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

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