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

hollywood YouTube Red Baby Yoda Spectrum Originals universal monsters green book jurassic park Travel Channel Avengers Epix mockumentary Broadway films facebook Trailer directors RT21 TruTV See It Skip It Amazon Studios james bond crime Certified Fresh scene in color series Tubi Biopics nbcuniversal Trophy Talk Turner Creative Arts Emmys Character Guide SundanceTV Disney+ Disney Plus Paramount Plus 94th Oscars Winners Fox News Box Office marvel cinematic universe worst movies spanish language Geeked Week rt labs Sundance Now godzilla The Witch japan vampires batman aliens HBO Go basketball Hear Us Out wonder woman historical drama new star wars movies Fargo 72 Emmy Awards BET Awards japanese Awards WGN Schedule Marathons comic book movies sequels E3 scorecard hidden camera chucky MTV Dark Horse Comics ID cartoon DirecTV Comics on TV BAFTA suspense Countdown Pride Month australia black ESPN Bravo anime toronto Infographic discovery HBO Max APB football Esquire Podcast cancelled blockbusters unscripted Pop laika south america rotten movies we love supernatural Paramount romantic comedy TV movies talk show Hallmark Christmas movies YouTube Premium cops black comedy Teen critic resources documentary jamie lee curtis Walt Disney Pictures Indigenous Crackle sitcom Quiz Vudu Apple TV+ FX Year in Review Lifetime Christmas movies natural history canceled transformers Best Actor Funimation GIFs halloween tv reboot Tokyo Olympics ghosts spider-verse know your critic RT History IFC Films CMT Discovery Channel Polls and Games book docudrama Sundance 2019 PBS TV renewals strong female leads elevated horror WarnerMedia gangster sports Syfy IFC spanish doctor who Red Carpet Columbia Pictures harry potter halloween First Reviews Cosplay crime drama Holiday Star Trek anthology Extras sopranos The CW ViacomCBS Hollywood Foreign Press Association children's TV space canceled TV shows Stephen King Thanksgiving scene in color Turner Classic Movies Interview Nat Geo based on movie LGBT Wes Anderson 79th Golden Globes Awards telelvision new zealand Exclusive Video Paramount Pictures 90s boxoffice MSNBC television comiccon zombies romance nfl adaptation GLAAD Rocky stand-up comedy kong summer preview TV Land Martial Arts movie finale debate AMC Superheroes live event Sony Pictures streamig Prime Video NBA remakes binge X-Men Mary Tyler Moore kaiju Binge Guide Lionsgate interviews The Academy Family screen actors guild VH1 Spring TV Photos Star Wars Comic-Con@Home 2021 documentaries dreamworks Musicals Disney Plus travel award winner mob USA Television Critics Association DC Universe Horror Starz indiana jones die hard Cannes 45 composers singing competition Neflix high school 1990s Video Games obituary serial killer posters Television Academy Warner Bros. animated rom-coms Endgame mission: impossible CW Seed Superheroe Pet Sematary live action king arthur The Walt Disney Company obi wan TV One Western CNN Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Opinion scary movies independent BBC One Calendar christmas movies legend Best and Worst Amazon Prime Video classics Universal Pictures boxing 73rd Emmy Awards FXX Disney streaming service italian casting tv talk revenge marvel comics monster movies spider-man period drama Sci-Fi Valentine's Day Marvel Studios Film 2015 twilight Cartoon Network disaster Masterpiece werewolf true crime ABC kids Focus Features art house Ovation HBO Captain marvel Election TCA slasher Oscars Mystery TIFF The Arrangement zero dark thirty Pacific Islander technology what to watch aapi best MGM toy story Comedy Comic Book Winter TV Freeform Fox Searchlight Amazon Mudbound 99% Lucasfilm razzies golden globes Musical worst zombie Apple TV Plus The Walking Dead 007 dceu Disney VICE Fall TV Shondaland trophy Grammys 71st Emmy Awards American Society of Cinematographers TBS dexter medical drama 2021 crossover Netflix Christmas movies dark spinoff TLC Sony franchise mcc video on demand festival war target diversity FOX deadpool young adult Marvel Television popular cancelled TV shows critics El Rey PlayStation Hallmark Apple Premiere Dates Mindy Kaling superman mutant Shudder Tags: Comedy Emmy Nominations blockbuster Heroines all-time prank 2016 TNT news trailers latino Pop TV crime thriller stop motion Native Sneak Peek SDCC venice emmy awards Brie Larson leaderboard cults 93rd Oscars comedies comic sag awards comic book movie USA Network royal family cars new york Holidays Nickelodeon movies Rock Rocketman comics DGA fast and furious target scene in color child's play stoner psychological thriller video police drama MCU CBS Fantasy concert miniseries spy thriller Nominations fresh President San Diego Comic-Con Super Bowl rotten Drama Anna Paquin dogs festivals cancelled television GoT YA ITV NBC hist free movies Classic Film justice league Summer Tarantino olympics PaleyFest summer TV TCA 2017 Christmas ABC Signature asian-american rt archives Lifetime 4/20 Mary Poppins Returns 2018 game of thrones CBS All Access OneApp cats biopic foreign teaser Toys political drama dramedy adenture Hulu comic books FX on Hulu breaking bad 21st Century Fox Alien The Purge streaming SXSW 2022 Disney Channel book adaptation spain dc Peacock vs. sequel TV french Pirates Crunchyroll BET YouTube hispanic NYCC Instagram Live Paramount Network biography cancelled TV series Action Writers Guild of America 2020 lord of the rings Adult Swim nature king kong screenings satire Awards Tour A24 Oscar Logo A&E BBC America Watching Series Emmys Marvel Country South by Southwest Film Festival Britbox witnail saw Spike Best Picture Image Comics women Amazon Prime superhero action-comedy adventure hispanic heritage month BBC ratings Pixar joker versus VOD Set visit 24 frames Rom-Com Best Actress summer TV preview Animation National Geographic thriller Black History Month E! Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt theme song cooking Acorn TV AMC Plus Elton John TCA Winter 2020 docuseries HFPA blaxploitation LGBTQ rt labs critics edition richard e. Grant Film Festival Reality Competition First Look Trivia politics psycho dragons ABC Family Legendary international pirates of the caribbean Comedy Central Tumblr parents Sundance TV Kids & Family Showtime 2017 golden globe awards Food Network criterion 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards 20th Century Fox Music History robots Netflix SXSW Best Director IMDb TV TCM Arrowverse Tomatazos reviews Universal slashers Ghostbusters archives Reality genre streaming movies science fiction indie Song of Ice and Fire Star Wars Celebration Chernobyl a nightmare on elm street broadcast renewed TV shows Black Mirror Women's History Month quibi Ellie Kemper New York Comic Con heist movie scary DC streaming service series TCA Awards game show cinemax OWN social media name the review DC Comics Academy Awards feel good scene in color film series Mary poppins