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

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