The Bounty Hunter

So here we are, week three of Alice in Wonderland at theaters, and the big question right now is still whether any of the movies rolling out this weekend have a chance to stop it – even ones starring Jennifer Aniston. The Bounty Hunter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Repo Men, The Ghost Writer and The Runaways are in theaters in significant numbers. But do any of them have a chance to beat Alice? Not unless any of them get to somewhere in the vicinity of $33 million, which I think is the probable finish for Alice this weekend. How will they fare? Let’s stack them up one by one, shall we?

First of all, The Runaways features Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning and Michael Shannon in a drama/biopic about legendary rocker Joan Jett.

I don’t think it’s going to do very well this weekend. First of all, it’s onlyin 244 locations, so it’s a fairly limited release to begin with. Second of all, Kristen Stewart is starting to suffer the same typecasting problems that Rob Pattinson has: Twilight syndrome. And the Twilight fans don’t care about any movie other than Twilight anyway, so good luck getting an audience out for this one. I think this is getting $3 million, max. (Also: Read our review of The Runaways)

Next, we have The Ghost Writer, a thriller starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan and Kim Cattrall that is written and directed by Roman Polanski. Yes, that guy who is in big legal trouble at the moment. It started in limited release on February 19 and now expands to 819 locations.

The problem is that this isn’t a large number of theaters that this movie is in, and I think it’s going to be very hard-pressed to make the Top Ten. I say this maybe gets $3.5 million. (Also: Read our review of The Ghost Writer)

Next up is Repo Men, starring Jude Law, Forest Whitaker and Alice Braga. It’s set in a future where humans can artificially prolong their lives by buying their expensive artificial organs from the big corporation “The Union” on credit. But what if you can’t afford to pay up? Then the Repo Men go after you and your vital organs, that’s what.

I think this movie will ring true for a lot of people hit by the economic crisis, and the mortgage crisis and all that other stuff. They practically feel already as if they are under siege, and that’s why I think this movie got made — because it fits the times. The problem is the movie is in only 2,500 theaters, not an outstanding amount. So once again, this will fall short of real contention and should end up with a haul of $12 million.

We then have the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which is based on Jeff Kinney’s books of the same name. It’s a combined animation-live action movie that includes a cast featuring Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Steve Zahn, Rachael Harris, Devon Bostick, Chloë Moretz, and Conner and Owen Fielding,

I don’t know what to make of this movie. It is getting fairly decent distribution into 3,077 locations, and yet I don’t detect a groundswell of enthusiasm out there for this flick. I just don’t see a ton of people lining up to see this movie, but it will do enough business to get up to around $16 million.

Finally, we come to The Bounty Hunter, starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler. In this movie, Gerard the bounty hunter finds out that his latest assignment is to track down … his ex, a newspaper reporter. Fun stuff.

This flick is rolling out in 3,074 locations, a fairly decent number but nothing outstanding. The big problem here is the reviews. They are terrible. But then again, why I am not surprised? This is March, and this is usually the pit of bad romantic-comedy season at the movies. I am sure the star power of the two leads, especially tabloid-fodder Ms. Aniston, will draw in people. I guess the studio is counting on the action in the movie to draw in guys. Good luck with that — when guys hear the words “Jennifer Aniston” these days they usually automatically think “chick flick”. (Also: Read our review of The Bounty Hunter)

It’ll do all right, I suppose. $25 million is my guess. And you know what that means — it means Alice in Wonderland will again hang on to first place. Honestly, this movie has been killing the competition lately at the box office. I have real trouble believing it will lose this weekend to this crop of movies, which I think will just cancel each other out as far as drawing audiences is concerned. My guess for the weekend:

  1. Alice in Wonderland $33 million
  2. The Bounty Hunter $25 million
  3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid $16 million
  4. Repo Men $12 million
  5. Green Zone $7 million
  6. She’s Out of My League $5.5 million
  7. Shutter Island $5.3 million
  8. Avatar $4.8 million
  9. Remember Me $4 million
  10. Our Family Wedding $3.7 million

So there you go. See you later this weekend to find out whether The Bounty Hunter catches Alice in Wonderland – or whether any of these movies will, period.

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