Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Preview: "Grindhouse" Prepares for Easter Carnage

by | April 5, 2007 | Comments

Easter weekend sees four new wide releases hopping into the marketplace aiming to give the spring box office a boost.

Action audiences get The Weinstein Company’s two-for-the-price-of-one special "Grindhouse" while horror fans go for a scare with the religious-themed fright flick "The Reaping" starring Hilary Swank which opens on Thursday. Wednesday saw two competing family films bow – the Ice Cube sequel "Are We Done Yet?" and the pooch pic "Firehouse Dog." With Good Friday being a holiday for many, three-day numbers should reach healthy levels.

Moviegoers with three hours to kill and a love of death and destruction will line up for "Grindhouse," a double feature with separate films directed by indie heroes Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. The R-rated pic includes the former’s road actioner "Death Proof" starring Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson and Rose McGowan while the latter’s zombie flick "Planet Terror" stars McGowan and Freddy Rodriguez. Clearly the primary business will come from the young male fan base that Tarantino and Rodriguez hold dearly. Since there is so much overlap here, the grosses may not grow beyond what they’ve seen with previous hits.

"Grindhouse" has had some flashy marketing which is successfully generating interest. Plus there is starpower behind the cameras. Add in the two-for-one novelty item and the press tour that the cast and directors are on and it’s clear to see that a strong opening weekend will result. Debuts for similar ultraviolent R-rated films from the helmers include $22.1M for 2003’s "Kill Bill Vol. 1," $25.1M for the folowing year’s "Kill Bill Vol. 2," and $29.1M for 2005’s "Sin City." But cutting into "Grindhouse"’s potential will be its length which will force each screen to offer one less showtime per day compared to conventional two-hour films. Reviews have been very positive so the pic may reach a little beyond its core crowd of fan boys. Entering 2,624 theaters on Friday, "Grindhouse" could deliver an opening weekend gross of around $25M.


Following in the footsteps of Jim Carrey and Sandra Bullock from earlier this year, Hilary Swank gives it a go in the world of horror with the new religious-themed chiller "The Reaping." The R-rated film finds the two-time Oscar winner playing a scientist called in to investigate mysterious occurances in a small Louisiana town where locals believe Biblical devastation is on its way. Horror flicks with religious storylines usually connect with audiences and with "The Reaping" timed for an Easter weekend launch, a sizable four-day start is likely. The thriller should skew a bit more female given the protagonist while age-wise, the appeal seems broader than just older teens and young adults.

With the Thursday debut, Warner Bros. is looking to take advantage of the Good Friday holiday which will make Thursday night at the multiplexes seem like a Friday night. A Wednesday bow, which is common for this particular weekend, would have been more risky as bad word-of-mouth from opening day ticket buyers who return to work or school on Thursday would dampen weekend sales. Reviews have not been too pleasant, but the studio deserves credit for actually holding press screenings which nowadays is rare for a horror film. With "Premonition" and "The Hills Have Eyes 2" both fading away into the low single-digit millions this weekend, "The Reaping" is ready to cater to those in the market for a good scare. Warner Bros. attacks 2,501 theaters on Thursday and increases the run to 2,603 on Friday and could register an opening weekend of roughly $14M and $17M over four days.

Hilary Swank in "The Reaping."

Rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube conquered the kiddie movie box office two years ago with the surprise hit "Are We There Yet?" which grossed $82.3M becoming the star’s biggest career hit. For the sequel "Are We Done Yet?," Sony has replaced the road comedy element with a story about a family facing all kinds of obstacles fixing up their new house. There debuted to a solid $18.6M in January 2005 against almost no competition for family audiences. "Done" feels like the same dish served up again and has not really excited its target audience. Plus there is much more competition for it to deal with in the marketplace, notably Disney’s "Meet the Robinsons" which offers fresh new entertainment. Cube probably won’t see the same success the second time around but at least the grosses won’t tumble 82% the way they did when he took control of the "XXX" sequel. Now playing in 2,877 theaters, "Are We Done Yet?" could collect about $13M over three days and $16M over five days.

Ice Cube in "Are We Done Yet?"

Families not in the mood for some fun with Ice Cube get to try out the boy-and-his-dog drama "Firehouse Dog" from Fox. The PG-rated pic about a celebrity hound that gets lost and later rescued by a firefighting team lacks the starpower and marketing muscle needed to deliver a strong opening. Between "Are We Done Yet?," "Meet the Robinsons," and even "TMNT," kids have enough choices this Easter weekend and will probably wait for "Firehouse Dog" on DVD. Bowing in 2,566 sites, the family film could open with about $7M over three days and $9M over five days.

"Firehouse Dog"

Among holdovers, the Will Ferrell comedy "Blades of Glory" looks to lose its spot at the top of the box office, but should still deliver a solid sophomore spin. The comedian’s summer hits "Talladega Nights" and "Anchorman" both dropped by more than 50% in their second weekends. "Blades" has the Good Friday holiday to help soften the blow a bit. A 45% decline would give Paramount about $18M for the frame and a solid $61M after ten days.

Disney’s "Meet the Robinsons" also got off to a strong start last weekend, but will face stiff competition for families from both "Are We Done Yet?" and "Firehouse Dog." The 3D toon could slide 35% to around $16M for a ten-day cume of nearly $50M. The ultraviolent war film "300" may fall by 45% to $6M and lift its impressive haul to $190M. The worldwide tally should blast past $350M this weekend.

LAST YEAR: Still ranking number one with ease was the animated smash "Ice Age: The Meltdown" with $33.8M despite losing half of its opening weekend sales. Debuting in second was the Rob Schneider sports comedy "The Benchwarmers" with $19.7M on its way to $57.7M for Sony. New Line’s dance pic "Take the Lead" opened in third with $12.1M before finishing off with $34.7M. The Denzel WashingtonJodie Foster actioner "Inside Man" followed with $9.1M in its third heist. Rounding out the top five was another action thriller "Lucky Number Slevin" with a $7M bow on its way to $22.5M for The Weinstein Co. The Fox Searchlight comedy "Phat Girlz" flopped in ninth with just $3.1M before getting yanked with only $7.1M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

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