The Reject Report Anticipates a Box Office Saw-off


It’s a pre-Halloween edition of the Reject Report! Yes, October 31 is fast approaching, and this weekend promises to by scary-good at the theatres for moviegoers interested in scary movies. In fact, it’s been a banner year for horror movies at the box office. The winning Paranormal Activity continues to roll, and Saw VI will be rolling out, as well as Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant and the reissue of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare before Christmas (in limited release). And we also have Astro Boy.

First, as we have been doing the last number of weekends we will lead off with the continuing Paranormal Activity story, which keeps on going and going like the Energizer Bunny at the theaters. It still isn’t in a multitude of theaters – still under 800 – but it is raking in some big, big audience numbers. On Monday night, it made $1,967,921, almost beating the highly-regarded weekend box office champ Where the Wild Things Are. On Tuesday, Paranormal Activity hauled in $1,785,846, which also came razor-close to beating the Tuesday night winner Law Abiding Citizen ($1,801,997).

Finally, on Wednesday night, Paranormal Activity made it all the way to the top. Number One. $1,639,240. It was a close win over Where the Wild Things Are and Law Abiding Citizen, but it counts.

Now Paranormal Activity is going to go wide to nearly 2,000 theater locations across North America and with Halloween on its way the momentum for this movie just keeps on building. The theatre average has been dropping from weekend to weekend – it was at $49,000 two weekends ago and last weekend it was $25,000. I could see the average dropping again to, say, $13,000. So multiplied by 1945 locations, that roughly comes to — over $25 million?!?! Holy crow, this movie is going to be doing even better business than last weekend. If the theatre average is higher, we could be looking at some serious money rolling in — possibly over $30 million. Look out for Paranormal Activity, folks. It has already hit Number One and could well stay there this weekend.

I now move on to Saw VI which is opening in roughly 3,000 theatre locations and expects to do battle for the box office title this weekend. It’s yet another in the long series of movies based on that villain Jigsaw. Based on the ploy synopsis I’ve read, it the detective Hoffman emerges as the successor to Jigsaw. Here’s the trailer:

This flick always does good business whenever it is released, but it doesn’t absolutely steamroll at the box office. My feeling is this will win Friday night — and then that will be it, and Paranormal Activity will take over. I might as well end the suspense now: $23 million is my prediction for Saw VI. I just think Paranormal Activity is going to be too strong.

Next up is Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, starring John C. Reilly, Josh Hutcherson, and Chris Massoglia. The movie is the film adaptation of the book series The saga of Darren Chan from author Darren Shan. Massoglia plays the title character Shan, a teenage boy who stumbles upon a travelling freakshow and meets up with this strange man, who turns out to be a vampire. And weird things start to happen. Yes, indeed, folks, this is a vampire movie. Well, what did you expect? The vampire fad is still going strong just like last fall when Twilight came out in November.

How much money is this one going to make? Well, how about a nice round scary number like $13 million? Hey, Halloween’s coming. One of these flicks has got to make $13 million.

Watch the Vampire’s Assistant trailer:

Next up is Astro Boy, and this is exactly what you expect it to be. It is being released by Summit Entertainment and is the big screen adaptation of the famous Japanese cartoon from Sixties TV. Except this one is CGI. The voices include voices of Freddie Highmore as Astro Boy, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Donald Sutherland and Bill Nighy.

Why do I get the feeling this is going to be another flop on the scale of Speed Racer? At least Speed Racer had a coolness factor, but Astro Boy is just, well, Astro Boy. Honestly, if they had done a remake of some Hanna-Barbera cartoon I could see it doing great business, but this one is only going to make $14 million.

Watch the Astro Boy trailer:

Finally, I think I ought to mention the movie Amelia, starring Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart. This opens in over 800 locations and should sneak into the Top Ten with around $5 million.

Watch the Amelia trailer:

So summing up, it should be a saw-off (yes, another bad pun) at the box office this weekend. You know, the horror fans have complained for years about how studios have shafted them by not releasing horror movies in October where they belong. I don’t think there can be any gripes about the situation this year with about a week left to Halloween weekend. Here’s my predicted order of finish:

  1. Paranormal Activity $25 million
  2. Saw VI $23 million
  3. Where the Wild Things Are $16 million
  4. Astro Boy $14 million
  5. Law Abiding Citizen $13.5 million
  6. Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant $13 million
  7. Couples Retreat $9 million
  8. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $5.5 million
  9. The Stepfather $5.2 million
  10. Amelia $5 million

That’s it for now! See you at the end of the weekend when we determine who takes home all the loot here at the Reject Report!

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