Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Preview: 30 Days of Night Gets Halloween Started Early

by | October 18, 2007 | Comments

Competition, or a lack of it, will be the deciding factor at the North American box office this weekend for the half-dozen new releases that studios are packing into already overcrowded multiplexes. Leading the way is the horror film 30 Days of Night followed by the sports comedy The Comebacks which both will be targeting the teens and young adults that Hollywood has been ignoring in recent weeks. Mature adults who already have a wide selection of serious dramas to choose from will be served up three more – Reese Witherspoon‘s Rendition, Ben Affleck‘s Gone Baby Gone, and Halle Berry‘s Things We Lost in the Fire. With far too many films aiming for the same finite audience segment, some are sure to eat into the potential of others.

Sony will monopolize the horror crowd looking for a scare before Halloween with its gorefest 30 Days of Night which tells of vampires that attack a small town in northern Alaska during its annual sunless period. The R-rated film prominently informs moviegoers in its marketing that it is based on a graphic novel hoping to tap into a little bit of the excitement generated by 300 last spring. The first eight months of this year were brutal to R-rated horror films with none reaching number one and high-profile franchise flicks like Hostel II, 28 Weeks Later, and The Hills Have Eyes 2 all failing to reach $10M on opening weekend. But the Halloween remake over Labor Day weekend changed all that and was followed three weeks later by another top spot debut from horror-action hybrid Resident Evil: Extinction. But those have died out so 30 Days stands as the only creepfest at a time when scary movies are in demand. Attacking 2,700 theaters, 30 Days of Night should easily top the charts and could bite into around $19M over the weekend.

30 Days of Night

Fox spoofs the world of sports films with its new comedy The Comebacks which will target adolescents either too young for 30 Days or uninterested in scary movies. With so many mature stories hogging up screens, the market can certainly use a dose of immature humor right about now. The Comebacks is the first viable PG-13 comedy aimed at teens since fellow sports comedy Balls of Fury launched at the end of August. After a mid-week debut, that pic bowed to $11.4M over three days and Comebacks will play to many of the same folks. And with seventeen R-rated films opening wide over the last eight weeks, there has been little to celebrate for the under-17 crowd. Sure The Comebacks looks dumb, but dumb can sell. Add in a trim running time of under 90 minutes and commercial prospects are not bad. This is disposable entertainment for 14-year-olds. It will draw attention upfront, and be forgotten two weeks from now. Thanks to a lack of direct competition, The Comebacks could debut with about $11M from 2,800 sites.

The Comebacks

Leading the charge for the 30-plus crowd this weekend is Reese Witherspoon who headlines the political thriller Rendition from New Line. The R-rated drama finds the Oscar winner playing a woman whose Egyptian-born husband is captured by the CIA after being suspected of being a terrorist. Jake Gyllenhaal and Meryl Streep add to the cast. Rendition follows The Kingdom and In the Valley of Elah as military-themed films this fall with connections to the Middle East. Audiences will want only so much of this content. Witherspoon will have her starpower put to the test since she is the only major commercial star here and she is outside of her safety zone of romantic comedies. The film will play to mature adults and will have to compete not only with this weekend’s other new dramas, but also with an assortment of holdovers already playing to the same audience. Reviews have been mixed which will also make things difficult. Debuting in roughly 2,200 locations, Rendition may capture about $9M over the Friday-to-Sunday period.

Reese Witherspoon and Peter Sarsgaard in Rendition

Ben Affleck makes his directorial debut with the crime thriller Gone Baby Gone which stars his brother Casey in the lead role. The Miramax release also stars Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, and Michelle Monaghan and carries a R rating. Reviews have been good which will come as a shocker to those that look at this movie as nothing more than Daredevil getting to hop into the director’s chair. Reese, Joaquin, George, Cate, and Halle will all be cutting into the adult pie which can only expand by a certain amount. The marketing push has been highlighting the film as being from the author of Mystic River in hopes of finding those who loved that other Boston-set fall crime drama. An invite to the top five may not arrive for Ben. Opening in approximately 1,500 theaters, Gone Baby Gone could collect about $6M this weekend.

Freeman, Affleck and Monaghan in Gone Baby Gone
Yet another new option for adults looking for serious fare is the Halle BerryBenicio Del Toro starrer Things We Lost in the Fire. The Paramount release about a widow who seeks comfort from her dead husband’s drug-addicted friend will play to a mature audience and skew more female. The R-rated film has generated some good early reviews and both leads have Oscars on their shelves, but it will not be enough to compete with the other films targeting the same crowd. Berry showed in April that she can only open a picture so much when her thriller Perfect Stranger bowed to a $4,211 average even though A-lister Bruce Willis co-starred. With a not-so-wide release in about 1,000 theaters this weekend, Things We Lost in the Fire might debut with around $3M.

Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro in Things We Lost in the Fire

Freestyle Releasing has booked the few remaining empty screens out there for its teen thriller Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour. As one of the only PG-rated suspense pics ever made, the film will try to attract younger teenagers not interested in sports-themed comedies. With only 1,100 theaters, a quiet marketing campaign, no stars, and zero buzz, a weak debut of about $1M could result.

Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour

After a potent number one debut, Tyler Perry‘s hit comedy Why Did I Get Married? should suffer a big fall in its second weekend if history is any indicator. Sophomore drops for the filmmaker’s previous offerings include 50% for Diary of a Mad Black Woman, 58% for Madea’s Family Reunion, and 57% for Daddy’s Little Girls. Lionsgate should see a 50% fall to about $10M this weekend giving the ensemble relationship tale $37M in ten days.

Disney’s The Game Plan once again has no new competition for the kiddie audience. Why studios have programmed so many serious adult dramas into this month and no other good family films is anyone’s guess. A 35% dip would leave The Rock with $7M and an impressive cume of $68M after 24 days.

Both Sony’s We Own the Night and the Warner Bros. thriller Michael Clayton will have to fight extra hard in order to compete with the new releases gunning for their customers. Night looks to slide more and fall by 45% while the strongly reviewed Clayton could ease by 40% with both films grossing roughly $6M over the weekend. That would lead to ten-day totals of $20M and $21M, respectively.

LAST YEAR: Just two months after the release of the similarly-themed magician pic The Illusionist, Buena Vista still managed to score a number one bow for The Prestige which opened with $14.8M on its way to $53.1M. Martin Scorsese‘s The Departed enjoyed a strong hold and ranked second with $13.5M in its third frame. Debuting in third was Clint Eastwood‘s war saga Flags of Our Fathers with $10.2M leading to a disappointing $33.6M final for Paramount. Sony’s animated hit Open Season ranked fourth with $8.2M. Rounding out the top five was rival family film Flicka with $7.7M for Fox on its way to only $21M. Also premiering in the top ten was Sony’s Marie Antoinette with $5.4M which led to a final tally of just $16M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

video series Turner nbcuniversal TV One Schedule TV movies SXSW 2022 South by Southwest Film Festival royal family TruTV facebook San Diego Comic-Con witnail documentaries Spring TV scorecard young adult Spike Year in Review 72 Emmy Awards 99% sopranos aapi remakes kids hist X-Men Fox News Stephen King broadcast leaderboard Captain marvel stand-up comedy Chilling Adventures of Sabrina based on movie TIFF Black Mirror revenge El Rey National Geographic Emmy Nominations Star Trek Adult Swim Comedy MSNBC TBS comics Focus Features Funimation spy thriller parents Family Winners Disney+ Disney Plus Pop IFC popular Amazon Studios politics Television Critics Association Film Quiz Biopics rt labs critics edition Dark Horse Comics Valentine's Day A24 cancelled political drama superhero Columbia Pictures Disney Plus Lionsgate PaleyFest BBC nfl unscripted Lucasfilm stop motion GIFs Mystery Academy Awards cartoon Emmys Trophy Talk Rom-Com television festivals Acorn TV christmas movies 21st Century Fox halloween tv Indigenous Pacific Islander DC Comics godzilla Pirates YouTube Red Polls and Games cancelled TV shows NBC SDCC chucky Paramount Plus Oscars critic resources Apple TV Plus Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Arrowverse black razzies talk show Mindy Kaling action-comedy tv talk asian-american cats Disney 2019 elevated horror doctor who Hallmark Christmas movies dceu comic books Showtime hidden camera AMC Plus 94th Oscars french nature psycho Britbox biopic boxing Hallmark The Witch Fall TV Walt Disney Pictures BBC One OneApp slasher rom-coms Tokyo Olympics Sony Pictures Universal Crunchyroll Video Games Image Comics festival movie video on demand satire live action Infographic toronto spanish language reviews The Purge Interview Shudder Musical PBS summer TV preview Superheroes Paramount TCA HFPA serial killer Rocky canceled TV shows DirecTV mcc TCM Cannes archives Freeform Pixar posters scene in color series marvel comics dark First Reviews Hulu Kids & Family Election Sundance Now period drama spanish cooking game of thrones Lifetime Mary poppins breaking bad 79th Golden Globes Awards Netflix Christmas movies TLC The CW Best and Worst docuseries Summer theme song The Arrangement SundanceTV universal monsters fast and furious ABC Signature Classic Film FX ITV Cartoon Network DGA Action FOX miniseries versus strong female leads ViacomCBS hispanic heritage month Musicals Disney streaming service fresh superman aliens TV Land SXSW GoT 2017 24 frames Tubi biography NBA comic Opinion diversity Drama 2016 Marvel halloween mission: impossible Crackle reboot Elton John Shondaland scary telelvision Universal Pictures Superheroe BET rotten Heroines dogs football Fantasy worst medical drama Hear Us Out Writers Guild of America green book anime TCA Awards australia MCU new star wars movies space TCA Winter 2020 Best Director A&E Anna Paquin films sequels anthology obituary comedies golden globe awards ABC Family 45 robots binge Turner Classic Movies classics spider-man USA Network target scene in color Set visit screen actors guild historical drama vs. child's play First Look Disney Channel crossover 4/20 YouTube Premium Nickelodeon spinoff south america latino E3 YA IMDb TV all-time Paramount Network Winter TV 2018 Oscar feel good critics hollywood Ovation singing competition Alien 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards basketball Broadway Prime Video news PlayStation Fargo scene in color film series quibi franchise New York Comic Con gangster true crime what to watch Endgame dragons sag awards legend teaser james bond Song of Ice and Fire boxoffice rt archives Comic-Con@Home 2021 new zealand movies Western Country crime drama Best Actor king arthur hispanic Tags: Comedy Paramount Pictures natural history Star Wars Celebration vampires sitcom concert Nominations children's TV directors scene in color sequel Apple IFC Films Legendary monster movies The Walking Dead Trailer psychological thriller adaptation Premiere Dates TCA 2017 rt labs 2015 Cosplay dc rotten movies we love comic book movie suspense Reality Competition RT21 History 90s indiana jones crime thriller jurassic park TV foreign Black History Month Women's History Month Photos Certified Fresh Pet Sematary marvel cinematic universe pirates of the caribbean adventure WarnerMedia summer preview cancelled TV series criterion book adaptation comic book movies casting discovery Fox Searchlight Rock lord of the rings book MGM cancelled television Discovery Channel 20th Century Fox cops Instagram Live Peacock wonder woman interviews Vudu joker VOD Film Festival trophy Neflix Countdown war LGBTQ romantic comedy ID black comedy Holiday harry potter ghosts LGBT Tumblr emmy awards Awards cinemax Warner Bros. best Comic Book Sci-Fi Thanksgiving Music Epix comiccon CMT Extras DC streaming service spider-verse TNT Pride Month art house Sundance TV CNN supernatural 93rd Oscars werewolf Reality Comics on TV 1990s BBC America travel OWN Trivia cults Creative Arts Emmys Baby Yoda thriller live event Sony deadpool Binge Guide king kong high school police drama Rocketman Marathons Teen Masterpiece Amazon Character Guide HBO Go American Society of Cinematographers trailers blockbusters Awards Tour know your critic Native BET Awards Marvel Studios Watching Series documentary Wes Anderson Tomatazos blockbuster Starz WGN Amazon Prime FX on Hulu animated mockumentary HBO USA golden globes Apple TV+ Bravo The Walt Disney Company Syfy obi wan Exclusive Video Animation BAFTA Pop TV mutant free movies crime Box Office Best Picture social media 2021 Star Wars summer TV italian women scary movies debate cars Logo kong Holidays CBS All Access Christmas ABC Travel Channel richard e. Grant renewed TV shows justice league dreamworks Super Bowl VH1 71st Emmy Awards worst movies disaster Nat Geo Podcast twilight screenings Ellie Kemper name the review Geeked Week venice Tarantino Comedy Central zombies 007 independent Esquire target mob Red Carpet Sneak Peek heist movie zero dark thirty finale award winner blaxploitation spain die hard Grammys FXX dexter japan Calendar Avengers genre streamig ratings DC Universe docudrama ESPN Brie Larson dramedy 73rd Emmy Awards laika canceled toy story kaiju E! TV renewals Chernobyl HBO Max 2020 japanese international APB stoner new york Lifetime Christmas movies NYCC game show Mary Poppins Returns AMC CBS Horror adenture zombie Best Actress Toys Martial Arts Television Academy technology streaming Food Network science fiction GLAAD The Academy CW Seed MTV olympics President indie jamie lee curtis Netflix composers slashers Amazon Prime Video VICE Mary Tyler Moore Spectrum Originals Hollywood Foreign Press Association Sundance prank See It Skip It a nightmare on elm street romance Mudbound RT History sports Marvel Television YouTube saw batman streaming movies transformers Ghostbusters