The master of disaster Roland Emmerich is back and this time nothing’s sacred. Will his over-the-top spectacle — blowing up Vegas, India and Rome among other locales — be the cure-all for moviegoers this weekend? Sony Pictures seems to think so. The PG-13-rated actioner starring John Cusack and Amanda Peet will bow in some 3,000 locations. The only thing that could hold back the weekend results on this film is the long runtime of 2 hours and 38 minutes. (This may be the perfect movie to test out RunPee.com so you know when to duck out to the bathroom.) Also opening this weekend is British import Pirate Radio. Previously titled The Boat That Rocks, this Richard Curtis-directed film follows the pirated radio boats that commanded the open seas when the British government banned rock music in the early ’60s. But opening on only 900 theaters may not get this R-rated flick into the top 5. Read on for my predictions.
1. 2012: $65 million
Emmerich’s 2004 disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow opened to $68 million, but that was helped by a Memorial Day weekend slot. It will be quite a feat if 2012 reaches that number. 2012’s other comparison could be Quantum of Solace, which bowed the same time last year and also opened to $68 million. But this ain’t James Bond, folks. The film, based on a somewhat original, yet totally predictable premise, is destined to gross above $60 million but reaching all the way to $68 million seems a bit optimistic.
2. Disney’s A Christmas Carol: $18 million
Last weekend’s $30 million opening for this expensive re-imagining of the classic Dickens’ tale must have been quite disappointing for all involved. But what’s even more crucial to this film’s ultimate success is how it holds up during this second weekend in theaters. It was a risk for the studio to open this Jim Carrey-starrer so early in the holiday season, but it seems they were counting on the 3D screens to be more of a factor than the early time of release. I predict the film will have some staying power. If it drops only 40%, the filmmakers should feel blessed that their theatrical run will hold up at least through the Thanksgiving holiday.
3. This is It: $7.5 million
Michael Jackson is a box-office success. His film has now crossed the $200 million mark internationally and has grossed more than $61 million stateside. With such good numbers, another 40% drop wouldn’t be impossible.
4. The Men Who Stare at Goats: $6 million
Despite mixed reviews, this George Clooney-starrer opened to $12.7 million and has reached $16 million since it bowed last weekend. Falling 50% would portend good things for this quirky comedy.
5. Precious: $5 million
If there was any doubt that Precious was bound for Oscar glory, that was all erased last weekend when it pulled in $1.8 million on only 18 screens. Now that this heart-wrenching drama is expanding to 74 locations, there is a high probability that this Lee Daniels-directed film may land in the top five at the box office. Quite a feat for a film with the most unlikely of leading ladies and difficult subject matter.
Photo Credit: Joe Lederer