Reject the Barbarian Report: Will Conan Crush the Box Office?

The Reject ReportReject Report, what is best in life? To crush the box office, see them driven to the concession stand, and to hear the lamentation of their 3-D glasses. That is good!

The Reject Report isn’t a barbarian. It probably wouldn’t even know what to do if you handed it a broadsword or told it to slay a Cimmerian Beast-Man. No, what it does is calculate the upcoming weekend’s box office, predict the winners and losers, and hears the lamentation of hundreds telling it it’s horribly wrong. This week it’s gonna be wrong about two new 3-D remakes from the ‘80s – The Reject Report’s favorite decade, BTW – the fourth in a kid’s series, and a love story starring Catwoman and that dude from Across the Universe. It’s not wrong about that, though. Jim Sturgess definitely WAS in Across the Universe. Sit back, clutch your battle axe (3-D glasses optional), and enjoy what this week’s Report has to say.


The Conan series weren’t exactly box office earthquakes. 1982’s Conan the Barbarian brought in $39.5m in its entire domestic run, and Conan the Destroyer skewered $31m in 1984. Sure, that’s been nearly 30 years, and the inflation has been ridiculous, but the idea of rebooting this series has to be driven by pure nostalgia. That and the idea of Jason Momoa, Khal Drogo on HBO’s Game of Thrones for those of you who didn’t watch Stargate: Atlantis, slicing dude’s heads off, bedding fantasy-born wenches, and saying very little in the process. The new Conan the Barbarian also has Marcus Nispell at the helm, a director who has had some success with franchise reboots. His 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre opened to $28m and 2009’s Friday the 13th made $40.5m in its first three days. Conan the Barbarian’s success won’t be that big. Though the 3-D dollars will help, it still isn’t a property fans are clamoring for. Expect it to drop in at the #1 spot somewhere in the mid-$20m range. Crom will be proud.

Conan the Barbarian: The Musical? Don’t mind if we do:

Fright Night is another ‘80s movie getting the 3-D remake treatment this weekend. While Conan has a better branding about it, Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mint-Plasse, Toni Collette, and, yes, Imogen Poots are all bigger draws than Jason Momoa. You’d think the vampire element would be on their side, but unless you’re battling between Edward and Jacob, you aren’t a guarantee draw. Still, Fright Night will do well for itself, and with a little luck could break past $20m.

Fright Night: The Musical? Don’t mind if we do:

Not a remake is Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, even though it is in 3-D. Wait, it’s 4-D? What does that mean? Is Robert Rodriguez going to personally come to each theater and kick us in the face during the movie? How does he get to all the theaters in the world? It’s like some kind of new age, kid-flicky Santa Claus. And none of that is an analysis on the box office. Eh, take the average of the other Spy Kids’ openings ($25.5m) and drop $10m for good measure. Wait, Jessica Alba is in this one. Okay. Add $100,000.

One Day is certainly a movie coming out, and it does star Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. I’m guess they fall in love at some point, there’s swelling music, and someone might die. I’m just by law of averages there. It’s dropping in just over 1700 screens from Focus Features, so it’s really a glorified limited release. Not enough to get into double digits thus continuing Sturgess’ “winning” streak for movies in which he doesn’t voice a CG owl.


The Help needs no help. Get it? Yeah, you do. What was perceived to be a glorified entry onto the Hallmark Channel – Hallmark Network? I’m not sure, is it 242 or 244? – surprised the hell out of everyone. It got good reviews, very nearly beat out Rise of the Planet of the Apes for the #1 spot last weekend, and looks to have minimal drop here in its 2nd weekend. I know I’m going to be checking it out this weekend. Just after Conan lops off some limbs. With a little luck and some overestimation for how well the ‘80s remakes do, The Help could even wind up at #1. It could be close. A three-way race. Conan and the vampire to spill the blood, and a few disenfranchised maids to clean it up.


Opening in limited release are Amigo opening in select cities, The Last Circus opening in New York City (read Cole’s review from Fantastic Fest 2010), 5 Days of War opening in New York and L.A., Flypaper opening in New York City, Atrocious opening in select cities, Programming the Nation? opening in New York City, and Mozart’s Sister opening in New York and L.A.

Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:

  1. Conan the Barbarian – $25.2m NEW
  2. Fright Night – $19.4m NEW
  3. The Help – $18.1m (-30.2%)
  4. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World – $15.6m NEW
  5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – $14.6m (-47.2%)
  6. The Smurfs – $8m (-40.5%)
  7. Final Destination 5 – $7.9m (-55.8%)
  8. One Day – $7.5m NEW
  9. 30 Minutes or Less – $6.3m (-52.5%)
  10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – $4.3m (-40%)

Which amounts to about $126.9m for the top 10. And even that number admittedly gives a little to much credit to Conan’s mass appeal. Still, the dog days of Summer are upon us. No new massive blockbusters are on the horizon, but the heat still lingers around. Kind of like that Jim Sturgess at a party, always hanging out when he’s overstayed his welcome. Seriously, I have no reason to hate Jim Sturgess. He’s a likable enough fellow. I don’t know where it comes from.

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

Click here for more of The Reject Report

Jeremy's been writing about movies for a good, 15 years, starting with the film review column of his high school newspaper. He stands proud as the first person in his high school to have seen (and recommend) Pulp Fiction. Jeremy went on to get a B.A. in Cinema and Photography with a minor in journalism. His experience and knowledge of film is aided by the list of 6600 films he has seen in his life (so far). Jeremy's belief is that there are no bad films, just unrealized possibilities. Except Batman and Robin. That shit was awful.

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