ReelSociety Forums


Your home for all Reel and Real discussions.

SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Mr. Columnist himself presents weekly analysis and tips.

Moderators: Buscemi, BarcaRulz, Geezer, W

SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby Shrykespeare » March 14th, 2010, 9:38 pm

$208 million and counting for Alice in Wonderland, which I must admit, I was really not expecting. It would seem a cinch to pass the original Batman and become Tim Burton’s biggest hit to date, as well as the biggest non-Pirates role ever for Hollywood icon Johnny Depp. Can Alice continue to dominate all comers this week?

Well, looking at the films debuting on March 19th, it would certainly seem so. With the exception of DreamWorks’ latest animated bonanza, How To Train Your Dragon, which debuts a week from Friday, I honestly don’t see anything between now and Iron Man 2 that can hold the proverbial candle to Alice, which may just beat Iron Man 2 to the punch and become the first $300 million earner in 2010. But anyway, on with the news.

This week’s premiere debut is The Bounty Hunter, an action comedy from Sony/Columbia. It is brought to us by director Andy Tennant, has had his share of hits over the last few years, most notably Sweet Home Alabama, Hitch and Fool’s Gold. It stars the incredibly busy Gerard Butler, who is appearing in his four big-budget film in the last year (and is one of the voice talents appearing in How to Train Your Dragon two Fridays from now), and Jennifer Aniston, who has had a so-so time of it in the post-Friends chapter of her life.

Aniston plays Nicole Hurley, a reporter who, while investigating a murder, discovers that cops are involved. She is arrested, but decides to skip out on her court date (this much is explained in the trailer), and she ends up being tracked down by her ex-husband Milo (Butler), an ex-cop who is now working as a bounty hunter – and is delighted to be able to pay Nicole back for the marital hell she put him through.

It would seem to pretty formulaic from there. Milo must take Nicole back to jail, whilst dodging the nefarious baddies who now want her dead. So you have the elements of a buddy comedy along with the elements of a road-trip comedy… who wants to bet that the couple will end up rekindling their flagging relationship? (Just a guess.)

Butler’s last comedy, The Ugly Truth, made $88 million last summer. Fool’s Gold made about $70 million for Tennant in February of 2008. Will The Bounty Hunter be able to duplicate that success, or will it end up being a real “dog”? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) I personally like Butler, despite the schmaltzy mess that The Ugly Truth ended up being as well as the perversely OTT mess Gamer ended up being. The guy whose stony countenance carried both 300 and Law Abiding Citizen has a lot of charisma, but I’m not convinced that comedy is his forte yet.

Scheduled to bow in about 3,000 theaters, The Bounty Hunter will run you $13 in Ultimate Leagues and $15 in Box Office. The question is, can it do enough business to topple Alice in Wonderland in its third week? To do so, I figure it will take at least $25 million, and try as I might, I just can’t predict that. And not only that, it will have to do battle with another comedy, the raunchfest Hot Tub Time Machine one week later, a film that has the potential to be a huge sleeper hit. I predict six Top 5 points, two PTA, an OW of $17 million, a total take of about $48 million and a User Rating of 6.3 for The Bounty Hunter, which is not good enough for me to recommend it.

Getting a slightly larger release platform (3,100 locations) is Diary of a Wimpy Kid, a kiddie comedy helmed by director Thor Freudenthal (Hotel For Dogs). It is based on the series of illustrated novels by Jeff Kinney, the first chapter of which has spent a great deal of time on the New York Times bestselling children’s books. It chronicles the life and times of Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon), an underdeveloped preteen about to enter the war zone that is middle school.

Greg narrates much of the story, as he writes his daily escapades in a personal journal. Also featured prominently are Rowley (Robert Capron), Greg’s best friend, and Fregley (Grayson Russell), the class weirdo. Also present are Greg’s parents (Rachael Harris and Steve Zahn) and domineering older brother (Devon Bostick), and the usual array of middle-school cliques.

Obviously, Fox Studios is waiting to see if this film plays well to young audiences before greenlighting the next book in the series. And while I find it extremely difficult to gauge the potential of purely kids movies (read: very little for adults to enjoy), I am doubtful that there are major bucks to be had here. The nearest parallel I can draw is last autumn’s Shorts, which boasted a more seasoned director, a better-known cast and a wackier premise, and it still only managed $20 million. Diary of a Wimpy Kid could do better, but I don’t think it will do so by much.

I envision an opening three days of $13 million, and a final bottom line of four Top 5 points, no PTA, a User Rating of 5.8 and $28 million. For $7 in Ultimate ($8 in Box Office), I honestly think kids would rather go see Alice again, in 3-D, than this. Either that, or they’ll gear up for Hannah Montana’s latest, erm, acting endeavor, The Last Song, which opens on March 30th. Of course, like I said, kids movies are often the toughest to predict. Just be careful.

Equally tough to figure is Repo Men, a sci-fi action/thriller from Universal. Rated R for what looks to be extreme violence and gore, Repo Men stars Jude Law, hot off his performance as Dr. Watson, as Remy, an enforcer for a mega-giant corporation known as “The Union”. What this company does is provide the sick with brand new top-of-the-line artificial organs, which is a very noble venture… of course, they’re also expensive as all get-out, so in the (extremely likely) event that the transplant-ees can’t make the payments, Remy and his partner Jake (Forest Whitaker) will come calling, to take back The Union’s property. Literally, by cutting it right out of their bodies.

Of course, things get dicey when Remy, during the course of a routine repossession, becomes gravely wounded and requires a new heart of his own. And, as night must follow day, the hunter must eventually become the hunted, as the best friends must inevitably square off against each other. Liev Schreiber (Wolverine) and Alice Braga co-star.

It’s interesting to note that Repo Men is only $6 in Ultimate leagues, but $8 in Box Office. I don’t think it will pull the $40 million necessary to recommend it in Box Office, but it might be worth a look in Ultimate… not because it will pull huge numbers, but because it’s likely to outgross every other wide-release film with the same price tag (Repo Men, The Back-Up Plan, Furry Vengeance… pick your poison). If it helps you make your decision, I’ve seen a ton of advertising for it.

The thing is, it’s only going to be debuting on 2,450 screens or so, so it will have to work to beat the likes of Diary or even Green Zone, which will be in its second week. I predict an OW of $11 million, good enough for #4, en route to two Top 5 points, two PTA and a User Rating around 6.6. Take it if you have room for it, but only then.

After being shopped around the spring docket for a few weeks, it looks like The Runaways will indeed be debuting in limited release on March 19th, on approximately 225 screens, before going semi-wide (probably around 1,200 locations) on April 9th. It is a rock biopic about the first-ever all-girl hard rock band The Runaways, which broke down the gender wall in the mid-to-late ‘70s.

Let by future Blackhearts front-woman Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and including band-members Lita Ford (Scout Taylor-Compton), Sandy West (Stella Maeve) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning, now 16 and sexing it up), The Runaways has gotten decent reviews so far (6/8 positive at RT and a 7.2 User Rating at IMDb so far with nearly 500 votes), so there’s that. Many extol Stewart’s performance, saying that her portrayal of Jett is nearly spot on, with no trace of Bella Swan present.

However, $8 in Ultimate is rather a lot of money to spend on this, as a release platform of 225 theaters rather puts it in that no-mans-land where PTA points are awful hard to come by. It could break out in April once it goes wide, but I don’t think it will earn much more than $16 million total, which means its $6 price tag in Box Office is a bit too steep as well. Good music, though.

A film with much higher PTA potential is Greenberg, the latest directorial effort from Noah Baumbach (who was nominated for an Oscar for The Squid and the Whale). It stars Ben Stiller in the titular role of Roger Greenberg, who moves into his brother’s house after a stint in a mental hospital, trying to decompress while said brother is on vacation with his wife in Asia.

I’ve read through the three professional reviews for Greenberg (all positive), and they seem to agree on at least two key points: that Stiller’s often-irritating comic style is reined in very expertly, and that Greta Gerwig (Hannah Takes the Stairs), who plays Roger’s love interest Florence, turns in an exemplary performance in this film. Kudos to Baumbach and also to actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, who not only co-stars but co-wrote the screenplay as well.

According to Box Office Mojo, Greenberg will be debuting on only three screens this Friday, which is prime real estate for a PTA champion. It may even hold on for additional points in its second week (despite the bevy of limited release films coming on March 26th). The only downside is that for $7, you’d be inheriting a rather lackluster User Rating (currently 6.5 with 85 votes), which needn’t be a deal breaker. I will hereby make this my PTA pick of the week.

And if Stiller getting his indie shirt on doesn’t tickly your fancy, you can always try the latest foreign film to stand up and be counted, Vincere, an Italian film from acclaimed director Marco Bellocchio that recounts the story of dictator Benito Mussolini’s secret lover, Ida Dalser, and their illegitimate son Albino.

It’s got a lot of things to recommend it. A perfect RT score (on NINE reviews), a very good User Rating (7.2 with over 600 votes), a favorable release platform (two theaters), and a boatload of kudos, including Best Actor, Actress and Director at the Chicago Film Festival as well as a nomination for the Golden Palm Award at Cannes in 2009. European films can often be hit-or-miss, but I would be very surprised if this film didn’t nab at least three PTA points this week, especially given the weak competition of all the wide-release films. For $4, you could certainly do much worse.


My predictions for the weekend of March 19-21, 2010:

1. Alice in Wonderland – $33 million
2. The Bounty Hunter – $17 million
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid - $13 million
4. Repo Men – $11 million
5. Green Zone – $7 million


Well, that will do it for me for another week. Next week, seven more films on tap as we close out the month of March, including: How to Train Your Dragon, the latest animated titan from DreamWorks; Hot Tub Time Machine, an R-rated adult comedy starring John Cusack; and five limited-release films, including Chloe, a noir-ish thriller directed by Atom Egoyan and starring Amanda Seyfried, Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson.

Later!







Happy 60th birthday Tim Robbins! (10/16/18)

Remember, Red ... hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.
User avatar
Shrykespeare
Site Admin
 
Posts: 11895
Joined: September 12th, 2009, 11:38 pm
Location: Glendale, AZ

Advertisement

 

Re: SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby Buscemi » March 14th, 2010, 11:03 pm

I'll say that Repo Men will outperform Diary Of A Wimpy Kid. I've seen a lot more advertising on that one (in fact, I've hardly seen any advertising on the latter).

And I'll say that The Runaways flops. Movies about rock music are almost always box office poison (the exception: The School Of Rock) and non-Twilight efforts from Twilight actors almost never fare well (though most of them go straight to DVD). I'll say $1,000,000 opening weekend and $2,000,000 on the wide expansion, while Apparition wonders if picking up Welcome To The Rileys (also starring Kristen Stewart, but directed by Ridley Scott's son and produced by Ridley Scott) was a good idea.
Everything on this post is strictly the opinion and only the opinion of Buscemi.

Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/user/1244530511/playlist/6exMMnE4Kpu99GBj16VEmr
User avatar
Buscemi
CONGRATS! You may now chose your own rank!
 
Posts: 16164
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 11:14 am
Location: Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane

Re: SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby undeadmonkey » March 15th, 2010, 12:19 am

must agree with buscemi on those two. I've seen the Runaways, there is nothing there to recommend it. Also i can still totally see bella swan in it, it was just a more angry emo bella, instead of depressed emo bella. I have seen a few bus ads for diary of a wimpy kid, and basically its just the poster. the white background with the shadow thing. it looks really boring. Also I think Bounty Hunter can open a little higher, at about $23M
User avatar
undeadmonkey
Tony Stark/ Iron Man
 
Posts: 4059
Joined: October 22nd, 2009, 1:39 pm

Re: SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby Buscemi » March 15th, 2010, 12:27 am

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid would probably perform better had the rumors of Michael Cera, Bill Murray and Larry David starring been true. That and had the film be animated (the live-action footage looks bad but the drawings are pretty good).
Everything on this post is strictly the opinion and only the opinion of Buscemi.

Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/user/1244530511/playlist/6exMMnE4Kpu99GBj16VEmr
User avatar
Buscemi
CONGRATS! You may now chose your own rank!
 
Posts: 16164
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 11:14 am
Location: Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane

Re: SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby BanksIsDaFuture » March 15th, 2010, 4:58 am

I haven't seen any promo for Diary either, but I assume it's all over the kiddie networks.

Repo Men promo has been through the roof, and I think the premise alone is enough to bring people in.

I have no idea how The Runaways will do, but I know I want to see it.
Alexandra Daddario: Eyes of a Demon, Face of My Future Ex-Wife
User avatar
BanksIsDaFuture
Alex
 
Posts: 5994
Joined: October 23rd, 2009, 4:09 pm

Re: SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby Shrykespeare » March 17th, 2010, 8:12 pm

Now I'm starting to see ads on TV for Wimpy Kid. I'm still seeing more for Repo Men, though.
Happy 60th birthday Tim Robbins! (10/16/18)

Remember, Red ... hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.
User avatar
Shrykespeare
Site Admin
 
Posts: 11895
Joined: September 12th, 2009, 11:38 pm
Location: Glendale, AZ

Re: SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby Shrykespeare » March 18th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Box Office Guru predictions:

1. Alice in Wonderland - $37M
2. Bounty Hunter - $22M
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid - $16M
4. Repo Men - $10M
5. Green Zone - $7M
Happy 60th birthday Tim Robbins! (10/16/18)

Remember, Red ... hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.
User avatar
Shrykespeare
Site Admin
 
Posts: 11895
Joined: September 12th, 2009, 11:38 pm
Location: Glendale, AZ

Re: SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby Shrykespeare » March 20th, 2010, 8:03 pm

Friday estimates:

Alice in Wonderland, $9.9M
Bounty Hunter, $7.65M
Wimpy Kid, $7.4M
Repo Men, $2.2M
She's Out of My League, $1.9M
Green Zone, $1.85M
Shutter Island, $1.42M
Remember Me, $1.25M
Our Family Wedding, $1.15M
Avatar, $1.07M

So much for Repo Men outgrossing Wimpy Kid.
Happy 60th birthday Tim Robbins! (10/16/18)

Remember, Red ... hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.
User avatar
Shrykespeare
Site Admin
 
Posts: 11895
Joined: September 12th, 2009, 11:38 pm
Location: Glendale, AZ

Re: SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby silversurfer19 » March 20th, 2010, 8:11 pm

I knew I was right to back Wimpy Kid. That should give me 4 top 5 points for this weekend and a very healthy BO.
User avatar
silversurfer19
Norman Bates
 
Posts: 7303
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 3:34 pm
Location: pretty much the ass end of the universe

Re: SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby Buscemi » March 20th, 2010, 9:01 pm

I'm surprised on the success of Diary Of A Wimpy Kid. The trailers made it look like that horrible adaptation of How To Eat Fried Worms (in terms of no big names and bad child acting) and that movie grossed less than $20 million.

As Repo Man, it looks like the seven people who claimed it was a ripoff of Repo: The Genetic Opera (when in fact Daybreakers looked more like a ripoff of Repo only no one complained there) kept people away.
Everything on this post is strictly the opinion and only the opinion of Buscemi.

Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/user/1244530511/playlist/6exMMnE4Kpu99GBj16VEmr
User avatar
Buscemi
CONGRATS! You may now chose your own rank!
 
Posts: 16164
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 11:14 am
Location: Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane

Re: SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby J.I. » March 20th, 2010, 11:38 pm

Actually the acting isn't bad in Diary of a Wimpy Kid. And they really marketed this movie straight to the kids that have read the book, which is why the adult box office predictors felt like it wasn't being advertised and made low expectations.
J.I.
The McMannus Brothers
 
Posts: 105
Joined: October 26th, 2009, 6:19 pm

Re: SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby silversurfer19 » March 20th, 2010, 11:47 pm

I've been following the tracking for a while and guessed Wimpy Kid could be a sleeper hit, as it is a kids film which generally have small drops it could gross close to $60m (or even better) which would be great for my slates.
User avatar
silversurfer19
Norman Bates
 
Posts: 7303
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 3:34 pm
Location: pretty much the ass end of the universe

Re: SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby Shrykespeare » March 21st, 2010, 1:34 pm

Sunday Estimates

Top 5:

5 points - Alice in Wonderland, $34.5M
4 points - Diary of a Wimpy Kid, $21.8M
3 points - Bounty Hunter, $21.0M
2 points - Repo Men, $6.15M
1 point - She's Out of My League, $6.0M

So Wimpy Kid outlasts Bounty Hunter, and She's Out of My League drops only 38% while Green Zone drops 58%.


PTA

5 points - Alice in Wonderland
4 points - Diary of a Wimpy Kid
3 points - The Bounty Hunter
2 points - The Runaways
1 point - unknown for March Leagues (will be A Prophet or Ghost Writer for Jan/Feb)

Of course, there's no word yet on the outputs of Greenberg or Vincere, so this will probably change by tomorrow.


User Ratings:

Bounty Hunter - 4.9
Wimpy Kid - 6.2
Repo Men - 6.2
Runaways - 7.0
Vincere - 7.2
Greenberg - 6.8
Happy 60th birthday Tim Robbins! (10/16/18)

Remember, Red ... hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.
User avatar
Shrykespeare
Site Admin
 
Posts: 11895
Joined: September 12th, 2009, 11:38 pm
Location: Glendale, AZ

Re: SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby Shrykespeare » March 22nd, 2010, 8:49 pm

Sunday Actuals

Top 5:

5 points - Alice in Wonderland, $34.19M
4 points - Diary of a Wimpy Kid, $22.12M
3 points - The Bounty Hunter, $20.68M
2 points - Repo Men, $6.12M
1 point - Green Zone, $6.11M


PTA:

5 points - Greenberg, $39,384
4 points - Alice in Wonderland, $9,144
3 points - Vincere, $9,048
2 points - Diary of a Wimpy Kid, $7,191
1 point - The Bounty Hunter, $6,729


Who here had Greenberg and/or Vincere? I'm pretty sure I had both of them on exactly one slate.
Happy 60th birthday Tim Robbins! (10/16/18)

Remember, Red ... hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.
User avatar
Shrykespeare
Site Admin
 
Posts: 11895
Joined: September 12th, 2009, 11:38 pm
Location: Glendale, AZ

Re: SPEARE'S TIPS - The Films of 3/19

Postby silversurfer19 » March 22nd, 2010, 9:02 pm

Did you not miss out Alice for PTA? It brought in $9,144 which would put it in second.
User avatar
silversurfer19
Norman Bates
 
Posts: 7303
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 3:34 pm
Location: pretty much the ass end of the universe

Next

Return to Speare's Tips

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron