Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Preview: Bees and Gangsters Slug It Out For #1 Spot

This weekend should see a healthy box office.

by | November 1, 2007 | Comments

Following a sluggish fall season, November kicks off with a bang this weekend with two high profile films both reaching for the number one spot while appealing to vastly different audiences. Paramount and DreamWorks target kids with the animated comedy Bee Movie from Jerry Seinfeld while Universal goes after adult audiences with its crime drama American Gangster which pits Denzel Washington against Russell Crowe. With little overlap in business, the overall North American box office should surge and finally beat out year-ago levels leading to a solid kickoff for the holiday movie season.

A decade after conquering the television world, Jerry Seinfeld aims to take over the land of film with Bee Movie. The PG-rated toon tells the story of a bee that must try to save his world from those nasty humans that take their honey. Also lending vocal talents are Renee Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Oprah Winfrey, and Chris Rock who snagged the coveted ‘and’ credit for what amounts to about 60 seconds of dialogue. Timing for the Paramount/DreamWorks release is as good as it gets. Not only is early November a hot time for kids movies to score at the box office but the marketplace has suffered a virtual drought when it comes to family-friendly entertainment this fall with The Game Plan being the only major contender. Parents are dying to take their kids to something else, anything else.

Bee Movie falls into the lucrative category of digitally animated comedies about talking creatures featuring the voice of a popular comedian. Last November’s Happy Feet with Robin Williams opened to $41.5M, the previous year’s Chicken Little bowed to $40M, and 2004’s Shark Tale debuted with $47.6M. Bee has the slick animation and funny situations that kids like but also features humor that adults will enjoy too so it will play to a broad audience. And the millions of Seinfeld fans that have had nothing but DVD box sets every Thanksgiving will finally have some new material they can check out from their favorite comic. Critics have not been very kind but that should not affect the grosses that much. The studio’s marketing blitz will be enough to make children demand a trip to the local megaplex. With a highly commercial product, no competition for the family audience, and an ultrawide launch in over 3,500 theaters, Bee Movie could win the box office battle this weekend and gross about $42M.

Jerry Seinfeld’s Bee Movie

Boasting a much higher bodycount this weekend is Ridley Scott‘s American Gangster starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe which will shoot up some solid numbers from adult audiences. The R-rated drama tells the true story of Harlem drug kingpin Frank Lucas who built up a mammoth empire selling heroin. Crowe plays the detective out to shut him down. Starpower from the three names, all of whom have won or been nominated for Oscars multiple times, will be the driving force at the turnstiles. Universal’s $90M+ production also has garnered strong reviews which will help the cause and has been backed by an effective marketing push. The running time of nearly two hours and forty minutes will cut back on the amount of times each auditorium can play the film. Even multiplexes that double-screen the picture will probably run out of seats on Friday and Saturday nights.

Gangster should play out like a Denzel movie more than anything else since his box office track record is the strongest and has more consistency than those of Scott and Crowe. Having scored ten career number one openings to date, Washington has seen his top bow come from last year’s Inside Man which debuted to $29M and a $10,275 average. Last fall’s organized crime hit The Departed opened to $26.9M and a $8,912 average and makes for a good comparison given its genre, starpower, acclaim, rating, and length. Gangster will attract a larger African American audience than Scorsese‘s award winner did so an opening north of $30M seems likely. Appeal to men and women will be equally strong. Many adult dramas have struggled at the box office this fall but American Gangster has the firepower to go out there and pull in paying audiences. Plus the weekend’s other major offerings will not eat into its customer base by too much. Heading into 3,054 theaters, American Gangster might debut with around $34M this weekend.

Washington and Crowe in American Gangster

After starring in the year’s second highest grossing horror film 1408, John Cusack hits the big screen again in the family drama Martian Child. The PG-rated film finds the actor playing a writer whose adopted son claims to be from Mars. Parents looking for a movie that they can see with their kids this weekend will be lining up for Jerry and his insect pals so Child will face an uphill battle. New Line hopes that there will be room in the marketplace for a live-action pic for kids but even The Game Plan in its sixth session will be a force to be reckoned with. Invading over 2,000 theaters, Martian Child might take in roughly $6M.

John Cusack in The Martian Child

Following its strong top spot launch, the horror flick Saw IV is sure to fall hard on the second weekend. Sophomore drops amounted to 47% for Saw II and 56% for Saw III and the decline should get even larger for the fourth installment. A 60% plunge would give Lionsgate about $13M for the frame and a ten-day cume of $51M.

Look for a better hold from Steve Carell‘s dramedy Dan in Real Life. The Buena Vista title enjoyed a solid average and has generated good word-of-mouth. The weekend’s new releases may not provide too much competition so a decline of 35% could result. That would put Dan at around $7.5M for a total of $22M after ten days.

LAST YEAR: Crashing into multiplexes on a tidal wave of buzz was the raunchy comedy Borat which only debuted in 837 theaters but scored a potent top spot bow of $26.5M for a sizzling average of $31,607. The Fox blockbuster was the only film in 2006 to hit number one while playing in less than 2,000 venues. Final grosses reached $128.5M domestically and over $260M worldwide. Two new kidpics split the family audience and followed in second and third. Disney’s Tim Allen sequel The Santa Clause 3 bowed to $19.5M on its way to $84.5M while Paramount’s animated comedy Flushed Away debuted close behind with $18.8M before finishing with $64.5M. Falling to fourth was Saw III with $14.8M for Lionsgate while the Warner Bros. crime thriller The Departed rounded out the top five with $7.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com,

Tag Cloud

talk show Video Games Cosplay die hard Musicals Reality Competition LGBT Lifetime Character Guide Trophy Talk Baby Yoda IFC Films Pop chucky comedies Star Trek Cartoon Network binge Holidays San Diego Comic-Con spanish language IFC comic ITV Shondaland Teen true crime ABC Family TV Lifetime Christmas movies slashers a nightmare on elm street USA Trivia Pirates twilight anthology GoT MTV Comedy indiana jones latino children's TV mission: impossible war History blaxploitation DC Comics Amazon Studios worst Rom-Com Dark Horse Comics LGBTQ Disney Channel critics what to watch Academy Awards stop motion TCM Mudbound Tarantino SundanceTV Mary poppins asian-american Pride Month Hulu Apple TV+ richard e. Grant DC Universe OneApp documentaries adaptation Sundance Now Adult Swim The Witch crime thriller ESPN zero dark thirty Crackle Elton John Drama rotten movies we love Comic Book Freeform christmas movies Ellie Kemper cancelled television Mary Tyler Moore vampires Spectrum Originals television cancelled TV series best Fall TV Red Carpet Family PaleyFest FX on Hulu Polls and Games festivals Country Captain marvel anime Comics on TV docudrama Superheroes romance American Society of Cinematographers Disney+ Disney Plus zombies facebook dogs Emmy Nominations Britbox police drama USA Network Mary Poppins Returns Sci-Fi FXX reviews dramedy foreign BAFTA Emmys TBS ghosts Sneak Peek Amazon Prime Video The Walking Dead Superheroe diversity HBO Funimation dceu Chernobyl Election Sony Pictures Hallmark Rock doctor who 2015 Mindy Kaling Biopics 2017 A24 Binge Guide justice league hollywood breaking bad See It Skip It Black History Month revenge Nat Geo kids versus name the review Marvel Studios robots VICE OWN A&E emmy awards Holiday space hist Summer nbcuniversal CMT TLC BBC crime Fox News scary movies SXSW FOX CBS All Access 007 technology obituary nature sitcom Mystery BET Universal Television Critics Association cults GLAAD news medical drama Turner Film psychological thriller superhero crime drama The Purge First Look Black Mirror NYCC zombie comiccon rotten Peacock CW Seed E3 cooking adventure Box Office FX VH1 Rocketman Lucasfilm Arrowverse El Rey Oscars ABC 2016 Horror witnail Premiere Dates YouTube Red batman Action Apple TV Plus Syfy all-time Bravo hispanic Vudu golden globes political drama thriller theme song spy thriller Thanksgiving RT History cops GIFs 20th Century Fox Animation child's play supernatural werewolf MSNBC classics Nominations Best and Worst Toys parents TNT Music Turner Classic Movies strong female leads Extras Logo Valentine's Day CNN 45 APB Hear Us Out Masterpiece miniseries screenings game show screen actors guild Rocky dc Sundance TV discovery Countdown Anna Paquin ratings PlayStation unscripted comics Discovery Channel Marvel Grammys spinoff Spike TCA Awards aliens documentary renewed TV shows book Year in Review Spring TV halloween Shudder Travel Channel cancelled TV shows Disney Plus TCA 2017 elevated horror TCA films universal monsters Super Bowl Pop TV sequel PBS Cannes 72 Emmy Awards politics TV renewals directors movie Set visit Amazon Prime TIFF YA Tomatazos spider-man Pixar Song of Ice and Fire DGA 2020 Creative Arts Emmys HBO Go Television Academy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt based on movie canceled Paramount Network singing competition X-Men mockumentary mutant Apple series biography Christmas cartoon Certified Fresh Winter TV sequels New York Comic Con stand-up comedy Walt Disney Pictures award winner Western cars NBC Avengers sag awards Reality laika natural history Endgame tv talk President video on demand Ghostbusters 71st Emmy Awards spain Writers Guild of America indie teaser Netflix Christmas movies Paramount YouTube Premium Marathons Pet Sematary Crunchyroll Musical Podcast Esquire MCU Amazon BET Awards Opinion jamie lee curtis BBC One Infographic Photos fast and furious Food Network dragons Disney streaming service Epix E! Netflix Hallmark Christmas movies Calendar The CW movies Trailer Warner Bros. south america criterion free movies Acorn TV cats streaming joker cinemax VOD Lionsgate WarnerMedia BBC America cancelled The Arrangement Disney disaster Tumblr toy story First Reviews Watching Series travel romantic comedy concert psycho Tubi period drama Stephen King green book dark TV Land blockbuster Nickelodeon HBO Max satire science fiction casting stoner Awards boxoffice Awards Tour Brie Larson finale CBS franchise social media Winners harry potter WGN Film Festival 24 frames animated Columbia Pictures SDCC RT21 Kids & Family Classic Film sports crossover Interview 21st Century Fox Ovation Quiz Martial Arts reboot Starz Star Wars video canceled TV shows YouTube 4/20 Fantasy AMC National Geographic Heroines TCA Winter 2020 Sundance 2019 DirecTV game of thrones Women's History Month composers 2018 quibi Showtime transformers serial killer Schedule Chilling Adventures of Sabrina DC streaming service TruTV Comedy Central Marvel Television independent historical drama