Box Office Guru Preview: "Wild Hogs" Aims to Run Over "Ghost Rider"

by | March 1, 2007 | Comments

One super hero on a motorcycle looks to get replaced by four middle-aged bikers at the number one spot at the North American box office this weekend.

The new comedy "Wild Hogs" leads the pack of new releases with the widest release of the trio. Also debuting are the serial killer thriller "Zodiac" and the southern sizzler "Black Snake Moan" to kick of a March movie marathon.

Starpower is at the center of Buena Vista’s new highway to hell comedy "Wild Hogs." The PG-13 film brings together Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy as four suburban men who take to the road to put some adventure back into their lives. An adult audience is likely here and both genders should be represented fairly evenly. Star wattage and concept should sell the picture and trailers and commercials haven’t been half bad. The studio saw encouraging results from its sneak previews last Saturday which were at 85% capacity and skewed 51% male. "Wild Hogs" could reach the same audience that came out for Travolta’s "Be Cool" and "Ladder 49" which opened to $23.5M and $22.1M, respectively. Both Travolta and Allen have been out promoting the film aggressively so awareness is sizable. Opening in about 3,300 theaters, "Wild Hogs" may take in around $23M in ticket sales this weekend giving Allen a badly-needed hit.


Several actors attempt to kickstart their stalled careers in "Wild Hogs."

Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo star in the new serial killer pic "Zodiac" from director David Fincher ("Seven," "Panic Room"). The R-rated film chronicles the investigation behind one of the most notorious and mysterious murderers of the twentieth century. Paramount has long had a solid track record at finding success from crime thrillers with its slick marketing. For this particular film, the studio is hoping that the public does not find out that it is in for a nearly three hour saga. The running time should cut into the box office potential of the film since theaters will have to offer one less showtime per day compared to most other movies. A more subdued theater count will play a role too.

Still some appealing names are being offered in front of and behind the camera. Older adults are more likely to show up as the subject matter is too ancient for those in their early 20s. Films about famous California murders were met with indifference last fall in the other 49 states when Ben Affleck‘s "Hollywoodland" and Josh Hartnett‘s "The Black Dahlia" opened nationally to just $5.9M and $10M, respectively. "Zodiac" is a little more modern and is being packaged in a better way so its debut should be stronger. But the film lacks a star that can really bring some bang to the box office right out of the gate. Critics have been very supportive which will help with the older target audience. Attacking 2,362 theaters, "Zodiac" might find itself with about $16M this weekend.


Contemplating horoscopes is emotionally draining in "Zodiac."

With the eye-catching image of an older black man chaining up a young scantily clad white woman, Paramount Vantage’s "Black Snake Moan" already has one of the year’s most memorable posters. The new R-rated entry from writer/director Craig Brewer is the follow-up to his 2005 hit "Hustle & Flow" which won an Oscar last year for best song. With some more cash and bigger stars, "Snake" features Samuel L. Jackson as a Bible-loving blues guitarist who finds and cares for a beaten, bruised, and half-naked woman with a disturbing past played by Christina Ricci. Justin Timberlake adds some starpower with his second film of the year following
January’s "Alpha Dog."

"Black Snake Moan" should appeal to much of the "Hustle" crowd. That film was a summer opener and bowed to $8M from just over 1,000 locations for a solid $7,915 average. Jackson is always a wild card at the box office as many of the films he anchors do not pull in the big numbers while his ensemble pics tend to thrive. Here, he is the main draw. Competition from other contenders should not be that much of a factor as the film will work if audiences find it cool. Reviews have been generally favorable so that could provide an assist at the turnstiles. Young adults not interested in Vincent Vega and Santa on choppers might go for a more bold moviegoing choice like this. Opening in 1,252 locations, "Black Snake Moan" may debut with about $8M.


Ricci and Jackson in "Black Snake Moan."

After leading the pack for two weeks, Sony’s "Ghost Rider" will get passed up by some of the new releases this weekend. A 50% drop to about $10M seems likely giving the Nicolas Cage film $93M in 17 days.

Disney should enjoy a better hold for its fantasy drama "Bridge to Terabithia" since its audience is a little too young for the newcomers. A 35% decline would leave the PG-rated film with roughly $9M for the frame and push the 17-day cume up to $58M. Jim Carrey on the other hand should tumble with his thriller "The Number 23" which will see some direct competition from "Zodiac." A 55% drop would leave New Line with $7M over the weekend and $25M after ten days.

LAST YEAR: Tyler Perry stayed at number one for the second straight weekend with the Lionsgate comedy "Madea’s Family Reunion" which grossed $12.6M despite a hefty sophomore drop. Opening close behind in the runnerup spot was the Bruce Willis actioner "16 Blocks" with $11.9M on its way to $36.9M for Warner Bros. Disney’s family adventure "Eight Below" held up well in its third ride grossing $10.1M for third place. Debuting with unimpressive results were Sony’s action flick "Ultraviolet" with $9.1M in fourth and Fox’s drama "Aquamarine" with $7.5M in fifth. Final grosses reached $18.5M and $18.6M, respectively. Opening with decent results was "Dave Chappelle’s Block Party" with $6.2M for Focus from 1,200 theaters on its way to $11.7M overall.

Source: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

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