You’ve got to figure that someone, to get turned on, forces their partner to put on a Taco Bell uniform. I wonder how that scenario starts. “Would you like to try our new Gordita Supreme?” “No, I had something zestier in mind…”



TASTES LIKE A STRIKE PICTURE

 Doing a little research, it looks like The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor was – in fact – a strike picture. If so, it’s one of the first tangible ones, especially if the film is as bad as it appears to be. The funny thing about strikes are that they may only happen for a couple of weeks – hell, they may never happen – but the effects are palpable. I talked about it while it happened, but now we can see what crops can be harvested from these seeds. And we shall be seeing the results over the next year and change.

The elements to make this an obvious strike film are there: it’s a high-concept easy-sell, with a third or fourth choice director freed from director jail (Stealth was Rob Cohen’s felony offense). It’s a sequel to a film that may have made money, but audiences didn’t really like (The Mummy Returns). It is something no one wanted, but has a brand name. And one in which two of the key collaborative forces (Stephen Sommers, himself sprung from director jail to do G.I. Joe, and Rachel Weisz) decided to pass, and those that returned – and the people brought in – aren’t exactly A-Gamers. So it’s got a low-rent-ness to begin with.

I’m pretty sure Devin said he liked it more than Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but I think I liked Krull more than IJ&TKOTCS, so there’s that. But this is another picture that will clear $100 Million, and yet no one will care. It gets the benefit of some bat-fatigue for those who want something spectacle that’s new. But it should sink like a stone. Yet there will be some disappointed if it tops TDK this weekend.

JOHNNY’S IN THE BASEMENT, MIXING UP THE MEDICINE, I’M ON THE PAVEMENT THINKING ABOUT THE PREDICTIONS

You can only stay on top for so long. And for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, it looks like two weekends are all it gets. It’ll have to settle for breaking almost every other land speed record in the book. Since only the whiniest of fanboys would/will care, it’s kinda a non-issue. That said, the film should finish the weekend a little over $40 million, which will keep it from taking the highest Third weekend ever. This is the weekend that tell us if it has the juice to defeat Titanic’s $600 Million. Skip to the End: It doesn’t. If it does over fifty this weekend, then OMG it’s breaking the BO rulebook and carving out its own piece… but frankly, people know the DVD is coming and so you can’t measure films in the same way, and then there’s the inflation issues, etc. Still, I think nearing or crossing $500 is where the thing will perch, but after this weekend it’ll be slow but steady drops until it peters out by the beginning of September. And not just because of the Olympics, which I always feel are oversold as an effector.

Still, The Mummy is new, and the other films opened, and this should too. It would be funny to see it belly flop, but tracking indicates that the trailering, and all the ads have sold the film. But I think it’s going to be closer than expected.

Swing Vote is a non-entity. Disney should have given the summer some time to cool off for this sort of off season hit. Hell, they might have wanted to wait until September. Or November, given the material. But something this cutesy will be lucky to hit $40, unless the WOM is making-out-with-Bryce-Dallas-Howard Awesome.

So,  let’s jump on it, shall we?:

1. The Mummy 3.5 - $45 Million
2. The Goth Knight (so Dark)- Ten Pesos
3. Step Brothers - $14.8 Million
4. Mamma Mia - $.13.7 Million
5. Swing Vote - $9.5 Million

Sunday I will eventually talk about this stuff some more.