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,

Tag Cloud

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