Liam Neeson throwing elbows, Martin Lawrence throwing his weight, and Alex Pettyfer throwing just about everything in the room with his mind are what’s on the docket this weekend. It’s an eclectic mix of comedy, sci-fi, and mystery/thriller that should prove successful for the overall numbers, but what will come out on top? Let’s see how each of these films breaks down going into the box office.
Let’s start with Martin Lawrence this week. Why not? The guy has had two successes in the Big Momma’s House franchise already. The original (emphasis on no part of that word) Big Momma’s House opened in 2000 with $25.6 million. The follow-up opened six years later with $27.7 million. The triforce is complete with Big Momma’s 3: Like Father, Like Son (evidently “House” is too hard a word for some people to say). In addition to answering all those hard-boiled questions the first two films raised (Will we find out if Big Momma is really a Cylon or not), the film is sure to bring in some decent numbers for 20th Century Fox. The fresh car smell is probably off of Lawrence at this point. While team-based comedies like Hog Wild have given him decent opening weekend numbers, his solo career isn’t exactly fledgling. Regardless, the Big Momma’s name recognition accounts for something, and I can’t believe I just typed that while keeping a straight face. Expect low $20 millions, but it could get up somewhere in the mid-$20-million range.
Here’s something you weren’t expecting. The trailer for 1987’s Like Father, Like Son starring Dudley Moore and Kirk Cameron, with 100% more Sean Astin than Big Momma’s 3:
Also opening this weekend is Unknown. It’s being billed as a Taken look-alike, and why not? That film, also starring Liam Neeson as a man who likes to hit people really hard, opened with $24.7 million and went on to bring in $226.8 million worldwide. You also have the similarly themed Bourne films and all the dollars they bring to this table. While Unknown may not have the legs Taken had, and while its worldwide box office probably won’t come anywhere near $200 million, its opening weekend is going to be more than adequate. You can expect a higher number than Taken but probably still south of $30 million.
Check out the known trailer for Unknown:
That number is reserved for the third wide release this weekend. I Am Number Four is the likeliest of these new films to come out in the #1 spot, and with no real name recognition behind it, with no franchise surrounding it, and a director who has yet to crack a $30-million weekend in D.J. Caruso, why is it expected to do just that? The trailers have helped it. The CW appeal cannot be ignored in how the film looks. The idea of a sci-fi actioner will have more than just the 90210 crowd wanting to buy a ticket. You also can’t deny how much extra money is going to be brought in by the film opening on IMAX. Not even IMAX movies are immune to tanking. Sanctum only made $9.4 million its opening weekend, but I Am Number Four looks to have everything going for it despite being the franchise of it still resting in the potential stage. It will break $30 million, and it will more than likely hit $30 million right on the nose.
Just Go With It and Never Say Never will have pretty big drops this weekend. Adam Sandler isn’t known for his longevity, and unless you’re Michael Jackson, a concert film about you doesn’t stick around for months on end. Of the four films released last weekend, Gnomeo and Juliet is the most likely to stick around for the #4 spot on the charts.
It should also be noted that The King’s Speech will likely break $100 million in domestic ticket sales this weekend.
If most of the people on Earth disappeared in an instant, and you were stuck with three people to talk to, who would be your choices? I’m pretty sure Hayden Christenson, Thandie Newton, and John Leguizamo wouldn’t be your first choices. Maybe Leguizamo, but only if he’s dressed like the clown from Spawn. Vanishing on 7th Street, which opens in limited release this weekend, is pretty much that exact premise. Minus the clown makeup, of course. It’s directed by Brad Anderson, so you know the atmosphere is going to be laid on pretty thick. It opens this weekend in New York City.
Check out just how creepy and atmospheric Vanishing on 7th Street is right here. It’s got a lot to do with Christenson, but Anderson had something to do with it, too.
Also opening in limited release are Putty Hill opening in New York City, The Chaperone (WWE in the house!) opening in select cities, Brotherhood opening at the Angelika in Dallas, Immigration Tango opening in select cities, and We Are What We Are from Fantastic Fest 2010 opening at the IFC Center in New York City.
Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:
- I Am Number Four – $30m NEW
- Unknown – $26.4m NEW
- Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son – $23.9m NEW
- Gnomeo and Juliet – $14.2m (-43.8%)
- Just Go With It – $13.8m (-54.5%)
- Never Say Never – $12.7m (-56.8%)
- The King’s Speech – $6.3m (-12%)
- The Eagle – $4.4m (-48.5%)
- The Roommate – $3.9m (-51.1%)
- No Strings Attached – $3.7m (-36%)
We’re looking at a $139.3-million weekend, a continued positive swing from last weekend’s numbers. The three wide releases this weekend are sure to bring the overall box office to well over $100 million, and judging from what’s on the horizon the numbers will continue to be up.
We’ll be back on Sunday night to go over the numbers.