Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Preview: "Grudge" Reborn at Box Office

by | October 12, 2006 | Comments

With the pumpkin holiday approaching, Sony unleashes the terror with its frightfest "The Grudge 2" which aims to dominate the marketplace this weekend.

Giving ticket buyers some not-so-scary alternatives are the political comedy "Man of the Year," the action flick "The Marine," and the historical epic "One Night with the King." After a September slump, the North American box office should continue its October rebound.

Two years after shocking the film industry with one of the biggest openings ever for a horror film, Sony returns to the scene of the crime with its new supernatural thriller "The Grudge 2." Director Takashi Shimizu is once again at the helm, but the PG-13 pic this time tells the story of a young woman who investigates the curse that previously afflicted her sister in Tokyo. Amber Tamblyn ("Joan of Arcadia") and Jennifer Beals ("Flashdance") star in this new installment. "The Grudge 2" has one of the best release dates a studio with a horror film could ever ask for – a Friday the 13th in the middle of the Halloween month of October. But with Sarah Michelle Gellar having only little face time this time around, the sequel has lost significant starpower. The former "Buffy" star was integral in getting teens, young adults, and genre fans out on opening weekend last time. With the story now shifting to her character’s sister, many of those who turned up on opening weekend for the first, will decide to skip the second installment in theaters.


Amber Tamblyn, no longer talking to God in "The Grudge 2."

Sony has been giving "Grudge 2" a healthy marketing push hoping to reach young females once again. As a fright flick, guys will automatically be there. The sequel should give the underserved audience of teenage girls an exciting option and the rating opens the door to plenty of business. Even the teen date crowd could contribute a nice chunk of change. However, the competing horror pic "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" is coming off of a strong bow and will take dollars from some older teens away. Numbers should not come close to Gellar’s first "Grudge" which had the whole horror crowd to itself two Octobers ago with a potent $39.1M launch on its way to a $110.2M domestic final. Still, between the relatively low costs and the solid sales in theaters and on DVD, these types of scary sequels tend to become very profitable, very fast. "The Grudge 2" will spook audiences in 3,211 locations and could gross about $27M this weekend easily giving it the number one spot.

Fresh off of his hit family picture "RV" from last spring, Robin Williams tries to get his career back in order with the new political satire "Man of the Year." Written and directed by Barry Levinson ("Rain Man," "Wag the Dog"), the PG-13 film finds the former Mork playing a popular talk show host who decides to run for U.S. President adding lunacy to an otherwise dull election. Christopher Walken, Laura Linney, Jeff Goldblum, and Lewis Black round out the cast. After struggling for hits after 1998’s "Patch Adams," Williams rebounded at the box office by appealing to kids. He lent a voice to last year’s animated Fox pic "Robots" and enjoyed great legs with "RV" which went on to gross $71.4M after spending seven weeks in the top ten.


Robin Williams and Laura Linney in "Man of the Year."

Now the Oscar winner goes after adults with "Man" which is not likely to pull in many votes from teens and young adults. The subject matter will appeal most to the 30+ crowd making last weekend’s well-liked champ "The Departed" a serious competitor. Universal’s mid-October release makes sense as the studio is placing the pic in the marketplace just weeks before the country’s mid-term elections when politics are on the minds of many citizens. But the story will not be too big of a factor in pulling in audiences which means Williams will see his starpower put to the test once again. Luckily he is back with a comedy which is his comfort zone when it comes to commercial success. Casting votes in 2,515 theaters, "Man of the Year" might debut with about $11M.

Wrestling superstar John Cena anchors his first Hollywood film in "The Marine" playing, well, a marine discharged from duty in Iraq that must fight to save his kidnapped wife. The PG-13 actioner will play mostly to young males who follow the antics of the champ in the squared circle. Crossover potential is limited as those not familiar with who he is will probably take a pass. Fox won’t see many good reviews and a bigger audience should find it on DVD early next year. Marching into 2,546 locations, "The Marine" could open with roughly $8M this weekend and find itself dismissed soon after.


John Cena means business in "The Marine."

Babylon is the setting for the epic historical adventure "One Night With the King" which stars Tiffany Dupont, Omar Sharif, John Rhys-Davies, and Peter O’Toole. The PG-rated tale following the rise of the Queen of Persia is using church-based marketing to reach Christian audience members looking for entertainment that the whole family can enjoy together. These types of grassroots efforts have worked magic at the box office in the past, but not every time. Distributor 8X generated a respectable $5,011 opening weekend average with 2001’s "Megiddo: Omega Code 2" but struggled with a $3,315 average for "Carman: The Champion" earlier that year. While those films never made it past 400 theaters, "King" will enter about 900 sites and is getting a more mainstream promotional push so the potential could be more. A $4M bow may result.

Last weekend’s top choice "The Departed" plans to stick around and still be a popular film in its second weekend. Strong reviews and word-of-mouth will help the Warner Bros. crime thriller hold up well in the sophomore frame. Plus there is little competition for adult audiences as "Grudge" and "Marine" should skew younger while the comedy of Robin Williams may play to a different segment of the mature crowd. "The Departed" might fall by 35% this weekend which would give the DiCaprioDamon hit around $17M and an impressive ten-day cume of $55M.

On the other hand, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" will face a direct threat from the "Grudge" sequel beginning on Friday. Horror franchise flicks typically drop hard anyway so a 55% tumble would give the New Line prequel about $9M and a respectable $32M after ten days.

LAST YEAR: The horror remake "The Fog" topped the charts with the worst gross of the year for a number one film bowing to $11.8M to lead the weak box office. Sony’s fright offering stumbled to just $29.5M. Close behind in second place was the DreamWorks toon "Wallace and Gromit" with $11.5M in its second weekend. Paramount’s Orlando BloomKirsten Dunst pic "Elizabethtown" opened in third place with $10.6M on its way to a mild $26.9M. Rounding out the top ten were Hollywood blondes Jodie Foster with $6.5M for "Flightplan" and Cameron Diaz with $6.1M for "In Her Shoes." Bloom’s Caribbean queen Keira Knightley fared even worse with her action flop "Domino" which debuted to just $4.7M. New Line eked its way to just $10.2M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

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