Box Office Preview: "Talladega Nights" on Course to Finish First

by | August 5, 2006 | Comments

Sony shoots for its industry-leading eighth number one film of the year with the Will Ferrell comedy "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" which is one of four new movies hitting theaters on Friday.

Paramount offers more laughs, but for a much younger audience, with its animated comedy "Barnyard: The Original Party Animals." Horror fans get blood and gore with "The Descent" from Lionsgate while Miramax releases the Robin Williams thriller "The Night Listener."

At long last, comedy gets to take over the top spot at the box office with "Talladega Nights" which is on course to finish in first place far ahead of its competitors. The PG-13 film finds Ferrell playing a legendary NASCAR driver whose career has gone through some outrageous ups and downs. John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Michael Clarke Duncan co-star while "Anchorman" director Adam McKay reteams with Ferrell for another funny tale of an outlandish character drowning in dumbness. The audience for "Talladega" is broad. Teens and young adults will make up a large portion, but older adults may take a ride too. Given the racing storyline, males might slightly edge out females, but interest from women should be solid too. And of course the population of NASCAR fans is enormous so expect many from that world to line up.

Sony’s timing is perfect. The summer has alternated between action and comedy each month. May and July were ruled by action flicks and now it’s time for August to give a repeat of June when laughers led the way. Ferrell provides ample starpower, trailers and commercials are funny, and the studio is spending heavily on marketing so the stars are aligned for Ricky Bobby to claim pole position. "Talladega" should appeal to the same moviegoers that came out for the male-oriented comedies "Anchorman," "Starsky & Hutch," "The Dukes of Hazzard," and "Dodgeball." Those PG-13 pics all opened in the tight $28-31M range and Ferrell’s latest could follow. Racing into around 3,400 theaters, "Talladega Nights" might debut with about $30M this weekend.

Farm animals go nuts when the farmer’s not looking. That’s the premise behind Paramount’s new animated comedy "Barnyard: The Original Party Animals." The third PG-rated toon in as many weeks features the voices of Kevin James, Courteney Cox Arquette, Danny Glover, and Wanda Sykes and comes from writer/director Steve Oedekerk ("Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls"). Competition for tykes will be tough with "Monster House" and "The Ant Bully" splitting the family pie in three. But "Barnyard" does offer the most comedy among the trio which could be key to getting in the target audience. The film has the kind of laughs parents expect when taking the kids on a trip to the movies, but it lacks a built-in audience that could send the numbers through the roof. Still, the marketing push from Nickelodeon will provide some valuable help and could put it ahead of Ant, but below "Monster" in overall strength. Opening in over 3,000 theaters, "Barnyard" might debut with roughly $12M.

Lionsgate unleashes what it hopes will be its latest horror hit in "The Descent," an ultraviolent thriller about an all-female caving expedition that stumbles upon frightening creatures when trapped underground. The R-rated pic aims to become the latest flick low on starpower, but high on brutality and gore, to become a winner with audiences. The distributor is no doubt one of the current kings of the genre and has banked $55.2M for Saw, $87M for "Saw II," and $47.3M with "Hostel." Early reviews have been among the best ever for recent fright flicks which is helping to spread a pulsating buzz throughout the horror community. Lionsgate has wisely been promoting itself as the studio behind "Saw" and "Hostel" in an effort to convince fans that they will be in for another gore-filled ride this time around. The tactic should work wonders and a creepy ultra-deep voiceover in the television spots will help lure in victims too. With "Lady in the Water" failing to scare many people, hardcore fright fans will certainly look to "Descent" to deliver the summer chills. The film is not going out too wide and Will Ferrell will certain take away many young men so there will be a limit to how high this weekend’s opening will be. Dropping into around 1,800 locations, "The Descent" could dig up about $10M over the frame and post a solid average.

Robin Williams pops his head into theaters in the psychological thriller "The Night Listener" playing a radio host who gets tangled in a relationship with his biggest fan. Toni Collette, Sandra Oh, and Rory Culkin co-star. Miramax’s R-rated release has not been backed by too much of a marketing push and it won’t launch in that many theaters so expectations are low. Only older adults will take interest, but most that are curious will not find this to be worth paying top dollar for. The former Mork can be a box office draw in the right film, but in a vehicle like this, ticket buyers do not show up. His flops "Death to Smoochy" and "Jakob the Liar" bowed to just $4.3M and $2.1M, respectively. "The Night Listener" opens in around 1,400 theaters this Friday and could tune into about $4M.

Ricky Bobby plans to put Crockett and Tubbs in their place this weekend. Universal’s "Miami Vice" enjoyed a solid debut last weekend opening a little higher than director Michael Mann‘s previous film "Collateral," another R-rated action thriller debuting in late summer. But word of mouth for "Vice" is not as strong so whereas the Tom Cruise assassin pic went on to gross four times its opening, the Jamie Foxx-Colin Farrell actioner should see a smaller multiple. A 45% drop would give "Miami Vice" about $14M for the frame and a ten-day tally of $50M.

Mid-summer juggernaut "Pirates of the Caribbean" is about to close the books on its first month of release. Another decline of 40% would leave Disney with $12M in the fifth frame and $380M after 31 days putting it in "Star Wars Episode III" territory. That would also send the global cume soaring past the $700M mark.

Fox’s high school comedy "John Tucker Must Die" is sure to see a steep drop in sales this weekend, especially with "Talladega Nights" stealing away teens. A 55% fall would result in a sophomore frame of $7M and a respectable cume of $29M after ten days.

LAST YEAR The good ol’ boys of "The Dukes of Hazzard" charged into first place opening with a powerful $30.7M to lead the first weekend of August. The Warner Bros. release ran out of gas quickly but still managed to reach a healthy $80.3M domestically. With no other new films hitting screens, holdovers rounded out the rest of the top five. New Line’s sleeper smash "Wedding Crashers" placed second with $16M while the Warners kidpic "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" followed with $11M. The top three films were all part of the Time Warner family. Disney’s "Sky High" took fourth with $9M and Warner Bros. appeared in fifth place again with "Must Love Dogs" which grossed $7.4M. In limited release, Focus cracked the Top 20 with its arthouse hit "Broken Flowers" which debuted with a stellar $28,904 average from 27 playdates on its way to a domestic tally of $13.7M.

Author: Gitesth Pandya, BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

docuseries Nat Geo IFC Food Network Pirates satire Star Trek TV movies WarnerMedia TV adventure worst comics unscripted summer preview spy thriller scary movies TNT supernatural 2019 indie true crime Crunchyroll golden globes war Funimation biopic dark Toys BBC America Tarantino rt labs blaxploitation legend basketball slashers versus jurassic park 1990s El Rey zombies Universal Pictures Image Comics Black History Month CNN CMT IMDb TV marvel cinematic universe LGBTQ Rock NYCC cancelled TV shows The Walking Dead hispanic sequel comic books venice dramedy Academy Awards japanese Chernobyl Oscar Women's History Month Tubi toronto jamie lee curtis sitcom Sony Pictures Apple TV Plus pirates of the caribbean lord of the rings Sci-Fi television Pixar Set visit scene in color SDCC TBS breaking bad TCA Awards Dark Horse Comics romantic comedy 2017 films composers Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt dceu Polls and Games BET Awards Box Office Super Bowl target scene in color Marathons Prime Video Warner Bros. stoner HBO Max Tumblr action-comedy spain MCU SundanceTV spinoff child's play Disney+ Disney Plus Superheroe casting batman Tomatazos Hear Us Out MGM miniseries 73rd Emmy Awards zombie teaser summer TV Spring TV Paramount Pictures FX Best Actor 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards rt archives Sundance Now Peacock 2018 Stephen King Emmys Adult Swim Nickelodeon Cartoon Network video on demand hollywood OneApp Apple latino President comic book movies Infographic RT21 tv talk Reality know your critic 99% Amazon Disney twilight south america revenge Comics on TV discovery Lifetime Christmas movies Grammys mutant Interview Trivia Fox News cancelled TV series telelvision ABC Signature comiccon TCA 2017 dc Comic Book The Arrangement Drama rom-coms VOD marvel comics Spike crime Best and Worst Walt Disney Pictures sports First Reviews screen actors guild Esquire Musical directors laika scorecard TruTV Lifetime BAFTA TV Land travel Fantasy game of thrones independent Disney Channel vampires superman PaleyFest best romance Star Wars Discovery Channel Nominations spider-verse Crackle Anna Paquin period drama Thanksgiving Amazon Studios WGN elevated horror MTV classics Certified Fresh dogs Pacific Islander NBC 24 frames 45 indiana jones Ghostbusters Family golden globe awards movie streamig Showtime superhero new york based on movie Musicals ABC Broadway 2015 Ovation Trophy Talk psychological thriller Comedy screenings obi wan TLC Baby Yoda harry potter AMC free movies hidden camera nature 2021 docudrama adenture 93rd Oscars chucky award winner cats historical drama YouTube Red Paramount king kong scary stop motion universal monsters Fox Searchlight black comedy Mindy Kaling 2016 NBA Captain marvel interviews australia SXSW Emmy Nominations Opinion halloween tv MSNBC DirecTV medical drama RT History joker Syfy Tags: Comedy Shudder feel good Rocketman Best Picture APB cartoon USA justice league Sundance rt labs critics edition Comedy Central Geeked Week cancelled Best Actress target Red Carpet christmas movies boxoffice suspense BBC One GoT talk show Turner Classic Movies parents dreamworks kids AMC Plus Exclusive Video The Walt Disney Company anthology franchise blockbuster Apple TV+ robots adaptation Mary Tyler Moore Country social media TV One Cannes Marvel Film obituary movies all-time YouTube Premium Starz Comic-Con@Home 2021 nbcuniversal Television Academy American Society of Cinematographers South by Southwest Film Festival Calendar Netflix BET sag awards Western USA Network criterion Photos 20th Century Fox 71st Emmy Awards Winter TV E3 critic resources The Purge cooking San Diego Comic-Con Pop TV scene in color series james bond crossover summer TV preview Fargo richard e. Grant LGBT boxing concert debate renewed TV shows Hollywood Foreign Press Association TV renewals Avengers finale hist Brie Larson TIFF Reality Competition DGA aapi serial killer Oscars dexter Hallmark Christmas movies YA Instagram Live The Witch psycho mockumentary Martial Arts Fall TV YouTube Animation Focus Features Acorn TV ITV foreign GLAAD Vudu The CW spanish leaderboard Arrowverse Britbox TCA Winter 2020 Mudbound comic Disney Plus Pride Month Podcast slasher A&E black heist movie Paramount Network 007 fast and furious monster movies king arthur Action festival Character Guide posters ESPN DC Universe Neflix First Look live event Lionsgate PlayStation hispanic heritage month aliens doctor who Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Columbia Pictures See It Skip It trophy Video Games saw reviews Cosplay french spider-man 72 Emmy Awards rotten Premiere Dates PBS remakes art house 21st Century Fox zero dark thirty Quiz Teen Shondaland crime drama video Ellie Kemper sopranos Native Mary poppins science fiction Writers Guild of America Tokyo Olympics blockbusters Spectrum Originals die hard 79th Golden Globes Awards Horror women Hulu archives Sundance TV Turner Pop space transformers cars Bravo kaiju mission: impossible ratings biography Film Festival FOX CBS All Access Elton John Mary Poppins Returns Election scene in color film series Holidays DC streaming service 4/20 live action festivals E! Travel Channel olympics Sneak Peek cops mcc BBC mob witnail police drama halloween CBS toy story ghosts TCM GIFs Amazon Prime vs. New York Comic Con reboot documentary popular young adult football Countdown streaming movies italian genre Rom-Com natural history Heroines IFC Films strong female leads comic book movie politics animated Paramount Plus a nightmare on elm street diversity crime thriller stand-up comedy Netflix Christmas movies Alien Binge Guide ABC Family anime cults Winners TCA History Television Critics Association technology rotten movies we love green book Wes Anderson ID Masterpiece spanish language The Academy A24 National Geographic canceled TV shows wonder woman facebook Amazon Prime Video 94th Oscars X-Men Endgame streaming worst movies CW Seed Christmas name the review cinemax new star wars movies Epix news fresh Music VH1 Hallmark emmy awards 2020 Best Director prank Watching Series Awards Lucasfilm Trailer razzies singing competition what to watch Classic Film Marvel Television Universal game show Sony theme song Superheroes japan kong Legendary political drama international book adaptation book critics HFPA comedies Logo Song of Ice and Fire Pet Sematary HBO new zealand canceled Biopics dragons Summer Holiday Freeform children's TV Rocky Indigenous Star Wars Celebration cancelled television VICE binge series Extras FX on Hulu OWN godzilla werewolf documentaries Disney streaming service royal family Mystery sequels disaster 90s gangster broadcast FXX Creative Arts Emmys HBO Go Awards Tour Black Mirror Valentine's Day high school thriller quibi DC Comics nfl ViacomCBS Year in Review SXSW 2022 Schedule Marvel Studios asian-american trailers Kids & Family deadpool