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

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