Movie projector: 'Tangled' to rule lazy post-Thanksgiving weekend
The weekend after the Turkey Day holiday has historically been one of the slowest of the year as shopping starts and fewer families are together with time to kill. Last year it was the sixth lowest grossing weekend of the year and in 2008 it was the second smallest, according to data compiled by Hollywood.com.
This coming weekend's only newcomer will be only a blip on the box-office radar, according to people who have seen prerelease surveys.
"The Warrior's Way," an independently financed action-fantasy movie starring Korean action star Jang Dong-gun, Kate Bosworth and Geoffrey Rush will likely open to about $5 million. Distributor Relativity Media, which is releasing the $42-million production on behalf of its producers, has targeted its advertising at teenage and young adult audiences interested in Asian martial arts action.
Just earning back the money it laid out for advertising may be a challenge for Relativity, however, if the movie performs as poorly as expected. "Warrior's Way" is the first movie that Relativity, a film finance company that this year has moved into distribution, will release on behalf of another production outfit.
Walt Disney Studios' animated fairy tale "Tangled" will likely be No. 1 after opening in second place last weekend behind "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1." With excellent word-of-mouth, according to exit polls, "Tangled" is expected to have a relatively modest drop, which on a weekend after a holiday typically means about 50%. After a solid opening of $68.7 million over its first five days, Disney is looking for "Tangled" to decline slowly and build itself into a significant hit of about $200 million or more.
"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," the last movie in the boy wizard series to open in mid-November, dropped 64% on the weekend after Thanksgiving. "Deathly Hallows" has followed a similar box office pattern. If that continues, the film should collect about $18 million this weekend.
The studios behind three other movies that opened last week are all hoping for small drops to help make up for soft starts. The Christina Aguilera-Cher musical "Burlesque" received the best audience reaction, according to market research firm CinemaScore, seemingly giving it a better chance of second weekend success than the Jake Gyllenhaal-Anne Hathaway romantic drama "Love & Other Drugs" and the Dwayne Johnson action film "Faster."
In limited release, Fox Searchlight debuts director Darren Aronofsky's much buzzed about ballet movie "The Black Swan," which stars Natalie Portman, at 18 theaters in eight cities, including Los Angeles. Reviews so far have been largely positive for the psycho-sexual drama.
-- Ben Fritz
Top photo: Jang Dong Gun in "The Warrior's Way." Credit: Relativity Media
Bottom photo: "Tangled." Credit: Walt Disney Studios