Reject Report - April 25

Welcome to another edition of the Reject Report where we run down the box office prospects of the latest movies coming to a theater near you. This weekend looks to be a bit of a disappointment at the cash register, I am sad to say. All the die-hard movie fans out there would really like to see Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay do well, but it has stiff competition from Baby Mama and from Deception, the other new movies this weekend. So here we go.

Harold and Kumar Escape Guantanamo BayHarold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay is the sequel to the cult classic Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, that rolled out in 2004. The sequel once again features John Cho and Kal Penn as the two lovable stoners Harold and Kumar. The story picks up where the previous movie left off with Harold and Kumar setting off for Amsterdam to chase after Harold’s love interest Maria. But on board the plane these two are mistaken for terrorists, and they get sent off to Guantanamo Bay. And of course they escape, and there are all kinds of wacky adventures. The movie promises yet another appearance by cult icon Neil Patrick Harris, and Rob Corddry, Paula Garces and Danneel Harris are among the cast.

So that’s Harold and Kumar 2, and while the fans are all excited, everyone out there knows the dismal box office history of this franchise at the multiplexes. When the original flick rolled out onto the big screen way back in 2004, it only made $18 million dollars. That’s the GRAND TOTAL it got in theaters, folks; its opening weekend take was an absolutely dismal $5 million. Now, of course, the movie sold tons of DVDs and now is regarded as a bit of a cult classic. But will that be enough to motivate the boring people who live in the red states, and even the blue ones, to see this movie? I am truly sorry to say I have my doubts. You know, I am pulling for Harold and Kumar to do well, I liked the first movie and all that, but I don’t see this one getting any more than about $13 million on 2,510 screens.

Baby MamaNext is Baby Mama, which rolls out on a few more theaters than Harold and Kumar do (2,543) and stars Saturday Night Live comedy goddesses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. (Surprise, surprise, it’s a Universal release.) This one stars Fey as a career woman who has always put the fast track ahead of the mommy track — but now she wants to have a kid. Sadly, she finds out she has only a slim chance of becoming pregnant, so she enlists the goofy Poehler to be the surrogate mom. Greg Kinnear, Romany Malco and Sigourney Weaver also star.

The reviews for this picture have been more positive than negative — which is nice, considering the weeks and weeks of absolute, total dreck that have littered the screens of all the multiplexes for most of the winter. (Ie. Prom Night: 9% at Rotten Tomatoes, yet it won at the box office the week it opened.) But it’s not as if the critics are totally jumping on the Baby Mama bandwagon. Personally, I’m not driven to go see it — it looks like a chick flick to me. But I do see it getting $16 million and topping the box office.

Sorry, Harold and Kumar fans, but that’s what I see happening, and I kind of hope I’m wrong with this prediction. But that’s what I predict for Baby Mama.

Finally, Deception comes out this weekend and it stars Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams in what looks to be this week’s completely hopeless piece-of-junk flop at the box office (11% at Rotten Tomatoes). This flick sees McGregor play a mild-mannered accountant who gets turned on to sex clubs by his lawyer friend Jackman, and all heck breaks loose as he becomes the prime suspect in a missing woman case.

Well, this looks like this week’s version of 88 Minutes to me. I don’t see too much enthusiasm out there for this flick from anyone, even though it’s on 2,000 screens, and so I see only $6 million.

Yes, it looks like a calm week at the box office — the calm before the storm, because Iron Man is coming May 2. The testing is predicting big things from what I read — something like $65 to $70 million! I think these estimates might be just a little conservative, frankly. I am convinced Iron Man will be huge. Just thought I would give you the heads-up on next week, which promises to be very big.

This weekend? Not so much. Here’s my take on what to expect at the theaters this weekend:

1. Baby Mama $16 million
2. Harold and Kumar Escape Guantanamo Bay $13 million
3. The Forbidden Kingdom $11.5 million
4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall $10 million
5. Deception $6 million
6. Prom Night $4.5 million
7. Nim’s Island $4 million
8. 88 Minutes $3.6 million
9. 21 $3.4 million
10. Horton Hears a Who! $2.6 million

There you have it! Another weekend of predictions all set to go up in smoke, again. Get it? Smoke? Harold and Kumar? Oh, never mind. See you at weekend’s end to see who got stoned at the box office here at the Reject Report.


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