Movie projector: 'Blind Side' set to win slow post-Thanksgiving weekend
The weekend following the holiday weekend has traditionally been a slow one in movie theaters, and that trend will likely continue this year, as four new movies opening nationwide tomorrow will struggle to sell more than $10 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada, according to people who have seen pre-release polling. The opening pictures are the action thriller "Armored," drama "Brothers," family comedy "Everybody's Fine" and horror comedy "Transylmania."
Alcon Entertainment's "The Blind Side," distributed by Warner Bros., is almost certain to hit No. 1 for the first time. After opening far below "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" two weekends ago, its ticket sales increased over the Thanksgiving holiday while the teen vampire movie dropped 70%. Yesterday, "Blind Side" beat "New Moon" at the box office for the first time, and it's expected to decline so little this weekend that it will take the top spot. (For more on the success of "The Blind Side," see this story from Tuesday's Times.)
As of Wednesday, "The Blind Side" has grossed $106.7 million domestically. "New Moon" has collected $237.8 million.
Warner is adding 186 theaters for "The Blind Side" in response to demand, making a drop of 25% or 30% very doable for the film. That would put it at between $28 million and $30 million for the weekend.
Meanwhile, "New Moon" will likely follow the pattern of the first "Twilight," dropping about 50% this weekend, which would put it at just over $20 million for the three days.
Among the new releases, "Brothers" has the best shot at performing decently and coming in with a gross of around $10 million. The movie was financed by Relativity Media at a cost of $26 million and is being distributed by Lionsgate. The indie studio has a two-sided marketing campaign, selling it as a thriller in some spots and a highbrow drama in others. Regardless of the emphasis, however, the campaign has focused more on the film's stars Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman than its plot involving veterans returning from the Iraq war. Many films focused on the controversial conflict in the last few years, such as "Stop-Loss" and "In the Valley of Elah," have performed poorly at the box office.
Sony Pictures' "Armored," starring Matt Dillon and Laurence Fishburne, will likely gross close to $8 million. The latest action thriller from the studio's Screen Gems genre label cost about $20 million to produce, meaning it could face a tough road to profitability.
"Everybody's Fine" will be the last release from Miramax Films before most business operations for the troubled highbrow label are folded into its parent company, Walt Disney Studios. The picture cost Miramax and co-financier Radar Pictures a little more than $20 million to produce and will likely open to only about $5 million despite big-name stars including Robert DeNiro and Drew Barrymore.
The independent movie "Transylmania," which is being self-released by its producers, is expected to barely register at the box office, with an expected debut of between $1 million and $3 million.
Top photo: Tobey Maguire and Natalie Portman in "Brothers." Credit: Lorey Sebastian/Lionsgate.
Bottom photo: Kate Beckinsale and Robert DeNiro in "Everybody's Fine." Credit: Abbot Genser/Miramax Films.