The Reject Report: Can Denzel Washington Take Down Avatar?

Welcome to another amazing Reject Report and the big question this week is whether this is the weekend when some movie — any movie — can finally end Avatar’s run of four weekends in a row at the top of the weekend domestic box office? So far it has been relatively smooth sailing for Avatar, which by the end of the weekend should be well past Star Wars and firmly in third place as far as the all-time box office is concerned, with only The Dark Knight and Titanic in front of it.

This weekend we are going to look at two new movies — The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington, and The Spy Next Door starring Jackie Chan — as well as The Lovely Bones, which is expanding in wide release. I dunno if any of them can take down Avatar, but we’ll see.

First up, The Lovely Bones, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci and Michael Imperioli. The story is based on 2002 novel by Alice Sebold, and revolves around a young girl who is murdered, and who watches over her family from heaven.

This movie has been in limited release since mid-December and now is going wide into 2,500 locations. I think the fans of Peter Jackson and the fans of the novel should be interested, and I think this will make it as far as $16 million. Besides, I doubt the crowd who will see The Lovely Bones will be interested in the next movie we have in store, one starring Jackie Chan.

Watch The Lovely Bones trailer:

Based on the title you would think The Spy Next Door would sound really cool. Well, guess what, it’s one of those silly family movies starring Chan as this spy who babysits Amber Valetta’s kids.

Movies like this one might be enough to swear some people off of watching movies, folks. The last time I checked, this movie was getting a big fat zero percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and I gotta say, it isn’t often that any zero-percent movie does well at the box office — unless it’s January and you’re up against nothing else. Unfortunately for Jackie Chan, there is something else at theaters these days, so I am predicting a miserable $12 million for The Spy Next Door.

Watch The Spy Next Door Trailer:

Finally, there is The Book of Eli starring proven A-list actor Denzel Washington in an action role. It’s set in a post-Apocalyptic world and revolves around a man, Eli, who guards a sacred book believed to hold the key to redeeming the whole human race. Also, uh, I understand Eli mows down a lot of people. Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis also star in this movie, directed by Allen and Albert Hughes.

This is going to appeal to the action fans out there, and believe you me, they are starved for entertainment these days. How many action movies have there really been lately? Not too many. Which is why I am predicting that this movie, rolling out in over 3,000 locations, should get to a good $31 million haul.

Watch The Book of Eli trailer:

Here’s the problem, though. I don’t think it’s going to catch Avatar. I think Avatar will drop again from last weekend, but not so far down that it cedes first place. I think Avatar is going to hang on with a haul of $37 million and hang on to the weekend box office title for an amazing fifth weekend in a row. My predicted finish:

  1. Avatar $37 million
  2. The Book of Eli $31 million
  3. The Lovely Bones $16 million
  4. The Spy Next Door $12 million
  5. Sherlock Holmes $11 million
  6. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $10.5 million
  7. Daybreakers $9 million
  8. It’s Complicated $8.5 million
  9. The Blind Side $6 million
  10. Up in the Air $5.7 million

That is all for now. Needless to say, this is shaping up to be Avatar’s stiffest box office challenge yet, but we’ll see what happens when we count the loot this weekend here at the Reject Report!

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