Another weekend, another opportunity for me to show off my mad box office-prognostication skillz. Because, baby, last week, I was on fire. A bad man. Dangerous as a Lost cast member driving around the streets of Oahu. Somebody arrest me!
There are four major releases this weekend, led by Paramount’s Jackass Number Two, in 3,059 locations. You’ll remember that people of my ilk — that is, box-office watchers, not devastatingly handsome mofos — were quite surprised by Jackass: The Movie‘s $22.8-million premiere in the fall of 2002. That $5 mil-budgeted flick topped out at an impressive $65.3 mil and, despite all its entreaties to, you know, not do this at home, it became a hit on DVD. (As for those disclaimers, well, I wish I’d paid attention to them: My attempts to strip down to a thong and bow tie and do the Party Boy thing in public have been pretty embarrassing because, hey, I can’t dance.) Four years later, Johnny Knoxville is a bigger star, buzz is huge, and the early reviews are strong (it’s scoring a solid 72 out of 100 points on critic-tracker Metacritic.com). So look for it to open with $28 mil.
Speaking of positive reviews, the other three premieres, welly, they’re not getting any. Rogue’s martial arts saga Jet Li’s Fearless (a middling 65 on Metacritic), the MGM-distributed WWI adventure Flyboys (51), and Sony’s long-delayed period epic All the King’s Men (a lowly 35) just don’t have the pre-release love. Fearless, of course, isn’t the kind of movie that stands to be affected too much by that predicament; it will gross $10 mil on 1,806 screens. But the outlook is bleak for Oscar-nominee wannabes like ATKM, in 1,514 venues, and Flyboys, in 2,033 theaters. Between the two, the latter has a slight edge for its youth appeal ? it’ll make $7 mil, while ATKM will come in with $5 mil.
There you have ’em. My daring picks for the weekend. Death-defying stuff, I tell you. Don’t try this at home.