Don’t expect any blockbusters this weekend. With Labor Day weekend still one week away, two lower-profile new releases are headed to the theaters this frame. And with Takers and The Last Exorcism battling for the first-place spot, the winner will likely be whichever one can hit $15 million — if either of them can, that is. Here are my predictions for how it will all turn out.
1. Takers: $14 million
The old adage “any publicity is good publicity” might just ring true this weekend. Takers received its biggest publicity bump back in February 2009 when Chris Brown, who co-stars in the movie, attacked then-girlfriend Rihanna. Plenty of time has passed since then — and according to the tracking numbers, all has been forgotten. It helps that Takers doesn’t just star Brown. In fact, the film centers on a group of bank robbers played by Paul Walker, Brown, and Idris Elba, who spar with a pair of tired cops played by Matt Dillon and Jay Hernandez. The movie opens in 2,206 theaters, and tracking has been strong. With not much else in the marketplace, a $14 million opening isn’t out of the question.
2. The Last Exorcism: $13 million
The Eli Roth-produced horror film will open in 2,874 theaters. Roth has been working overtime promoting the movie, which features no real stars and was shot documentary-style à la Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. Audience reaction has been favorable to the flick, even if reviews have been middling. Expect a decent opening for this PG-13-rated drama from director Daniel Stamm.
3. The Expendables: $10 million
Who would have thought that the 63-year old Sylvester Stallone would be pulling in over $70 million for his tale featuring over-the-hill action stars. But pull he has, and with little competition this frame, expect the third weekend of The Expendables to feature a smaller drop-off than the second. This guy could actually cross $100 million — and we haven’t begun to see what kind of business he can do overseas with this one.
4. Eat Pray Love: $6 million
In contrast, I think this Julia Roberts-starrer will fall at least 50 percent. With women preoccupied with back-to-school, the idea of them heading to the movies might be a bit much for a film that’s been in theaters for two weekends already. With $52 million in its coffers, Eat Pray Love is going to have a more difficult time reaching the sweet $100 million mark than Expendables.
5. The Other Guys: $5 million
With $92 million in its coffers, The Other Guys should near the $100 million mark after this weekend. And that’s good news for Will Ferrell, who’s back in prime form with his buddy comedy opposite Mark Wahlberg.