Weekend Box Office

Box Office Preview: "Poseidon" vs. "Mission: Impossible III"

by | May 11, 2006 | Comments

The summer movie season’s second big action contender rolls into theaters this weekend as the sinking ship flick Poseidon takes aim at last week’s Mission: Impossible III for the number one spot across North America.

Two smaller new releases will aim for younger moviegoers. Lindsay Lohan lets loose her girlpower with the comedy Just My Luck while soccer boys are being courted by the sports drama Goal! The Dream Begins. With spring holdovers fading fast and the new May titles only showing so much strength, there is no guarantee that the seven-week streak of the box office beating out last year’s will continue.

Warner Bros. sets sail with its first big-budget entry of the summer with Poseidon, a modern retelling of the 1972 disaster film The Poseidon Adventure. After The Perfect Storm and Troy, veteran A-list director Wolfgang Petersen is back with another pricey summer action pic reportedly spending $160M to produce this new film. Poseidon finds a group of ordinary people on a luxury cruise ship who must fight for survival after a mammoth wave capsizes the ship while at sea. Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas, Richard Dreyfuss, and Andre Braugher star.

Poseidon does work as an escapist treat for the summer season. Despite a lame beginning with the usual setup, the PG-13 film quickly kicks into the disaster scenario and becomes a non-stop action film. No hour-and-a-half of teen courting before an iceberg hits in this one. Audiences that find their way into the theaters should have a relatively good time. But getting them to buy the tickets in the first place is the challenge that Warner Bros. faces. None of the stars has much pull and the original source material isn’t exactly something that moviegoers have been clamoring to have a remake of. Plus Poseidon’s appeal to teens is not very strong making it a film that will be going after mature adults just like MI3 currently is. The direct competition should keep the sinking ship’s grosses in check.

Unlike most disaster films, Poseidon comes with a trim running time of under 100 minutes which means that theaters will be able to provide an ample amount of showtimes per day. Plus, a few dozen Imax locations will open the film day and date which will add a bit to the overall tally. The studio has invested heavily in the marketing push for its first entry in the summer sweepstakes. But that has not driven excitement beyond a manageable level. May has been kind to disaster films in the past. The Day After Tomorrow bowed to $68.7M two years ago, Deep Impact opened to $41.2M in 1998, and Twister bowed exactly one decade ago to a then-shocking $41.1M. Poseidon is not hitting the marketplace on a wave of momentum the way those hits did. And with recent real-life tragedies like Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami, only so many people will have an appetite to see hundreds of innocent people drown to death on the big screen. Docking in 3,555 theaters on Friday, Poseidon could open in the neighborhood of $31M.

Paparazzi magnet Lindsay Lohan stars as a lucky young gal who comes across a wave of misfortune after a magical kiss in the fantasy comedy Just My Luck. Directed by Donald Petrie (Mystic Pizza, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days), the Fox release basically has one audience in its crosshairs – readers of Us Weekly and Teen People. Yes, teenage girls and young women should make up the bulk of the audience as male appeal is lacking. Lohan brings with her a respectable box office track record. Some of her recent openings include Herbie: Fully Loaded ($12.7M after a Wednesday bow and a $3,610 average), Mean Girls ($24.4M debut, $8,606 average), and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen ($9.4M, $3,736 average). This time, Lohan has to carry the film on her shoulders with no big co-star or studio brand name to help out. A not-so-interesting plot won’t help matters.

Teen girls can be a fickle audience rejecting what seem to be surefire hits and flocking to lower profile pics that speak to their generation. Stick It exceeded expectations a couple of weeks ago by connecting with this crowd. With two big action entries dominating theaters and playing to an older and more male crowd, plus RV playing to young kids, Fox does have an opportunity to connect with a group that is underserved at the moment with a star that is still very popular with the target audience. This weekend, Lohan will put her drawing power to the test with Just My Luck which opens in 2,541 theaters. An opening weekend gross of around $11M could result.

A young Mexican-American man follows his dreams of playing professional soccer in Disney’s new sports drama Goal! The Dream Begins. Directed by Danny Cannon (Judge Dredd, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer), the PG-rated film packs zero starpower, but offers an inspirational tale that young boys can relate to. In the United States, Hollywood films about the sport we call "football" typically do much better at the turnstiles than ones about what the rest of the world uses that term for. Buena Vista is not giving Goal! a big push, but rather is hoping to collect a respectable amount of business before seeing the real audience on DVD. Uplifting against-the-odds sports dramas often do well as the studio has seen in the past with Remember the Titans, Miracle, and this year’s Glory Road. However, Goal! lacks the visibility of those films and overall awareness is not too high. Opening in more than 1,000 theaters, Goal! might debut to around $4M.

Last weekend, Mission: Impossible III opened below expectations to $47.7M and now runs the risk of being booted into second place in its sophomore frame. Reviews and word-of-mouth seem to be positive, however that may not provide much help this time. As a heavily-hyped action sequel, MI3 has its audience carved out already and most moviegoers have already made their minds up as to whether or not they plan to see it. This is a film made to make its money upfront. Plus Poseidon will be playing to the same audience of adults over 30 looking for an action thrill ride. A 50% drop for the Tom Cruise vehicle could leave Paramount with about $24M for the weekend and $84M in ten days. By comparison, ten-day cumes for recent summer kick-off films include $85.1M for 2004’s Van Helsing, $147.7M for 2003’s X2: X-Men United, and an eye-popping $223M for 2002’s megahit Spider-Man.

Robin Williams enjoyed a solid hold for his family comedy RV last weekend. Once again, competition for kids is mild so the Sony release should see another small decline. RV may drop 30% to around $8M this weekend lifting the film’s total to $41M after 17 days.

LAST YEAR: J Lo. and J Fo. went head to head in the marital comedy Monster-in-Law which opened at number one with $23.1M. New Line’s hit summer film went on to gross a solid $82.9M. Opening in second was Will Ferrell’s soccer comedy Kicking and Screaming which debuted close behind with $20.2M on its way to $52.7M for Universal. While those two new releases entered more than 3,400 theaters, another freshman title bowed in less than 2,000 sites and placed third. The Jet Li actioner Unleashed opened to $10.9M for Focus and found its way to $24.5M. Fox’s Crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven fell 51% in its second weekend dropping from first to fourth with $9.6M. Fellow sophomore Crash held up exceptionally well in fifth dipping only 23% to $7M. The frame’s final new release, the Miramax thriller Mindhunters, debuted to a weak $1.9M before limping to a $4.5M total.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

20th Century Fox Dark Horse Comics X-Men Teen finale See It Skip It YA Mary Tyler Moore RT21 period drama true crime Emmys children's TV batman Fox News TCA streaming MCU comiccon spinoff CBS CBS All Access comic Premiere Dates Arrowverse Summer Tomatazos Apple GoT Lucasfilm Esquire Stephen King sequel Universal Fall TV Comics on TV cooking crime drama cancelled television The Witch The Arrangement video dceu dramedy Drama Superheroe kids FOX 2015 NBC Biopics VH1 Certified Fresh Calendar revenge YouTube Premium biography RT History Tumblr teaser Disney streaming service technology blaxploitation Pirates historical drama DC Comics Best and Worst Rom-Com cinemax Horror DGA ghosts Creative Arts Emmys 2019 docudrama National Geographic golden globes serial killer witnail DC Universe AMC toy story Countdown Music LGBTQ richard e. Grant Cartoon Network 24 frames Paramount Trailer 2017 USA discovery Comic Book tv talk renewed TV shows Family spain nature Comedy composers anime green book Sundance Now sports Musical unscripted adaptation mutant cars Awards Tour American Society of Cinematographers Emmy Nominations Women's History Month SDCC natural history Disney Channel FXX Black Mirror political drama APB romance cancelled TV shows Nickelodeon Trivia SundanceTV Britbox Logo Binge Guide what to watch Interview TCA 2017 Trophy Talk theme song Columbia Pictures New York Comic Con Red Carpet award winner movies Winners Tarantino Holidays YouTube 2016 miniseries science fiction Syfy TNT Anna Paquin Marathons hist Elton John Classic Film Film Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt harry potter DC streaming service Mindy Kaling NYCC Freeform police drama supernatural Spring TV Box Office Polls and Games GLAAD TruTV Nominations binge politics Rock canceled HBO Max Year in Review crime CMT ESPN doctor who Shudder Netflix Paramount Network Mary poppins Peacock Winter TV Hulu Quiz Star Trek space psycho Oscars Photos 71st Emmy Awards mockumentary south america boxoffice Super Bowl Chilling Adventures of Sabrina television OWN jamie lee curtis Rocketman halloween thriller psychological thriller Country Walt Disney Pictures Lifetime BBC Cannes Mary Poppins Returns Animation disaster Extras WGN free movies E3 war Podcast Musicals Showtime talk show justice league Acorn TV Ovation Adult Swim elevated horror Reality Competition quibi Spectrum Originals Disney Kids & Family E! TCM Sci-Fi Western Turner book Starz Rocky Pride Month aliens Shondaland Christmas singing competition Sony Pictures dc DirecTV Food Network based on movie MSNBC BBC America Infographic The Walking Dead Action spy thriller YouTube Red Cosplay IFC Awards CW Seed Video Games facebook canceled TV shows Disney Plus Mystery Schedule Toys romantic comedy President BET TV Land Marvel Television Academy Song of Ice and Fire Fantasy TLC strong female leads Grammys Star Wars crime thriller Opinion Ellie Kemper Comedy Central San Diego Comic-Con cancelled TV series USA Network social media Apple TV+ VICE Amazon Prime Video medical drama vampires Writers Guild of America CNN TBS Martial Arts LGBT Spike sitcom spider-man Pet Sematary casting Brie Larson Reality dragons Pixar Bravo diversity cults PBS Valentine's Day slashers Sundance GIFs The CW anthology TIFF 007 Amazon latino First Look TV zombies ABC Family Mudbound Nat Geo The Purge El Rey zero dark thirty Amazon Prime Character Guide Epix cats 2018 SXSW Watching Series Crackle Thanksgiving ITV A&E game of thrones animated ratings cops First Reviews crossover series cancelled spanish language stand-up comedy History Turner Classic Movies zombie Captain marvel WarnerMedia joker transformers Election Lionsgate 21st Century Fox Warner Bros. hispanic foreign Sneak Peek festivals Masterpiece MTV HBO Ghostbusters PaleyFest robots FX 45 Superheroes ABC Vudu Set visit IFC Films breaking bad game show Chernobyl Film Festival Pop travel adventure Heroines TV renewals