Indy Jr. looks to seize control of the North American box office with the new action thriller Eagle Eye which leads a new pack of candidates heading into the multiplexes on Friday. Also opening are the romance Nights in Rodanthe starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane plus Spike Lee‘s historical war drama Miracle at St. Anna. Overall, the marketplace stands a good chance of beating last year’s performance ending the month of September on a positive note after such a dismal start.
Shia LaBeouf and director D.J. Caruso spent three weeks atop the box office chart with their sleeper hit thriller Disturbia last year. Now, the two reunite and hope that lightning will strike twice with the political action thriller Eagle Eye which should have no problem debuting in the number one spot this Friday. The PG-13 film finds the Transformers star playing a slacker who is targeted by a mysterious government agency that can use modern information technology to track the lives of any person. Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis, and Billy Bob Thornton co-star. Paramount and DreamWorks are aiming for a broad audience here but teens and young adults should be the core. Cross-gender appeal is solid as Shia is a star with males and females alike. This one is for the actor what Enemy of the State was for Will Smith ten years ago – a chance for a rising action superstar to break away from bigger guaranteed hits and anchor a conspiracy thriller on his own.
With most films in multiplexes now skewing towards the 30-plus crowd, Eagle should hit its mark just fine. Plus, there really haven’t been any major serious modern-day action movies since The Dark Knight so ticket buyers are ready to go for another action-packed thrill ride. The reliable tactic of using “from Executive Producer Steven Spielberg” in the marketing is also at play here and will add to the numbers. Disturbia debuted to $22.2M in April 2007 and outside of the Saw sequels, movies released in the September-October corridor rarely break past the $30M mark. Attacking over 3,300 locations, Eagle Eye will try to approach that level and could generate around $27M this weekend.
Samuel L. Jackson hit the top spot last weekend with the not-so-friendly-neighbor thriller Lakeview Terrace. The Sony film’s adult audience will have new options so a 45% decline could be in order. That would leave the PG-13 film with about $8M for the frame and a ten-day sum of $27M.
Burn After Reading held up nicely in its sophomore session so another moderate drop is likely. Focus may see a 40% decline to roughly $6.5M for a total of $45M after 17 days. Dane Cook flicks fall hard on the second weekend as witnessed by his pics Good Luck Chuck and Employee of the Month which both stumbled by 54% in the second frame. The comic’s new masterpiece My Best Friend’s Girl looks to fall by 55% to about $3.5M for a disappointing cume of only $14M after ten days.
LAST YEAR: The Rock became the latest macho star to drive a family comedy to number one. His hit The Game Plan debuted on top with $23M for Disney on its way to a solid $90.6M making it the top-grossing pic for the September-October corridor. Opening in second was the political thriller The Kingdom with $17.1M for Universal on its way to $47.5M. Former chart-topper Resident Evil: Extinction lost two-thirds of its audience and fell to third with $8M in its second weekend. Rounding out the top five was Lionsgate with its double feature of Good Luck Chuck and 3:10 to Yuma with $6.2M and $4.2M, respectively.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com