The Reject Report and Three New Movies Keep Battling Avatar

Welcome to another weekend of Avatar domination here at the Reject Report. Yes, there are three new movies rolling out wide: Daybreakers, Leap Year, and Youth in Revolt. But who is really kidding who here? The big story this weekend is whether Avatar will move past Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen to become the top box office draw out of all 2009’s releases. The early indication is that it will do just that.

As expected Avatar moved ahead of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King to become the number-two highest grossing movie of all time worldwide this week, hitting a mark of $1,131,752,464 on Wednesday. That compares to the $1,842,879,955 record still hekd by Titanic in 1997-98. As far as James Cameron is concerned, it doesn’t much matter anymore: the number one and number two box offices of all time now belong to his movies. The only question now is whether Avatar can catch Titanic. It still might, but the daily domestic grosses have slowed down considerably this week to the roughly $7-to-8 million range. So I think we could be in store for the first considerable drop in Avatar’s box office, possibly down to $45 million. The other contenders, Sherlock Holmes and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, are all falling further behind with each passing weekend.

In case anyone has noticed there are three new wide releases, but it’s not as if the releases are getting rolled out to every single movie cinema out there — just 2,400, tops. I’ll start with Daybreakers, starring Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill. It’s a futuristic vampire film, with the plot revolving around a plague that turns the majority of the world’s population into vampires.

This movie should get the horror and vampire-movie crowd out to see it in decent numbers and I think $17 million is a likely haul for this one.

Watch the Daybreakers trailer:

Next is Leap Year, a romantic comedy starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. This one is about a woman (Adams) who plans to go to Dublin propose to her man (!) on Leap Day, except she has to rely on Goode to get her there and it leads to all kinds of twists and turns.

This being January, I believe we are definitely into romantic comedy season, but I have a hard time believing this movie will get much more than $10 million.

Watch the Leap Year trailer:

Finally we have Youth in Revolt, based on E.D. Payne’s novel, which stars Michael Cera as Nick Twisp. Twisp is, well, a youth in revolt: a sex-obsessed teenager in love with Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday) who comes up with a French alter-ego to vie for her affections.

The wide release is to the low end of what we are seeing with the wide releases this weekend, around 2,000. So that is why I am predicting a modest $9 million haul for Youth in Revolt.

Watch the Youth in Revolt trailer:

Needless to say, this isn’t shaping up as a weekend of much competition for Avatar, which I am predicting will crush the opposition and win the box office for a fourth straight amazing weekend. Geez, I hope this doesn’t go to James Cameron’s head. The likely box office is as follows:

  1. Avatar $45 million
  2. Sherlock Holmes $24 million
  3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $20 million
  4. Daybreakers $17 million
  5. It’s Complicated $10.5 million
  6. Leap Year $10 million
  7. Youth in Revolt $9 million
  8. The Blind Side $8 million
  9. Up in the Air $7 million
  10. The Princess and the Frog $5.5 million

So we’ll see what happens. It should be an interesting weekend ahead as we count the loot yet again in our weekend edition of the Reject Report once the Sunday box office results come in. See you then.

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