Welcome to another Reject Report and an intriguing matchup at the box office this weekend. In fact, you might call it a heavyweight matchup: Jim Carrey versus Will Smith. Smith, of course, is the reigning box office champion, headlining a string of eight $100-million-dollar-gross movies in a row. The challenger, Carrey, has a more uneven record at the box office in recent years, but he has had more than his fair share of $100-million grosses. So this is a box-office duel that fight fans will be all revved-up for.
So I’m going to get right to it, starting with Smith’s latest movie Seven Pounds.
Seven Pounds is directed by Gabriele Muccino, who also directed The Pursuit of Happyness which Smith starred in. That movie grossed $162 million dollars. In addition to Smith, also stars Rosario Dawson and Woody Harrelson. Smith plays Ben Thomas, an IRS agent with a secret, who goes off on a path of personal redemption by seeking to change the lives of seven total strangers.
So that is Seven Pounds. Now, on to the bad news: this movie is already getting some stinging reviews from lots of people. Right now it is running at 31 percent at Rotten Tomatoes and there are some people out there who are saying this movie is so bad that it could sink Smith’s streak of eight $100-million movies in a row. (On the other hand, Roger Ebert said he liked it. So who knows, really?) Me, I am going to go by the box office history in making a prediction. This movie is basically similar to The Pursuit of Happyness and made by the same people who brought you The Pursuit of Happyness, and in its opening weekend The Pursuit of Happyness brought in $26 million dollars. I say there’s no way this movie beats that, so I am saying $25 million will be the take this weekend for Seven Pounds. And we’ll see if that $100-million string holds up.
Now, onto Jim Carrey, who rolls out with the funny Yes Man which opens on over 3,400 screens. THe movie is based on the book by British humorist Danny Wallace. Basically, this is the fascinating true story of what happens when a guy decides to say “yes” all the time to everything. Carrey plays Carl Allen who accepts that challenge, with hilarious results. , Zooey Deschanel and Bradley Cooper also star.
This seems like a typical goody Jim Carrey-type of movie to me. A lot of people are comparing this to Liar, Liar, where Carrey played a guy who couldn’t lie for 24 hours. That flick made $181 million dollars including $31 million its opening weekend.
Normally, when Jim Carrey plays some goofy role like the one in Liar, Liar, he usually wins at the box office. So I am predicting $32.5 million for Yes Man — as in “yes, man, I’m going to see this movie.”
Kind of lost in the shuffle this weekend is The Tale of Despereaux, which stars a multitude of voices in another CGI animated flick. It’s based on the children’s book by Kate DiCamillo that was, according to its title, the “story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup,a Rat, and a Spool of Thread.” That pretty much sums it up in a nutshell. Matthew Broderick and Emma Watsion are among the voices, and Dustin Hoffman plays Roscuro the rat. The other A-list voices include Sigourney Weaver, William H. Macy, Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, and a few others.
My guess is this one will take in $15 million. Well, at least it should do better than Delgo, the computer-animated flick that rolled out last weekend. Do you realize how badly Delgo did? It rolled out in over 2,000 theaters and set the record for the worst opening weekend in history for a movie with that big a wide release. $511,920 was its final haul last weekend — now, that was bad.
Finally, let me say that Slumdog Millionaire is getting a wider release this weekend, now up to 589 theaters. I think that should mean a Top Ten finish since it’s been knocking on the door for the past few weekends. Somewhere around $3.1 million would be my guess.
So here is what I see happening this weekend at the theaters.
And there you have it. So who will the public say “yes” to in this pound-for-pound matchup between Will Smith or Jim Carrey? Will the reigning champ go down for the count, for a change? We’ll soon find out. See you again Sunday.