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

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