The Reject Report - Large

Yes, January is a graveyard. Lots of dead bodies just getting dumped left and right A) to fill up the space and B) because some of these studios have dead bodies just laying around not making money. Such is the case with The Devil Inside, the only film getting a broad release this weekend. It doesn’t take a genius – thank God – to pick up on the fact that Mission: Impossible and Sherlock Holmes will be topping the box office once again. It’s that surefire longevity these December releases have noticed doing its best. A mockumentary about exorcisms that some studio decided to pick up won’t make much noise. But let’s see just how well it could do, shall we?

BIG HITTERS

The Devil Inside was picked up by Paramount to make a quick buck, and that’s probably the only thing they can expect. Sure, it’s in style to put out a movie about exorcisms. We seem to be getting at least one a year. It’s also en vogue to have a found footage horror flick to try to siphon off some of that Paranormal Activity ocean of cash. Those two factors alone – yes, The Devil Inside is more a mockumentary than a movie about found footage, but when the shaky cam kicks in, no one really cares what you call it – will give The Devil Inside enough juice to top over $10m. It could got as high as $15m this weekend, but those expectation are pretty grand. As far as January releases go, it will be coming in around average. That $11-12m range is pretty predictable when it comes to horror movies released in January. Not enough to make people take notice, but big enough for Paramount to justify getting it off their shelves.

Two words. Cat. Exorcism. You’re welcome:

Yeah, we know. It’s easy to throw up a YouTube clip of cats. So we’re giving you a twofer. Here, for you studying needs before you head out and watch The Devil Inside, is The Exorcist told in 60 seconds using clay:

FAMILIARITIES

So much for the new stuff. How about we talk about old stuff for a bit. First up, it’s a clear victory this weekend for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. With every movie actually going up in ticket sales last weekend, the numbers will be dipping back down now, possibly harder than normal. However, the rankings will pretty much be the same down the line. Ghost Protocol has already stepped past $400m worldwide, putting it ahead of Mission: Impossible III, and $150m away from becoming the biggest moneymaker of the franchise. That’s a lofty goal, but it is possible with little competition in the way of blockbuster films hitting any time soon.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is another clear winner in this long trek across January. It’s pulled in $247.4m worldwide and will surely break past $250m before the weekend even begins. It’s still a long way from matching 2009′s Sherlock Holmes‘ success. That movie ended with $209m domestic, $524m worlwide in its pockets. While A Game of Shadows doesn’t look to be a dud for Warner Brothers, the idea of a third Holmes and Watson adventure might not be the brightest subject for a while.

The first of the “Oscar hopefuls that get a limited release in December but opens wider in January” hits this weekend. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy expands to just over 800 theaters. With the good buzz it’s been getting as well as the per theater average it’s been able to generate these past few weeks, it will surely find itself somewhere in the top 10. Most likely, it will come in either in the 9th or 10th spot with around $4m.

Everything else is business as usual. New Year’s Eve is still playing in over 2000 theaters, and the world is probably going to end before the years is out, so smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em.

LITTLE OPENERS

Opening in limited release are Beneath the Darkness opening in select cities, Norwegian Wood opening in New York City and Washington DC, Roadie opening in New York City, and In the Land of Blood and Honey opening in New York City and L.A.

Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:

  1. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – $23.4m (-38.8%)
  2. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – $11.5m (-44.5%)
  3. The Devil Inside – $11.2m NEW
  4. War Horse – $9.1m (-36.8%)
  5. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – $8.4m (-42.9%)
  6. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked – $7.7m (-52.7%)
  7. We Bought a Zoo – $7m (-46.4%)
  8. The Adventures of Tintin – $6.7m (-41.1%)
  9. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy -$3.8m Expanded to 809 theaters
  10. New Year’s Eve – $2.9m (-52.7%)

$91.7m would be the lowest first weekend of the new year since 2000. We can thank Stuart Little and The Green Mile for dropping the ball on that $81.1m weekend. But, $91.7m is exactly what we’re looking at here, and that’s giving The Devil Inside the benefit of the doubt. But you can’t look at the new movies to carry the whole box office for January. It’s the December releases that aren’t holding up as well as they should that makes this weekend so low in estimation. There’s no Avatar that’s carrying every weekend to $200+m every weekend of the month. Films like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Adventures of Tintin aren’t the heavy hitters they were cracked out to be. At least not here in the US. I’m sure the weekend grosses for Singapore are up. Here in the states, it’s the graveyard as usual.

We’ll be back early next week to go over the weekend numbers.

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