Even Hollywood goes on vacation. So while you’re nursing your hangover in Yonkers, they’re beaching it in some exotic foreign locale, and the box office is destined to look eerily similar to last weekend’s. That means the lovable dog movie Marley & Me stays on top, Brad Pitt‘s Oscar contender The Curious Case of Benjamin Button generates more coin, the Adam Sandler family dreck Bedtime Stories lures in more unwitting moviegoers, and Tom Cruise continues to fool others into thinking he’s a German in the Bryan Singer-directed drama Valkyrie. Happy New Year!
What these four very different movies do have in common is they all seem destined to reach the $100 million threshold, with Marley & Me getting there first, likely crossing it by the time we all return to work Monday. So while you’re enjoying the first few days of the New Year, sit back, watch some Bowl games, do your Christmas returns, go see some movies, and check back here to see if any of my weekend box office predictions come true.
The (likely) three-day top five:
1. Marley & Me: $29 million
Earning an additional $14 million this past Monday and Tuesday, there seems to be little that can stop the lovable Marley. And the mixed critical reviews mean nothing when it comes to people and their dogs. Add in the spare time moviegoers have over the next few days, and the Owen Wilson– and Jennifer Aniston-starrer shouldn’t drop more than 25 percent in its second weekend in theaters.
2. Bedtime Stories: $19 million
It may not have knocked critics over, but this Adam Sandler kid movie seems to be just what parents need over the holiday break: a break. Monday and Tuesday saw $12 million in box office receipts and I expect the weekend to be equally strong. Even with a likely 30 percent drop from its opening-weekend numbers, the fantasy-comedy will be near $80 million territory after only 11 days in the theaters.
3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: $18 million
Well-regarded but not necessarily beloved, Benjamin Button will have a hard time overtaking Marley at the box office. The $150 million spectacle is still performing strongly and should hold onto its number three spot easily this coming weekend. But at 2 hours and 40 minutes, its chances of overcoming Stories are slim.
4. Valkyrie: $16 million
Tom Cruise and MGM should be saluted. Valkyrie has endured more negative speculation than any movie in recent memory, but rather than succumbing to the bad buzz, they turned it around and created one of their first self-generated hits. Their weekday numbers have been respectable and after the upcoming weekend, this WWII spy drama will have crossed the $60 million mark after only 11 days in theaters.
5. Yes Man: $12 million
Moviegoers are still saying Yes to Jim Carrey. Nothing this weekend should change that as the Warner Bros. comedy spends its third successful weekend in theaters. Maybe this saying Yes thing really works.