Man, Hollywood sure does spoil America’s children! I mean, here we have a weekend on which there will likely be two G-rated movies in the top five: new release Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! and holdover College Road Trip. How about that, kids?! I suppose the fact that we’re in or around spring-break time might have something to do with this rare phenomenon. Regardless, expect grosses — especially for the animated Horton — to be big. As I always say, at the box office, kids rule.
THE (LIKELY) TOP FIVE
Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!
Fox · G · 3,954 theaters · NEW
As you may have figured out from the patronizing title, this is the latest film adaptation of a Dr. Seuss story, and financial returns for flicks of its ilk have been impressive: 2000’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas banked $260 mil, and 2003’s The Cat in the Hat earned $101.1 mil. Which is nice. Even more to the point, though, is the fact that Horton comes from Blue Sky, the animation house behind the Ice Age movies (which have grossed a combined $371.7 mil domestically in recent years). That’s some pedigree — and a first-weekend take in the range of Ice Age‘s $46.3 mil (on this weekend six years ago) seems in store. Oh, I almost forgot: The film stars the voice talent of Jim Carrey and Steve Carell, among others. The little ones may not care about that sort of thing, but I suppose their parents could. Anyway, get ready to read a bunch of ”Who‘s in First” headlines on Sunday!
Weekend prediction: $47 million
Warner Bros. · PG-13 · 3,410 theaters · 2nd weekend
I have to admit, I felt a little queasy characterizing this wannabe blockbuster’s $35.9 mil debut as a bit soft last weekend. After all, that’s a lot of money — and the movie opened with an additional $40.9 mil overseas. But maybe I shouldn’t feel so bad: I mean, how much money went into making and marketing this caveman action-adventure? Well in excess of $100 million, if you consider the MPAA’s recently released annual report on movie costs. And by ”well in excess” I mean ”well in excess.” In other words, 10,000 BC has its work cut out for it.
Weekend prediction: $16 million
Universal · R · 1,936 theaters · NEW
British director Neil Marshall made a splash a few years ago with the horror flick The Descent, and this follow-up — about a post-apocalyptic world that has been destroyed by a virus — is in more or less the same vein. Stars Bob Hoskins, Rhona Mitra, Alexander Siddig, and Malcolm McDowell add prestige more than bankability, but as the most prominent release for grownups amid so much kiddie fare, Doomsday should do fairly well.
Weekend prediction: $8 million
College Road Trip
Walt Disney · G · 2,706 theaters · 2nd weekend
Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symoné’s family film enters its sophomore session after a so-so freshman frame (that $13.6 mil debut last weekend). And here’s hoping this is the last we see of it, because I’m almost tapped out of college puns.
Weekend prediction: $7 million
Never Back Down
Summit · PG-13 · 2,729 theaters · NEW
Djimon Hounsou and rising star Sean Faris topline this Karate Kid-meets-Fight Club-esque drama about love and pummeling in small-town America — which, with little buzz and plenty of competition, appears to be itching for a beat-down at the box office.
Weekend prediction: $4 million