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However, this week does see the release of concert footage from the Bieb (along with his life-long struggle to become famous and have Ellen Degeneres’ haircut). Plus, Adam Sandler adds to his tally of generic romantic comedies and Ed Helms finally makes it out of the house.

The big question – which one of these masterpieces will take the top spot?


Love or hate, male or female (I am talking about the singer there), there’s no denying the buzz surrounding Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. I still hold belief it’s a prequel to the James Bond sideways glance, Never Say Never Again. Regardless, the movie is stirring up all kinds of word. To glance at Rotten Tomatoes, you would think that word would be positive. It’s currently at 78% fresh, though that comes from nine critics. Whatever the critical response, you can be sure Paramount is hoping for more of Hannah Montana than Jonas Brothers when it comes to the opening weekend. That will likely be the case. As far as I know, Bieber has more of a fan base than the Jonases (Jonasi?), but I’m clearly out of the demographic. Never Say Never is looking at a low $30-million opening, though that may not be good enough for it to reach the top of this particular chart.

For the more mature viewing audiences, Adam Sandler has a new movie out this weekend. He’s brought Jennifer Aniston along this time, and you know what that means. Sandler is going to make bank for Just Go With It, and Aniston is gonna flip her hair a few times. In all fairness to the former Friend, her movies do well when she is coupled with someone like Sandler. The Breakup opened to $39.1 million. Bruce Almighty opened with $67.9 million. Sandler is probably more in the Vince Vaughn camp than the Jim Carrey one. Sandler has never had a film top $50 million in its opening weekend. Just Go With It won’t be the film to do it. Look for it to come in somewhere around mid $30-million range. That’s still good. It’ll buy Aniston a ton of hair products.

Have fun trying to find genuine laughs in this Just Go With It trailer. Hey, maybe you like the Sandler humor. Who am I to judge?

Two other wide releases this weekend won’t be so fortunate. Gnomeo and Juliet might draw a decent crowd, but how many people know it’s actually a Disney release? Don’t expect Tangled-style numbers for it this weekend.

The Eagle will draw a crowd, but only because it’s a PG-13 movie in an epic, sword-and-sandals costume. Channing Tatum could sell some tickets to people who don’t realize he’s not Sam Worthington. Jamie Bell isn’t doing much here, but you can expect it to hit right at $10 million.


The Roommate and Sanctum will have standard drops, Sanctum‘s drop being slightly higher because of its R rating. This weekend is all about the newbies. The time for Oscar movies to expand is over, and the Best Picture nominees will continue their gradual slide down 25-30% in the weekends leading up to the Academy Awards.


A number of films open in limited release this weekend. The only one that needs to be featured, though, is Cedar Rapids starring Ed Helms and John C. Reilly. It played Sundance last month and received generally warm reviews. It currently sits with an 80% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and opens on 15 screens in select cities. Oddly enough, Cedar Rapids, Iowa is not among those cities. Bummer.

If you didn’t laugh at the Just Go With It trailer, maybe you’ll find your moments of brevity here. Check out the trailer for Cedar Rapids right here:

Also opening in limited release are Carancho opening in New York City, Orgasm Inc. opening in New York City, The Sky Turns opening in select cities, I Am You aka In Her Skin opening in select cities as well as on VOD, Carbon Nation opening in New York City, and the South Korean film Poetry opening in select cities. The 2011 Oscar Nominated Shorts will also be shown on 100 screens in select cities before they are available on iTunes and VOD on February 22nd.

Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:

  1. Just Go With It – $34.4m NEW
  2. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never – $31m NEW
  3. Gnomeo and Juliet – $15.8m NEW
  4. The Eagle – $10.2m NEW
  5. The Roommate – $8.1m (-45.6%)
  6. The King’s Speech – $5.4m (-29%)
  7. No Strings Attached – $4.9m (-38.5%)
  8. Sanctum – $4.4m (-52.2%)
  9. The Green Hornet – $3m (-45.6%)
  10. True Grit – $2.9m (-35.7%)

All in all, the box office looks to be back in the swing of things with this $120.1-million estimation. This will be a 21.5% increase over the same weekend last year when James Cameron’s Avatar (aren’t we done talking about that movie?) dropped out of the #1 spot thanks to Dear John. We will all have Adam Sandler and Justin Bieber to thank if this weekend proves a vast improvement over what we’ve seen thus far in 2011. Let’s throw a ticker tape parade. We’ll have giant Biebers floating down the streets of New York City. The invasion could very well have just begun.

We’ll be back on Sunday night to go over the numbers.

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