Well this is a tough weekend to call.
There’s a batch of new films that seem poorly positioned to set the weekend on fire, a blockbuster that’s been performing well but is starting to wane, and a kids flick with a nebulous audience. They’re all probably playing for second place, but you’d be hard pressed to assemble an order of the Top 5 that would really surprise me that much. I’ve cobbled together an order that makes some sense to me, though 2-4 are not separated by more than a million bucks, which is less than my typical average deviation! So really my predictions boil down to “The Help might win, roll some dice on the rest.”
Starting from the top of what I’ve got… The Help will take #1 in all likelihood, as it does that expanding platforming thing that pandering issue movies do when they start building buzz. Good for it, and I’ll catch up if it gets any nominations. Otherwise fuck it.
Apes is the aforementioned waning winner, which will get tumbled around with the newbies now that a few weekends have lopped off its opening steam. It’s crawling to $150, and will probably situate itself in the bottom 5 for a while after this frame.
Conan… I hope this one ends up with the short stick, as it’s an aggressively shitty insult to action/adventure/R-ratings/3D and tits. Even though a number of them let loose on Fright Night, too many critics seemed to be bending over backwards to not call this disaster what it is, but Nick and I minced no words. With two R-rated films out and not much of a swing at the date crowd it could tank, but it definitely has the strongest brand of the new adult flicks.
Fright Night is a surprising batch of late-summer fun that will play well with the date crowds and may pull in women, but the buzz doesn’t seem to have caught on. Olds and huge fans of the original aren’t finding much to enjoy it seems, but if it can get a new generation of viewers into the theaters, they’ll have a blast. The 3D is garbage though, so that could hurt the premium earnings.
Finally we have Spy Kids. Difficult to track, and hard to predict. With almost a decade gap between 3 and 4, the old audience has obviously grown up, but it’s impossible to guess what kind of latent fanbase has developed through DVD and nostalgia. The gap will likely half the strong opening of the last film, but then again I wouldn’t exactly go into cardiac arrest or anything if this ended up number 1. Just too close to call.
This one will be fun to play hindsight on, so join me Monday morning!
The Help ….. $20,000,000
Rise of the Apes ….. $15,000,000
Conan …. $15,000,000
Fright Night ….. $14,500,000
Spy Kids ….. $14,000,000
Come back Sunday to wonder what the fuck I was thinking with me.