Weekend Box Office

Box Office Preview: "World Trade Center" Arrives in Theaters

by | August 10, 2006 | Comments

Another frame packed with four new national releases is led by Oliver Stone‘s 9/11 drama "World Trade Center" from Paramount. A trio of lower profile pics round out the weekend – Sony’s family adventure "Zoom," Buena Vista’s teen drama "Step Up," and The Weinstein Company’s horror flick "Pulse." Despite all the new entries, Will Ferrell will try to win the box office title for the second consecutive time with his comedy "Talladega Nights" which has been racing well ahead of its competition since opening last weekend.

Nicolas Cage, Michael Pena, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Maria Bello star in the high-profile story of courage "World Trade Center" which Paramount debuted on Wednesday. The PG-13 film tells the real life story of John McLoughlin and William Jimeno, two Port Authority cops who were trapped in the rubble of the Twin Towers on September 11. Rather than focus on any villains, "WTC" only tells the story of ordinary men put into extraordinary circumstances and how their families coped. Mature adults will make up the primary audience. Teen appeal seems limited. Since the box office is currently lacking choices for older adults, the Oliver Stone film will not face much direct competition. Men and women will be equally drawn to this emotionally-charged story of heroism.

There will be many moviegoers that will find it to be too soon for a film about a tragedy just approaching its fifth anniversary. However, curiousity will bring out others looking for an uplifting story about that fateful Tuesday morning. "WTC" should appeal to many of the same people who turned out for 2004’s "Ladder 49." That film featured Cage’s "Face/Off" nemesis John Travolta as a noble firefighter and just told a tale about American heroes doing the right thing for each other, and not really dwelling on any enemy. "Ladder" bowed to $22.1M over three days.

Center will also be compared to April’s United 93 which was the first Hollywood film to tackle 9/11. With a subdued release in under 1,800 locations, that pic opened well with $11.5M and a solid $6,395 average. "WTC" has more theaters, more starpower in front of and behind the camera, and is not as grim. Reviews have mostly been good which will help. Long-term prospects are encouraging since the rest of August has nothing major for mature adults. Now playing in 2,803 theaters, "World Trade Center" might open with about $18M over the weekend and around $24M over five days.

Tim Allen plays an ex-super hero who is called upon to train a group of slacker kids in Sony’s new family film "Zoom." The PG-rated pic will have plenty of competition as it marks the fourth consecutive week that studios have rolled out movies aimed at young ones. Only this time, it isn’t a toon. Allen has always been a consistent draw in this genre, most notably in his "Santa Clause" movies which sees its third installment this coming holiday season. Earlier this year, he starred in the Disney remake "The Shaggy Dog" which bowed to $16.3M in March. "Zoom," which co-stars Courteney Cox and Chevy Chase, will not reach that level as it is not generating as much excitement. Plus the volume on the marketing push has been typical of a mid-August opener. Flying into 2,501 theaters, "Zoom" might debut with around $9M.

Hollywood seems to have written a new rule stating that 9/11 films must be counter-programmed with teen-girl pics that explore popular extracurricular activities. "United 93" opened against the gymnastics comedy "Stick It," and now "WTC" will face Buena Vista’s "Step Up" which finds a ballerina and a tough street dancer locking hips. The PG-13 film will play primarily to young females and the studio is hoping to score another low-cost hit like Disney’s April comedy which debuted to a better-than-expected $10.8M. "Step Up" lacks marquee stars, but does offer some faces that add value when it comes to the Clearasil crowd. The bad boy meets good girl formula is once again tested and little crossover to older patrons is likely. Competition for teens and young adults is ample so a breakout bow may not surface, but a respectable showing is likely. Dancing into 2,100 theaters, "Step Up" could debut to around $8M.

Supernatural beasties attack us innocent humans through cell phones and email in the new horror flick "Pulse." The PG-13 film is aimed at teens that have seen every other film and want some quick thrills before heading back to school. With no major stars, and a concept that is far from intriguing, the Weinstein Co. release should be in for some modest dollars over the weekend. "The Descent" will be "Pulse’s" major foe, but like most fright flicks, the chicks-in-a-cave movie should tumble down further on the charts in its second weekend. "Step Up" and "Talladega Nights" will also be distracting teens. Opening in 2,326 theaters, "Pulse" might scare up about $8M this weekend.

In foreign film releases, Yash Raj Films opens the all-star Bollywood film "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" (Never Say Goodbye) in top markets across North America. Shot in New York, the Hindi-language film explores the breakdown of marital bonds. Brazilian actress Fernanda Montenegro ("Central Station") headlines "The House of Sand" which Sony Classics platforms in New York and Los Angeles this Friday. The story of three generations of women in the barren lands of northern Brazil played at the Tribeca Film Festival and will roll out into more cities throughout the rest of summer.

Last weekend’s box office champ "Talladega Nights" hopes to retain its crown in its second lap. The Will Ferrell hit is sure to see a large decline, but competition for teens and young adults is not too fierce. A 50% drop would leave Sony with about $23M for the session and a solid ten-day cume of $92M. Paramount’s "Barnyard" may fall by 40% and rake in around $9.5M pushing its total to $33M after ten days. The Johnny Depp megasmash "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" could drop by another 40% to $6.5M lifting its jaw-dropping total to $392M.

LAST YEAR: Director John Singleton scored a top spot debut with his revenge thriller "Four Brothers" which debuted with $21.2M. Paramount found its way to $74.5M with the Mark Wahlberg drama. Opening in second was the Kate Hudson suspense thriller "The Skeleton Key" with $16.1M on its way to $47.8M for Universal. Falling from first to third was the comedy "The Dukes of Hazzard" with $13M dropping a steep 58% from its bow. Rival comedy "Wedding Crashers" held up much better easing 26% in its fifth frame to $11.8M. Opening in fifth place with $9.6M was Sony’s comedy sequel "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo" which ended its run with just $22.3M. The weekend’s other new release, the military drama "The Great Raid," opened modestly in tenth with only $3.4M on its way to $10.2M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

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