The Reject Report

The Reject ReportHere you will find all you need to know for that week’s box office. On Thursday (sometimes earlier if those damned early hitters are coming out) we give you our predictions. Running the numbers through the FSR BoxOffice5000 and totaling them up with a Casio Calculator Watch, we offer the best forecast anywhere for how well the latest releases will do. We also give you a nice run-down of all the films coming out that weekend, both wide and limited releases. On Sunday we show just how far off we were and offer some sort of mea culpa. It’s a best guess estimate, people. It’s not science. That would involve chicken nuggets.

Updates Every: Thursday and Sunday

The Reject Report - Large

A long time ago in little place called Hollywood four films vied for the top honors, the #1 spot in the charts, the chance to say for one weekend they were biggest thing out there. One of these films is familiar to making that claim. This weekend sees the return of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace to movie theaters, and it’s bringing its good friend 3D along for the adventure. Other combatants going up against the George Lucas cash cow feature Denzel Washington playing training day with Ryan Reynolds, the Rock flexing his chest muscles, and Rachel McAdams forgetting who Channing Tatum is. Can you blame her? There’s plenty in the way of counter-programming out there, so you might be inclined to say it’s anyone’s prize to win. Our good friend Jar Jar might have something to say to yousa.

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Chronicle

It was a close race, one that could get switched around when the actual numbers hit on Monday, but, for now, the combination of teenage superheroes and the found footage technique has given Chronicle the edge over The Woman in Black. Chronicle‘s $22m ranks it high on the found footage subgenre, above movies like The Last Exorcism ($20.3m opening in 2010) and Quarantine ($14.2m opening in 2008). It’s a solid number regardless but all the more impressive considering Chronicle‘s reported $12m budget. Found footage movies weren’t looking to slow down any time soon anyway, but this debut clenches it. We’ll be certainly seeing more found footage movies covering a broader range of genre. Before we know it someone will be pitching an idea of holiday, family drama told from the point of view of home movies. That’s not even saying anything to the idea of Chronicle getting its own sequel. It definitely will.

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The Reject Report - Large

That’s right. We’ve officially gone from grey to black. This means the evil side of the Reject Report is about to rear its ugly head and its taking names. First up, Daniel Radcliffe. He’ll have some stiff competition, though, in the form of teenage super heroes and whales. Those whales might have a miracle up their sleeves, and they’ll need precisely that to come out on top this weekend. It’s not looking to be a massive weekend for box office receipts, but there’s apparently some big football game this weekend that’s sure to take away even more of that dwindling box office. Go ahead and put on your favorite team’s colors. We’re still decked out in black.

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The Grey

Once again Liam Neeson stood up to the January graveyard slate of movies, and once again Liam Neeson took charge. The Grey took top honors this weekend, proving that the combination of Neeson and good, adult action is the way to go when you want to make some decent coin. It wasn’t up to the standards of films like Taken ($24.7m opening weekend in 2009) and Unknown ($21.8m opening weekend in 2011). Considering the R rating, the lack of star power outside of Neeson (Dermot Mulroney isn’t what he used to be, and the wolves themselves don’t have a great agent yet), and Joe Carnahan not being the golden boy when it comes to box office returns, The Grey‘s $20m is still a respectable debut. Neeson isn’t losing clout as quickly as Katherine Heigl, whose One For the Money came in at #3 with $11.7m. That’s slightly lower than expectations, but looking at Heigl’s track record, her opening numbers seem to be whittling down further and further. Since Killers in 2010, Heigl’s opening numbers have progressively gotten smaller and smaller, dropping from $15.8m to $14.5m for Life As We Know It in 2010 and $13m for New Year’s Eve early last month. A change of pace for Heigl might be in order, or, when all else fails, the DVD/Blu-Ray and VOD market is not a bad option to take.

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The Reject Report - Large

Not to be confused with Reject Report, The White, which is what happens after we do battle with the Balrog. Reject Report, The White is never NEVER wrong. But in our current form we have to take into account things like star power and demographics and mass appeal, the kinds of aspects that go into making a film financially successful. This week sees three new movies wanting that success and one Oscar contender expanding to wide release. Liam Neeson fights wolves, Sam Worthington faces a ledge, and Katherine Heigl takes on…money, I guess. I’m not really sure. Only one of these movies can be the victor while the other two scrounge for scraps to make up $10-15m. Not even worth the effort really. It’s the Reject Report, and you shall not pass. Okay, now you can pass. Go ahead.

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Underworld Awakening

Vampires are still on the menu when it comes to nice sized box office morsels, as Underworld: Awakening, the fourth film of the franchise, sunk its teeth in and made its mark on the weekend take, the film series, and January openings as a whole. The only of these lists Awakening‘s opening of $25.4m tops is chart for this weekend. That’s a return for the series, whose third entry, Rise of the Lycans, debuted in the #2 spot behind Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and who can really contend with Kevin James? I mean, really?

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The Reject Report - Large

It’s a big weekend here at the Reject Report. Lots of excitement out there competing for you movie dollars. We have vampires battling werewolves, ace pilots taking on the World War II skies, and Gina Carano punching and kicking everything that moves and looking amazing doing it. Throw in the returning champs of Mark Wahlberg and 3-D Disney, and we’re sure to be seeing moneymakers all around town. The vampires have a slight edge, but there could be one or two surprises out there waiting to take the top spot. We could settle this with a flex-off between Wahlberg and Carano, but the demographics might be a bit skewed. Let’s take a look at what each of these movies has to bring to the box office instead.

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The Reject Report - Large

Mark Wahlberg stared the Beast, the whole IMF team, and Dolly Parton down, and he told them to all say hi to their mothers for him. Contraband surprised everyone who thought Disney was just cashing in on easy blockbuster numbers with their 3D re-releases, and the action drama ended up taking the top spot by a nice sized margin. It’s not Wahlberg’s biggest opening to day. Far from it. But Contraband was able to serve up a number that is considered sizable especially considering its mid-January release. It also is a reasonable opening as a vehicle for Wahlberg, who has only had four films in his career open higher than $30m, The Happening ($30.5m opening), The Other Guys ($35.5m opening), The Perfect Storm ($41.3m opening), and Planet of the Apes ($68.5m opening). Needless to say, all four of those films were summer releases. While Disney didn’t match the success they had with The Lion King‘s re-release in 3-D, they did pull in some expected and flattering numbers this weekend with Beauty and the Beast. At this point, they’re just covering the conversion and re-release cost, so most of the $18.4m it made this weekend is icing on top of an already well-made cake. Disney has many more well-made cakes lined up to get their own layers of sweet stuff with Finding Nemo next up in September this year. Also, in the long run of things, Beauty and the Beast is sure to continue pulling in remarkable numbers all throughout its […]

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The Reject Report - Large

Not really sure how old time is, but this report is full of beauties, beasts, drug lords, and Queen Latifah. It’s the Reject Report, where we dive into the box office and sort out how much cash goes to which movies. Three films hit this week – two new and one re-release in 3D – each offering their own, diverse form of entertainment. Each film has its own strengths to pull in as much box office change as it can possibly get. While new films will be making their own money, it could very well be the Disney classic that takes the proverbial cake. And who’s going to contend with the Beast, really? The dude kicked Gaston’s ass.

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The Reject Report - Large

Apparently sometimes you can’t go back to that well too many times. Despite critics claiming it’s filled with the same old stuff, audiences weren’t scared enough to avoid The Devil Inside this weekend. In fact, not only did the film hit at #1, it’s generated the third biggest opening in January history behind Cloverfield ($40m in 2008) and Star Wars Special Edition ($35.9m in 1997). The Devil Inside showed a huge upturn in box office for exorcism movies, shadowing recent films like The Rite ($14.7m opening weekend) and The Last Exorcism ($20.3m opening weekend), both of which were PG-13 films. The Devil Inside was struck with an R rating. But we shouldn’t look to that for the reasoning behind such a lucrative opening. Instead, we have to look at the film’s ending. More so, we have to look at the buzz that was generated late last week because of The Devil Inside‘s ending. Test audiences were angry. Some even booed and yelled expletives at the screen when the film ended. A lot of this buzz came late Thursday night, and people who weren’t planning to see the movie may have changed their mind just to find out what the hell everyone was up in arms about. No, that can’t account for all of The Devil Inside‘s number. Some of that came from fans of the genre who wanted a good scare this weekend, but it had to have been a factor in some capacity. Paramount’s decision to shock people more […]

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The Reject Report - Large

Yes, January is a graveyard. Lots of dead bodies just getting dumped left and right A) to fill up the space and B) because some of these studios have dead bodies just laying around not making money. Such is the case with The Devil Inside, the only film getting a broad release this weekend. It doesn’t take a genius – thank God – to pick up on the fact that Mission: Impossible and Sherlock Holmes will be topping the box office once again. It’s that surefire longevity these December releases have noticed doing its best. A mockumentary about exorcisms that some studio decided to pick up won’t make much noise. But let’s see just how well it could do, shall we?

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The Year in Review: Box Office

Here’s how the Christmas weekend broke down: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – $29.5m (+130.7%) $61.9m total Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – $20.2m (-48.9%) $79m total The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – $12.7m NEW $21.1m since Tuesday release Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked – $12.5m (-45.9%) $49.5m total The Adventures of Tintin – $9.7m NEW $17.7m since Wednesday release We Bought a Zoo – $9.3m NEW War Horse – $7.5m NEW released Christmas Day New Year’s Eve – $3.3m (-54.7%) $32.6m total The Darkest Hour – $3m NEW released Christmas Day The Muppets – $2.1m (-39.1%) $75.7m total Yes, we usually save this chart for the end of the recapping Reject Report, but this week is about the year, not the weekend.

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The Reject Report

It’s just a little one down on the small of our back. You could call it a tramp stamp, but you’d get a punch for your efforts. Oh, right, the box office. Tis the season for big hitters. Lots and lots of big hitters, and they’re all rolling out this Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday. Right, because that’s not complicated. Rather than throw darts at a wall, let’s look at these hitters one by one and see which one vies best for audience dollars. It’s the Reject Report, and now I have a calculator, Ho Ho Ho. I think the original quote went something like that.

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Yeah, Chipmunks. How do you like it when we change your words? Another week of movies. Another week of slight disappointments. Sherlock came out on top, but both Game of Shadows and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked came in under expectations. Neither were major letdowns but noticeable enough. Chipwrecked debuted at half of what The Squeakquel brought, while Game of Shadows made about 2/3 of what Sherlock Holmes did. This could be a good indication of the law of believed diminishing returns on the sequels, not believing they’ll get their money’s worth. In the case of Chipwrecked, it could just mean kids are getting movied out. The past few weeks have been inundated with new family features.

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The Reject Report

It’s December 16th, and the winter blockbuster season is very nearly upon us. This coming weekend sees three huge movies hit, all of which are sure to be box office megastars. Yes, even the chipmunks. One of those films, the one where that one guy from Top Gun runs a whole lot, is only hitting IMAX, so it’s day of box office bloodletting will have to wait. In the meantime, Sherlock Holmes and, yes, the chipmunks are going to be taking the box office by storm. Plus, unlike 2009, they won’t have any blue aliens to contend with. It’s this week’s edition of the Reject Report, and this shiz is about to get Chipwrecked.

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Katherine Heigl and Jon Bon Jovi in New Year

See? It wasn’t us this time. No, instead the Garry Marshall/Katherine Fugate team went from the stunningly high $56.2m (Valentine’s Day opening weekend) to the surprisingly mediocre $13.7m for New Year’s Eve. Hey, maybe American audiences are starting to shape and choose the better films with their dollars. Or maybe it just didn’t appeal to the right demographic. There’s only so much Ashton Kutcher the chick flick crowd can even endure. Now that he’s on Two and a Half Men on a weekly basis, they don’t need to go to the cineplexes to get their Kutcher fix. So, there you have it. Blame Two and a Half Men for New Year’s Eve disappointing.

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The Reject Report

Like a mic. Drop the ball. Walk off the stage. Oh, I guess you have to say something witty or snarky before that, don’t you? Well how about some box office analysis? We’ve got two big hitters opening up this weekend, both of them reaching for different audiences, and both of them likely to have decent openings here. The star-studded girlie night is probably going to beat the R-rated Adventures in Babysitting remake, though. Okay, it’s not really a remake, but, I mean, come on. Just look at that trailer. That film, by the way, is The Sitter starring Jonah Hill. He’s found moderate success in his newly acquired leading man status. A $17.5m opening for Get Him to the Greek was impressive enough in the summer of 2010 despite the film not having much of a branding behind it. The Sitter is also the new film by David Gordon Green, who had good numbers with Pineapple Express ($23.2m opening weekend), not so much with Your Highness ($9.3m opening weekend). The Sitter has a good chance of coming in somewhere between those two, a little less than what Jonah Hill pulled for Get Him to the Greek. Expect The Sitter to make somewhere between $15-16m, a good showing but not enough to topple the other new release here.

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The Reject Report

And you all slept through it, didn’t you? It’s okay. I mean, it’s not THAT big of a surprise, really. We knew the latest Twilight outing would be strong competition for anyone, even those lovable Muppets.What surprised me was how much The Muppets dropped here in only its second weekend out. While other family fare were coming in with drops under 40%, The Muppets ended up being the biggest drop of all the top 10 films and only pulled another $11m domestically. Evidently most parents wanting to relive their childhood and bring their kids along with them already hit the film up last weekend while stuffed with Thanksgiving dinner. Not many of them came back for a second helping.

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The Reject Report

It’s a rare weekend we’re looking at here. Coming off the big Thanksgiving weekend, we have no new movies opening in wide release. The only new films coming out are in limited, and only one of those is really worth mentioning. So let’s do that right now, shall we? There’s been a lot said about Shame, mostly about what Michael Fassbender brings to the table. Director Steve McQueen required the film to remain…um…uncut from potential buyers, and, thankfully, that’s how the film remains. Of course, that means it’s not getting much of a release here, only nine screen across the nation, but that’s to be expected for this type of Oscar hopeful, art-house flick. Our very own Kate Erbland called Shame “beautiful” and “deeply personal”, and that’s pretty much what most critics are saying about it. Expect a lot of critical acclaim and Oscar nominations for Shame when that time comes. Right now, however, the film won’t be making much of a splash at the box office.

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The Reject Report

Out of all the family movies that were marketed towards reuniting families across America this weekend, and it’s the Twilight movie that came out on top once again. I can’t say I’m shocked, though. Only in its second weekend, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 dropped 69.8% from three-day weekend to three-day weekend. But its take last weekend was so huge that hardly any film could compete with it, even with such a massive drop. That level of drop wasn’t a shocker, either, seeing as how New Moon dropped 70% upon its release in November of 2009. As it stands, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is still in third place among overall domestic gross for the Twilight franchise, ahead of the first film and about $80m away from either New Moon or Eclipse. With a reported budget of $110 – nearly double the cost of Eclipse, the second most expensive film in the series – you would think Summit Entertainment is thankful that the series is headed towards its end. Still, you have to look at worldwide box office, and Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is running smoothly with $488.8m overall. It’s still a solid investment, and Breaking Dawn – Part 2 will only be putting more and more dollars in Summit’s coffers. The Muppets had fine footing over the weekend, too, even better when you factor in their 5-day total. It’s not quite the $65.2m The Muppet Movie pulled in total domestic in 1979. Of course, with inflation adjustment, The Muppet […]

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