Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Preview: Covenant Brings Evil to Theaters

by | September 7, 2006 | Comments

After welcoming in four new wide releases per week for seven straight weekends, the North American box office slows it down a bit on Friday with only one saturation release and a pair of moderate national bows.

Sony courts the teen horror crowd with its supernatural thriller "The Covenant." Meanwhile, Focus targets mature adults with the crime thriller "Hollywoodland" and The Weinstein Co. goes after the action audience with the martial arts pic "The Protector." With a slate of Labor Day weekend pics coming off of their lukewarm holiday performances, the overall marketplace is sure to be sluggish and could slump to its lowest point of the year.

Four prep school dudes learn of their ancestral powers and stir up some evil in the new teen chiller "The Covenant." Sort of a "Lost Boys" for today’s youth, the PG-13 film will target the horror audience as well as the back-to-school date crowd. Renny Harlin, who has seen highs with "Die Hard 2" and lows with "Cutthroat Island," directs. "Covenant" should play primarily to teens and young adults and Sony has a strong track record when it comes to attracting that crowd with these kinds of films. Last fall, the studio scored a big hit with "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" which bowed this very weekend with $30.1M, but saw more modest results with "The Fog" which opened in October with $11.8M. Each one still hit the top of the charts. The marketing push on "Covenant" has not been too fierce so a debut closer to "Fog’s" is likely. Competition for teens is not very strong at the moment so many should pick this for their weekend moviegoing choice. Attacking 2,681 theaters, "The Covenant" could scare up around $11M in ticket sales this weekend.


More teen-horror hijinks in "The Covenant"

Academy Award winner Adrien Brody plays a not-so-super sleuth in the 1950s who investigates the suicide death of Superman actor George Reeves in the new crime thriller "Hollywoodland." The R-rated Focus release also stars Diane Lane, Ben Affleck, and Bob Hoskins. After last year’s dominance at the Oscars by numerous indie flicks, "Hollywoodland" tries to get the awards season started early by getting a headstart over some of the fall’s other promising non-studio films. The casting of the "Gigli" star as the Man of Steel, however, might diminish its chances a bit as many industry voters won’t be able to help but snicker when the daredevil himself comes on screen. Mature adults will be the target audience and women might outnumber the guys by a small margin. The film’s subject matter will certainly be intriguing for film industry folks, but it will be a tougher sell to mainstream moviegoers. "Hollywoodland" will have to reach its audience in a hurry as parent company Universal will target the exact same crowd with its ensemble-driven period crime mystery "The Black Dahlia" a week later. Debuting in moderate national release in 1,548 theaters, "Hollywoodland" might capture about $8M this weekend.


Adrien Brody gets rough while investigating the death of tv’s Superman

The "Quentin Tarantino Presents" marketing technique is back once again with the Thai martial arts pic "The Protector" starring Tony Jaa. The R-rated film from The Weinstein Co. finds the acrobatic action star seeking revenge on those who wronged his people. Jaa’s "Ong Bak" made a moderate splash at the North American box office last year when it opened to $1.3M from 387 theaters for a mild $3,449 average on its way to a $4.6M domestic take. A year and a half later, more American action fans know of Jaa, though he’s still far from a sizable draw. Two years ago, the Weinsteins saw stellar results when using the "Pulp Fiction" director’s
name in the marketing of Jet Li‘s "Hero" which ended up topping the box office for two straight weeks on its way to a $53.6M gross. Lionsgate also used the QT tactic to drive in business for its horror pic "Hostel" last January which also bowed in the top spot. "Protector" will appeal mostly to young men who love martial arts and crossover to other groups is unlikely. The second weekend of "Crank" will draw upon many of the same folks so competition will be tough. Fighting its way into around 1,400 theaters, "The Protector" might kick up about $6M this weekend.


Tony Jaa, doing his own stunts, in "The Protector"

More independent films open in New York on Friday hoping to expand further around the country in coming weeks. Polychrome Pictures debuts the Asian American pic "Red Doors" in a pair of Manhattan locations. The dysfunctional family pic won the top prize at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Film Philos goes into one solo house with the coffee cart vendor drama "Man Push Cart" which world premiered at Sundance last winter.

"Invincible‘s" undefeated season should come to an end this weekend as the Disney sports drama enters its third outing. A 40% decline would see the Mark Wahlberg pic gross around $7M pushing the 17-day cume to $47M. After a second place bow over the weekend, the Lionsgate actioner "Crank" pumped itself up to the top spot on Tuesday with solid midweek business. Jason Statham saw his "Transporter 2" fall 55% a year ago when it came off of its Labor Day debut. "Crank" could see a slightly smaller drop. A 50% tumble would give the poison pic roughly $5M for the sophomore frame and a ten-day sum of $20M.

Nicolas Cage‘s "The Wicker Man" did not make too much of a dent at the box office last weekend. A 45% drop to around $5M seems likely giving Warner Bros. only $19M in ten days. Indie sensation "Little Miss Sunshine" should step back a bit after a strong Labor Day frame and could slide 30% to $5M as well. That would lift the cume for the year’s most recommended film to $42M making it the fifth biggest hit in company history for Fox Searchlight after "Sideways" ($71.5M), "The Full Monty" ($45.9M), "28 Days Later" ($45.1M), and "Napoleon Dynamite" ($44.5M). In another week, it will vault to number two for the Fox subsidiary.

LAST YEAR: Sony scored a huge surprise winner with the suspense thriller "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" which bowed bigger than expected with a hefty $30.1M grossing more than the next five films combined. The fright flick went on to scare up a sturdy $75.1M. Comedy sensation "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" followed in second with $7.7M in its fourth date while "Transporter 2" fell from first to third with $7.4M. The political drama "The Constant Gardener" and the airline thriller "Red Eye" rounded out the top five with $4.7M and $4.5M, respectively. Samuel L. Jackson debuted poorly in sixth with his action-comedy "The Man" which took in a weak $4.1M on its way to just $8.3M for New Line.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

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