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

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