Box Office Guru Preview: Crowe vs. Bale in Box Office Shootout

Western and Shoot 'Em Up set to shoot it out for box office.

by | September 6, 2007 | Comments

Batman takes on Cinderella Man at the box office as the Russell CroweChristian Bale Western remake 3:10 to Yuma heads into the multiplexes over what is traditionally a tumbleweed weekend in the marketplace. More action comes in the form of Shoot ‘Em Up which pits Clive Owen against Paul Giamatti while those craving comedy get the new laugher The Brothers Solomon. With summer gone and most students back in school, Hollywood has decided to roll out nothing but R-rated films this weekend.

Hoping to bounce back from last year’s critical and commercial disaster A Good Year, Oscar winner Russell Crowe leads the charge and aims for his first trip to the number one spot in nearly four years with 3:10 to Yuma. Directed by James Mangold (Walk the Line), the update on the 1957 semi-classic finds Bale playing a down-on-his-luck family man who takes the job of delivering a captured outlaw (Crowe) to the authorities. Having two strong actors face each other on screen is
usually a good thing and here the starpower should help bring in audiences. Reviews have been solid and since this genre plays to a more mature adult audience, the opinions of critics will make a big difference. The marketing push from Lionsgate has been commendable and with few other interesting new choices out there, Yuma should carve out its own space. Heading into 2,652 theaters, 3:10 to Yuma could open with roughly $14M over the Friday-to-Sunday period.

Russell Crowe and Peter Fonda in 3:10 to Yuma.

For cinemagoers who want even more bullets flying across their screens, New Line is offering up the modern-day crime thriller Shoot ‘Em Up. The R-rated film stars Clive Owen as the good guy on the run, Paul Giamatti as the bad guy with a gun, and Monica Bellucci as a hooker out for fun. Just as with Yuma, the film will skew more male but will probably play a bit younger. Competition will be a big factor since the pic has some big guns it’s going up against. Starpower is also lacking as the actors, though well-respected creatively, are not big ticket sellers as leads. Opening nationally, Shoot ‘Em Up might debut to about $8M this weekend.

Paul Giamatti, in a strict departure from his Lady in the Water character.

Will Forte and Will Arnett, two funnymen with little pull at the box office, team up for the new comedy The Brothers Solomon from Sony. The R-rated pic from director Bob Odenkirk (Let’s Go To Prison) finds the two playing siblings on a wacky quest to fulfill their dying father’s wish of having a grandson. With little starpower, the film is not likely to score much business over the weekend as most interested fans will wait for the DVD. Opening in about 650 locations, The Brothers Solomon could bow to less than $2M.

The Wills (Forte and Arnett) in The Brothers Solomon.

After its record-breaking opening weekend, Halloween should fall sharply in the sophomore session since intense fan interest brought out everyone upfront. The three-day gross could drop by 60% to about $11M giving MGM and The Weinstein Company $45M after ten days. With the new action titles likely to skew older, Superbad could be in for another solid frame. A 45% dip to around $7M may be in order giving McLovin and gang a cume of $102M.

LAST YEAR: The worst box office weekend of 2006 was led by the modest opening of the thriller The Covenant which debuted with only $8.9M which was enough to capture the crown. The Sony pic went on to gross $23.3M overall. Opening with weak results in second was the Ben Affleck starrer Hollywoodland with only $5.9M on its way to $14.4M for Focus. Following two weeks at number one, the football drama Invincible dropped to third with $5.6M for Buena Vista. The Weinstein Company’s Thai actioner The Protector premiered in fourth with $5M leading to only $12M. The Jason Statham action pic Crank ranked fifth with $4.9M for Lionsgate.

Author: Gitesh Pandya,