The Soloist, but as I said, I wonder about whether the script for that other one will draw people to theaters.
To be truthfully honest, I don’t think anyone out there is wild about any of these movies this weekend. But I gotta make a prediction, so here it is:
- Obsessed $16 million
- The Soloist $10.5 million
- Earth $10 million
- 17 Again $9.5 million
- State of Play $8.7 million
- Monsters vs. Aliens $8 million
- Fighting $7 million
- Hannah Montana $6.7 million
- Fast and Furious $6.2 million
- Crank: High Voltage: $3.3 million
The reason I have 17 Again so low is because it was beaten pretty badly by Earth on Wednesday night. I do expect 17 Again to recover somewhat and for Earth to, well, come back down to earth, but I still see Earth beating it out. I just have no confidence in 17 Again doing well after seeing those lousy Wednesday night numbers. So that is what I have to say about that.
That is it for now. See you back here at the Reject Report again this weekend when we look at the numbers for this final weekend before the big blockbuster season. Can you believe May is one week away? Man, time flies when you are having fun at the movies.