''Halloween'': Fright stuff for Labor Day
With a huge theater count, Rob Zombie's horror re-imagining figures to win match point against fellow newcomer ''Balls of Fury'' this holiday weekend
The $4 billion summer is reaching its end, and it seems that only movies targeting men are on the menu for the season’s last supper. Whether it’s goofballs engaging in underground Ping-Pong in Balls of Fury, Kevin Bacon playing a suburban dad turned vigilante in Death Sentence, or Rob Zombie re-imagining John Carpenter’s Halloween, testosterone is the name of the game as we reach the final frame of an XY-chromosome-heavy season. Read on for our predictions for the long Labor Day weekend.
THE (LIKELY) TOP FIVE
MGM/Weinstein · R · 3,472 theaters · NEW
It’s got the biggest theater count of any movie that’s opened on a Labor Day weekend. Rock star-turned-director Rob Zombie has been incrementally increasing his fan base in the horror genre. And there hasn’t been much out there this summer that’s really scared anyone. All those factors lead me to believe that the R-rated Halloween will be No. 1 this frame — making it the fourth straight weekend that an R-rated film has topped the box office.
Four-day weekend prediction: $19.5 million
Balls of Fury
Rogue Pictures · PG-13 · 2,810 theaters · NEW
The studio behind this B-list version of Dodgeball primed its audience at this year’s Comic-Con, where actor/co-writer Tom Lennon showed up in his Ping-Pong unitard. With star Dan Fogler, co-writer/director Ben Garant, and James Hong joining in the fun, audiences seemed into this over-the-top spoof. Add in a supporting cast of Christopher Walken, George Lopez, Maggie Q, and Aisha Tyler, and this movie could do some business. Its biggest challenge: overcoming the already successful comedies (Superbad and Rush Hour 3) that have been eating up box office dollars for the last few weekends. The movie did get a jump on things by opening on Wednesday, when it took in an estimated $1.7 million.
Four-day weekend prediction: $13 million
Sony Pictures · R · 3,002 theaters · 3rd weekend
No self-respecting college or high school student will return to the land of bells and books without seeing the latest Judd Apatow-produced movie. This celebration of high school dorkiness should hold well its third weekend in theaters.
Four-day weekend prediction: $12 million
The Bourne Ultimatum
Universal · PG-13 · 3,290 theaters · 5th weekend
It’s likely this will be the weekend that Matt Damon’s thriller crosses the $200 mil mark.
Four-day weekend prediction: $11 million
Rush Hour 3
New Line · R · 3,008 theaters · 4th weekend
What’s left to say about the return of the Chris Tucker-Jackie Chan buddy-cop franchise, as it begins to wind its way down the chart?
Four-day weekend prediction: $9 million
THE OTHER NEW RELEASE
Fox · R · 1,822 theaters · NEW
Directed by Saw‘s James Wan, this R-rated pic is clearly an afterthought for Fox. Starring Kevin Bacon as a business executive who turns vigilante after his family’s safety is threatened, Death Sentence is unlikely to cross the 10-million mark over the four-day period. Kelly Preston and John Goodman co-star.
Four-day weekend prediction: $6.5 million
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The Bourne Ultimatum