Box Office Preview: 'Taken' vs. The Super Bowl
For anybody who doesn’t want to watch the Super Bowl (or the 48
hours of coverage surrounding the event) this weekend, it’ll be easy to
find a movie at the multiplex…and hard to predict which one
will come out on top. The film gods are dropping three big new flicks
horror pic The Uninvited. And those movies will go up against a slew of strong
holdovers, including two-time champ Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Clint
matters, of course, is Sunday’s Steelers-Cardinals matchup, which
should depress movie grosses pretty substantially. Anyway, here’s what I
think we have in store.
1. Taken — $14 million
Liam Neeson plays a former CIA agent on
the trail of the sex traffickers who kidnapped his daughter (Lost‘s
Maggie Grace) in Paris. Also involved are Neeson’s character’s ex-wife
(Famke Janssen) and her rich new husband (Xander Berkeley). From
writer-producer Luc Besson (The Professional, the Transporter series).
Sounds like a classic guy movie — which could have trouble playing on a classic guy weekend, opposite football. I’m guessing, though, that all movies will take a hit from the big game, so Taken (playing in a hefty 3,183 theaters) still has the
best chance of scoring a box office touchdown.
2. The Uninvited — $12 million
Another Asian horror remake, this
one featuring Elizabeth Banks and David Strathairn, among others. In
2008, four different Asian horror remakes opened between $10 mil and
$13 mil. Enough said.
3. Paul Blart: Mall Cop — $12 million
Kevin James keeps cruising along, naysayers be damned.
4. Gran Torino — $11 million
Clint Eastwood keeps cruising along, Oscars be damned.
5. New in Town — $9 million
I totally thought the trailer for
this comedy (in which Renee Zellweger plays a warm-climate lady sent to
do business in the frozen Midwest) looked cute and made the movie seem
like a winner…and then I read this revealing article in The New
which details, among other things, the challenges the film presented to
the marketing folks at Lionsgate. So now I understand why it’s only
opening in a moderate 1,941 theaters. And now I also have some doubts
about its prospects.
Okay, sports fans, it’s your turn to have a go at making some predictions!
More Box Office News:
Paul Blart edges out Underworld 3 to win the weekend