The Reject Report…for Elephants!

But seriously, that’s a lot of possessive apostrophes going on in that title. If I wanted to do a remake of this movie – I could. I have the funds – who would I have to get the rights from? Madea? Tyler Perry? Oprah? There’s a lot of ownage going on in here.

Lionsgate is hoping for a lot of ownage at the box office this weekend, too. I know you saw what I did there. That I’m pointing it out is chalked up to arrogance. The elephants, cats, and birds of the world might have something to say about it, but there’s little chance they’ll be able to do anything about it. Let’s see how everything breaks down. That is, if Tyler Perry allows it.

BIG HITTERS

NOTE: The new Tyler Perry movie has Madea and the title is something like Happy Family Happiness or something. I’m not professional enough to actually look it up, so commence winging it.

Tyler Perry’s nine films – yes, all nine of them – have been met with varying degrees of success. If the title has the word Madea in it, that success is amplified. With Perry in drag, the box office take proves to be somewhere in the $24-40-million range. The last one, Madea Goes to Jail, opened to $41 million in 2009, so, needless to say, Madea’s Happy Fun Family Time is sure to do just fine. Will it meet the same level of success as Madea Goes to Jail? Not sure. The prison sub-genre isn’t exactly something you can pin your box office success on, so there’s no telling how much of a draw that aspect of the title was. Madea’s Family = Happy could very well beat it, especially opening on Easter weekend when families – there’s that word again – are looking for something upbeat and pleasant to watch after a morning of eating baked ham and Cadbury Eggs. Madea’s Super Happy Family Happy could serve up exactly what they’re looking for. Let’s just say it’ll do roughly around what Madea Goes to Jail did give or take a few hundred thousand to make it sound like I really analyzed this.

Instead of actually showing you a trailer for Madea’s Fun Fun Happy Fun, let’s check out something completely unrelated. I don’t know why, maybe it’s my love for Jennifer Morrison, but here’s the opening credits to the Fox show House, M.D. Enjoy:

Water for Elephants is the latest film starring Robert Pattinson. This one doesn’t feature glittery vampires, so it’ll probably fall just short of $69.6-million opening weekend. I’d say about $55 million short. The film is directed by Francis Lawrence, the guy who brought Constantine and I Am Legend to life, so hey win/win, right? Regardless, the R Patz fans out there will still flock to it. Remember Me opened to $8 million, but we’ll just give Water for Elephants the Reese Witherspoon benefit of the doubt. Somewhere in the mid-teens may be in this film’s future, probably just big enough to have Pattinson slapping that glitter on pretty quickly.

Also in new release is Disney’s latest nature doc. Following Earth and Oceans, Disneynature is giving us something everyone can “AWWWWWWW” at. Cats. African Cats to be more specific, and I’m sure it’ll be filled with tiger cubs acting all cute and cuddly, anything to make you forget they can rip your jaw off with one swipe. Samuel L. Jackson as narrator should help soothe the mood a bit more, and African Cats could come in a little higher than the previous Disneynature films. Earth opened to $8.8 million in 2007 and Oceans opened to $6 million in 2009, but seriously, how big of a draw are the oceans, amirite? Look for African Cats to top both of those slightly, but still unable to break past $10 million.

FAMILIARITIES

The birds of Rio will have a pretty steady hold on their $39.2-million opening take, and it will likely come in effortlessly at #2. Much of the rest of the top 10 will be lacking in surprises. This being the weekend Hop was made for won’t boost its numbers, but it will have a decent drop. The same will go for Insidious, Hanna, and Soul Surfer, the latter of which will be another draw for families on Easter Sunday. Maybe not so much Insidious, though if your family is anything like mine, we could use a good scare after stuffing our faces with deviled eggs. Deviled eggs? Insidious? You don’t…I’m not a comedian. Don’t judge me.

LITTLE OPENERS

Opening in limited release this weekend is POM Wonderful presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, the latest documentary from Morgan Spurlock. That’s all fine and good, but have you had their pomegranate juice? Oh, my God, it’s to die for. So tasty. You can practically feel yourself amidst the fruit trees as you taste the exquisite flavors of cherry, mango, and blueberry. And is that a hint of tangerine? I think it is! POM Wonderful is so magical tasting, and it’s good for you. Oh, right, the movie. It’s a documentary. It’s about product placement. Have at it. POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold opens in select cities. You can check out the trailer right here:

Also opening in limited release are Incendies opening in New York and L.A.; Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen opening in Honolulu, New York, L.A., and Portland; Stake Land opening at the IFC Center in New York; Mia and the Magoo also opening at the New York IFC Center; and The Bang Bang Club opening in New York and L.A.

Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:

  1. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family – $40.7m NEW
  2. Rio – $21.8m (-44.3%)
  3. Water for Elephants – $14.5m NEW
  4. Scream 4 – $9.3m (-50%)
  5. African Cats – $9.2m NEW
  6. Hop – $7.3m (-31.5%)
  7. Insidious – $4.6m (-30%)
  8. Hanna – $4.6m (-35%)
  9. Soul Surfer – $4.4m (-38.2%)
  10. Arthur – $3.5m (-46.9%)

Led by the charge of Madea’s Family Fun Big Happy, the weekend looks to score $119.9 million total. The Easter Sunday families who all spill out into movie theaters will probably be counter-acted by those who decide to stay at home gorging on Peeps and watching football – my family has them recorded. We watch football at EVERY holiday dinner. The weekend won’t get much supplemental help from the other two releases, but Madea is girl enough to take it all for herself.

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

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