Box Office Guru Preview: Valentine's Day Comes Early

Also: Notorious, Hotel for Dogs, Paul Blart: Mall Cop in theaters

by | January 15, 2009 | Comments

Four new films roll into theaters hoping to take advantage of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday which will give many a day off on Monday. R-rated fare leads the way with the horror remake My Bloody Valentine 3D and the hip-hop biopic Notorious being the big guns trying to knock Clint Eastwood from his position atop the charts. Also opening are a pair of PG-rated films – the kidpic Hotel for Dogs and the comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

The first in a long line of 3D movies this year opens on Thursday night at 10:00pm in the form of My Bloody Valentine from Lionsgate. The R-rated fright flick takes the industry’s love of recycling past horror films and mixes it with the gimmick of three dimensions which gives moviegoers an enhanced experience, and takes an extra $2-3 from their wallet. In Manhattan, some theaters are charging $15 per stub instead of their normal $12.50. The Unborn‘s surprisingly strong $19.9M bow last weekend shows how much hunger there is for scary movies with intriguing ideas. But Valentine doesn’t take the spooky, no-blood route to a PG-13. It delivers hardcore violence, killings, and gallons of hemoglobin for the genre fans that expect top-notch violence.

Lionsgate has been marketing the pic very well making it stand out in a crowded field of terrorfests packed into the January-February corridor. Plus the distributor has locked in a record 1,033 3D screens, the most ever for this format. And with those venues charging extra dough, the overall grosses will get a nice bump. Early reviews have been shockingly positive which is rare for this genre. That certainly can’t hurt. Add in the holiday weekend and you’ve got back-to-back weeks of horror hits. Attacking 2,534 theaters, My Bloody Valentine might open with about $17M over the three-day Friday-to-Sunday period.

My Bloody Valentine in 3D

Fox has raked in $125M with Marley & Me. Disney has gobbled up a combined $206M for Bolt and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Now Paramount joins the canine game hoping to score big dollars with not one but a whole gang of pooches with its kid comedy Hotel for Dogs. The PG-rated film should play to children and tweens plus their parents and with most students having a long holiday weekend, the target audience has extra leisure time. The MLK frame has been a good one for kidpics with 2005’s Racing Stripes bowing to $13.9M over three days and the following year’s animated film Hoodwinked opening to $12.4M. Not being tied to a major franchise, Hotel might debut in the same neighborhood. Competition is not too fierce and families are looking for something new to see following two weeks of Christmas leftovers. For those who just haven’t had their fill of doggies, this one will prompt a return trip to the multiplex. Marching into 3,271 theaters, Hotel for Dogs may open to around $14M over the Friday-to-Sunday span.

Hotel for Dogs

The life of slain hip-hop star The Notorious B.I.G. makes its way to the big screen on Friday in Fox Searchlight’s Notorious. The R-rated film comes from director George Tillman Jr. (Soul Food, Men of Honor) and stars Angela Bassett, Derek Luke, and Jamal Woolard as the late rap legend. With nearly every fan of hip-hop music being part of the built-in audience, sold out shows are guaranteed to pop up from coast to coast. And with Martin Luther King Day and the Obama Inauguration following in just a few days, the timing could not be better for the release of a biopic on a popular African American superstar.

Reviews have been generally positive which is quite good for a new release coming out in January. Business should come primarily from those between the ages of 20 and 40, especially all the Biggie Smalls fans from the mid-90s. For loyal fans, this is a must-see event film. Notorious has by far the fewest theaters of this weekend’s four new titles, however a sizable number of multiplexes are double-screening it indicating solid pre-release demand. Competition from both holdovers and newcomers will be miniscule. Landing in 1,637 locations, Notorious might debut with around $13M over the Friday-to-Sunday period.

Derek Luke and Jamal Woolard as Diddy and Biggie Smalls in Notorious

Kevin James gives headlining a comedy a try with Paul Blart: Mall Cop, the funnyman’s first film as the sole anchor. The PG-rated film about a security guard at a dull suburban mall who faces off against real bad guys will play to the not-so-mature crowd looking for dumb humor. Following his successful sitcom King of Queens, James started showing up in multiplexes as the secondary dude opposite established box office draws Will Smith in Hitch and Adam Sandler in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. With the training wheels off, he now gets to show himself, and the industry, whether or not he can open a picture solo. Younger kids may take interest and the rating promises harmless fun. But Hotel for Dogs will provide some overlap for tweens. Reviews will be terrible, but will eventually be ignored. Debuting wide in over 3,000 theaters, Paul Blart: Mall Cop could take in about $11M over three days.

Kevin James in Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Clint Eastwood hit a home run last weekend with his latest starring effort Gran Torino. To no surprise, the Warner Bros. hit has been holding up quite well during the week just as most of the actor/director’s films do. Monday and Tuesday each brought in an additional $2.8M. Second wide weekend drops for his recent films include 22% for Changeling, 38% for Flags of Our Fathers, and 31% for Million Dollar Baby. Plus all of the new releases skew much younger so Torino‘s Friday-to-Sunday take may slide by about 30% to $20M. That would boost the early cume to an impressive $71M.

Bride Wars also doesn’t have much in the way of direct competition so a respectable sophomore session is likely. With NFL conference championships on Sunday, and Monday being a holiday for many, Fox’s chick flick has a great opportunity to score with its target audience. A 35% drop could occur giving the Kate HudsonAnne Hathaway laugher roughly $13.5M over three days for a 10-day cume of $39M.

Look for a massive drop for the horror pic The Unborn thanks to the double impact of bad word-of-mouth and the arrival of a competing horror flick. A 60% tumble would lead to a $8M frame and would lift the total to $31M after ten days. Although a new set of dogs will enter the marketplace, Fox’s Marley & Me will still remain a major contender in the top ten. Sales might fall by 40% to about $7M putting the sum at $133M.

LAST YEAR: A brilliant marketing campaign fueled interest in the low-budget monster flick Cloverfield which shot straight to number one with a stellar $40.1M setting a new opening weekend record for January. Katherine Heigl also generated a solid debut for her new comedy 27 Dresses which bowed at number two with $23M. Final grosses reached $80M for the Paramount thriller and $76.8M for Fox’s wedding tale. Rounding out the top five were holdovers The Bucket List with $14.1M, Juno with $10M, and First Sunday with $7.8M. Premiering with weaker results was the caper comedy Mad Money with $7.7M for Overture on its way to just $20.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya,

Tag Cloud

natural history series Bravo prank CBS All Access Podcast rotten movies we love Calendar E! Premiere Dates period drama know your critic Anna Paquin The Academy Mary Poppins Returns critics A24 supernatural USA HBO Go See It Skip It Best and Worst Comics on TV Turner Crunchyroll Holidays crime thriller RT21 die hard Awards Tour Super Bowl independent VOD X-Men Warner Bros. classics Lifetime Netflix Christmas movies stand-up comedy transformers Interview Box Office Pride Month History Endgame Country hidden camera Christmas Image Comics Hear Us Out deadpool Horror Photos screenings 2015 based on movie Apple TV+ free movies movies Black Mirror criterion Fantasy cars anthology TNT streaming sequel Sneak Peek Western directors cops E3 social media Countdown ViacomCBS romance toronto First Look documentaries hollywood politics Classic Film 72 Emmy Awards Stephen King Hulu TV Land 2019 unscripted laika Pirates heist movie nature Animation TCA Winter 2020 thriller Writers Guild of America ABC Family revenge Netflix Logo archives Cosplay Teen canceled TV shows Extras women CW Seed Walt Disney Pictures BBC One Epix cancelled TV shows Polls and Games 71st Emmy Awards rom-coms Crackle Columbia Pictures zero dark thirty cancelled TV series BBC best Rock Paramount Network BET Awards zombie book adaptation TV renewals TV One Avengers sports rotten Showtime MTV joker BET CNN stoner asian-american Disney+ Disney Plus OWN RT History dc PBS television target Marathons cartoon concert sitcom aapi Rom-Com Women's History Month Opinion theme song Star Wars The Witch Hallmark Schedule Fox Searchlight cults hist south america Trophy Talk dramedy CMT psychological thriller technology travel richard e. Grant WarnerMedia Hallmark Christmas movies Lifetime Christmas movies Mary poppins binge Television Critics Association canceled golden globes space TCA Character Guide Rocky child's play Trivia worst YouTube Red Discovery Channel Travel Channel book batman Peacock Comedy Central anime strong female leads latino Universal crime SundanceTV Tarantino trailers Creative Arts Emmys Sundance Now comic books sequels football kids streaming movies true crime ABC Signature comiccon blockbuster black werewolf Musical harry potter El Rey 007 YouTube Premium A&E Lionsgate Grammys Trailer cancelled television Nickelodeon Academy Awards vampires sag awards jamie lee curtis Election composers rt archives First Reviews Musicals game show james bond police drama docuseries TIFF Paramount Legendary YouTube live action Arrowverse NYCC Mudbound telelvision Emmy Nominations BBC America National Geographic Quiz movie BAFTA Heroines Amazon Marvel Television Toys Starz ID Comic Book lord of the rings Mindy Kaling documentary 99% Binge Guide Captain marvel Freeform Spike Music crossover Syfy game of thrones DC streaming service ITV razzies dark Tomatazos zombies marvel cinematic universe Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt DGA GoT Oscars FX on Hulu Disney all-time casting San Diego Comic-Con chucky Winners Summer international The Arrangement reviews 45 Exclusive Video Food Network 20th Century Fox a nightmare on elm street parents Chernobyl Sci-Fi halloween tv adventure facebook 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards SDCC medical drama New York Comic Con 2016 blaxploitation spinoff ratings Amazon Prime Video Superheroes Sundance kaiju Ellie Kemper Cartoon Network Spring TV spain DirecTV YA Chilling Adventures of Sabrina doctor who french American Society of Cinematographers Star Trek spy thriller screen actors guild Spectrum Originals AMC universal monsters TV movies finale Superheroe Apple comics CBS Pacific Islander miniseries witnail italian MCU Dark Horse Comics Black History Month Certified Fresh Ghostbusters Thanksgiving australia indiana jones superman Watching Series renewed TV shows saw SXSW new york indie robots LGBT animated quibi Pixar Shondaland spider-man dceu The CW Acorn TV 2021 stop motion DC Comics APB Set visit WGN Film cinemax teaser Apple TV Plus PlayStation Marvel Studios Amazon Studios japanese worst movies Pet Sematary FX The Walt Disney Company cats ESPN GLAAD Comedy disaster new zealand HBO Nominations PaleyFest blockbusters Masterpiece Year in Review franchise Winter TV science fiction Rocketman Mystery FOX hispanic GIFs Reality Competition 2020 dogs Ovation godzilla Baby Yoda TV Song of Ice and Fire 93rd Oscars Disney streaming service popular historical drama Funimation MSNBC pirates of the caribbean ABC Shudder Tumblr king kong mockumentary Alien LGBTQ mutant Disney Plus 4/20 Marvel tv talk 2018 Holiday TBS Brie Larson emmy awards twilight festival children's TV Disney Channel kong The Walking Dead spanish scary movies high school 21st Century Fox nfl video crime drama adaptation Nat Geo Kids & Family spanish language OneApp award winner serial killer comedies Cannes boxing Amazon Prime Valentine's Day new star wars movies aliens IFC christmas movies elevated horror Infographic versus scene in color Action Fox News Paramount Plus films FXX romantic comedy Elton John video on demand political drama psycho Britbox Turner Classic Movies superhero jurassic park fresh breaking bad Mary Tyler Moore IFC Films fast and furious Martial Arts Drama foreign Red Carpet Biopics Film Festival Pop TV comic remakes cooking ghosts Esquire President golden globe awards Pop HBO Max Sundance TV boxoffice The Purge scorecard Television Academy diversity name the review DC Universe TruTV Emmys Fall TV discovery TCA 2017 TCA Awards TLC Video Games Lucasfilm 2017 nbcuniversal war dragons reboot green book NBC obituary Adult Swim Sony Pictures Tubi satire cancelled USA Network docudrama justice league mission: impossible 24 frames Vudu monster movies talk show Awards Reality biography what to watch halloween slashers festivals toy story TCM news venice VICE Broadway singing competition Family VH1