If you’re a tween girl, this weekend at the movies is for you. If you’re a regular person, you may want to sit it out. Why? Because the top two films are likely to be Zac Efron’s 17 Again and Miley Cyrus’ Hannah Montana: The Movie. Sure, grownups/guys will get Jason Statham’s Crank sequel and the Russell Crowe thriller State of Play. But the Disney-loving kids will be having most of the fun. Here’s how I see things shaping up.
1. 17 Again — $26 million
The age-reversal plot is awfully familiar, and so’s the star — to a certain demographic, at least. Thanks to the High School Musical franchise, Efron brings with him legions of fans who should make this movie No. 1, no matter how hackneyed it may seem. (I mean, most kids clamoring to see it weren’t even alive when Big came out. Or, practically, 13 Going on 30.) Last fall, High School Musical 3: Senior Year opened to a giant $42 million, after all. The interesting thing to keep an eye on is how well Efron attracts older people to the multiplex. He had a strong, small role in the hit Hairspray a few years ago, and he’s been featured on late-night TV and in sexy magazine spreads recently, so grownups know him. But is he as much a draw for them as he is for their children? The answer could determine just how big 17 Again becomes. By some estimates, my prediction here is a bit high, but movies like Hannah Montana have been overperforming at the box office lately, so….
2. Hannah Montana: The Movie — $15 million
It, um, overperformed at the box office last weekend, banking $32.3 mil. So a hefty drop is in store, especially with 17 Again competing for many of the same eyes. Then again, even a sizable decline will leave it with a nice chunk of change.
3. Crank: High Voltage — $14 million
Jason Statham’s sequel to the 2006 action flick (which bowed with $10.5 mil and went on to earn $27.8 mil domestically) is the main fresh offering for younger guys, so it should perform well, despite that R rating and moderate screen count.
4. Monsters vs. Aliens — $14 million
The 3-D extravaganza has grossed nearly $150 mil in three weeks, and it keeps on truckin’.
5. Fast & Furious — $12 million
With more than $120 mil in its coffers since opening in first position two weeks ago, Vin Diesel’s car movie should cruise along fine against all the kid-oriented traffic (and the R-rated Crank).
ALSO OPENING WIDE
State of Play — $11 million
Like star Russell Crowe’s last film, Body of Lies, and the great 2007 spy drama Breach, this newspaper-based political thriller, inspired by a popular BBC miniseries (and set in my hometown of Washington, D.C., no less!), is totally my kind of movie. And, alas, it’s totally not the kind of movie that makes much of a dent at the box office these days: Even with Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio starring, Body of Lies banked just $12.9 mil in its debut last fall, and Breach premiered with a mere $10.5 mil before that. (And the list goes on.) Yes, this film marks the return of Rachel McAdams and, to a lesser extent, Ben Affleck, in high-profile roles, but I fear I’ll be sitting in a pretty empty theater when I check out State of Play this weekend.
So, how do you rank ’em?
More Box Office News:
Hannah Montana: The Movie wins the weekend
Fast & Furious shatters records with $72.5 mil weekend
Monsters vs. Aliens opens at No. 1 with $58.2 mil
Knowing cruises to weekend victory
EW.com’s Box Office Chart