Weekend Movie Preview (2.4.11)

Ever think about the fact that the Super Bowl has a major impact on the movies? Think about it. You have a movie you want to distribute that you really think has the potential to make some money. Are you really going to open it on a weekend when you’re virtually guaranteed to lose 20 percent of your possible weekend business because almost everyone in America is parked on the couch Sunday evening?

Last year, “Dear John” managed to pull it off with $30 million, the second biggest SB weekend gross behind “Hannah Montana: The Best of Both Worlds Tour.”

I’m not sure these films could even come close to associating with those two, but they’ll give it a go.

New This Week


Directed by Alister Grierson
Written by John Garvin and Andrew Wight
Starring: Ioan Gruffud, Rhys Wakefield, Alice Parkinson, Richard Roxburgh

The Word: There’s only one thing James Cameron likes more than making movies about the future and that’s making movies about the depths of the oceans/planet Earth. He produces this Australian-based 3-D disaster film about a team of researches who travel to and inside of the only cave left unexplored on the planet, but when it starts to flood, the find themselves in a fight for their lives. fear.

Rotten Tomatoes: 33% (not good)

My Thoughts: Without any A-list stars, “Sanctum” hopes to only capitalize on 3D and Cameron’s name appearing on the same poster. The story looks completely formulaic, but can it be gripping enough to rise above it? I doubt the 3D will play a factor in quality.

Recommendation: If a good natural disaster horror film does it for you and you hate sports, you could consider wasting some time/money.

The Roommate

Directed by Christian E. Christiansen
Written by Sonny Mallhi
Starring: Minka Kelly, Leighton Meester, Cam Gigandet

The Word: In the proud tradition of obsessive teen psycho horror films comes “The Roommate” starring Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive 2010 (and Derek Jeter’s girlfriend), Minka Kelly as a college student who appears to have found the perfect roommate in Rebecca (singer-turned-movie-star Leighton Meester), but she soon finds out Rebecca’s a bi-polar overprotective psycho who claims to “know what’s best” for her roommate.

Rotten Tomatoes: N/A

My Thoughts: Of top horror films that will make you laugh for reasons unintended in 2011, “The Roommate” could be close to the tippy top. Not an ounce of this movie looks scary or any bit original, yet it certainly fits that mold for people looking for cheesy horror in a movie populated by attractive actors.

Recommendation: ha. ha ha.

Box Office Predictions

No matter what nation-wide television event occurs, some weekends are primed to be taken over by even the most unworthy of films. Considering our No. 1 movie in America last weekend made just $14.7 million, almost any film could do well enough to earn the title so adored by advertisers.

Looking back at Super Bowl weekends past, The Roommate will be that film. Appealing to a younger female audience that won’t be impacted by the Super Bowl, it’s poised to do surprisingly better than it deserves. In 2006, “When a Stranger Calls” set a then-Super Bowl weekend record with more than $20 million. That’s stupid good for a horror remake with low-end stars. With that type of film and the stars of “Gossip Girls” and “Friday Night Lights,” there’s enough to make at least more than the rest of the pack. Expect anywhere from $12-20 million for this pscyho roomie thriller.

The new 3-D disaster horror film from James Cameron is a bit harder to decode. Can Cameron’s name trick people into seeing this film? There is virtually no star power and its core audience will surely be parked in front of a TV come Sunday. I think it’ll be close, but $10 million will be enough to put Sanctum at No. 2.

In third place I have The King’s Speech leapfrogging all the other top five finishers from last weekend. No Strings Attached could hold up and beat it, but with all the Oscar buzz pouring on this film, it won’t make less than $8 million, which is right where I have the Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher rom-com.

Last weekend’s newcomers will duke it out for fifth place. Horror films tend to plummet, so I have $6-7 million for “The Rite,” accounting for a 60 percent drop almost. Jason Statham’s films fold in half in their second weeks, so that puts “The Mechanic” just below The Rite. Anthony Hopkins also gives reason to believe leaving the top five isn’t completely in the cards for the horror film.

1. The Roommate
2. Sanctum
3. The King’s Speech
4. No Strings Attached
5. The Rite


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