The Reject ReportIt’s December 16th, and the winter blockbuster season is very nearly upon us. This coming weekend sees three huge movies hit, all of which are sure to be box office megastars. Yes, even the chipmunks. One of those films, the one where that one guy from Top Gun runs a whole lot, is only hitting IMAX, so it’s day of box office bloodletting will have to wait. In the meantime, Sherlock Holmes and, yes, the chipmunks are going to be taking the box office by storm. Plus, unlike 2009, they won’t have any blue aliens to contend with. It’s this week’s edition of the Reject Report, and this shiz is about to get Chipwrecked.

BIG HITTERS

Everyone knew in 2009 Sherlock Holmes was going to be a monster success. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in a reimagining of one of the most celebrated fictional characters in history? Yes, please. Well, we were all right. Sherlock Holmes topped out at $209m domestic and another $315m in foreign markets. That’s $524m worldwide between you and me. Now, the game is afoot once again, and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is bound to be just as successful if not more. The whole team is back, but this time, the marketability goes beyond the popular actors and the familiarity of the character. With Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol hitting IMAX screens this weekend, some of Sherlock Holmes take will be dwindled a bit. Not a lot of people will want to shell out cash for Holmes and Watson after giving up their first-born for IMAX tickets. The Christmas day opening also gave the first film a huge bump, so any additional dollars the sequel might have brought in this opening weekend might be lost there, as well. Still, A Game of Shadows is sure to come in somewhere around $65m, a slight increase over the $62.3m the first movie opened with.

I, for one, prefer Downey Jr. and Law over Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Nonetheless, here, for your viewing pleasure, is the trailer to one of those classic Sherlock Holmes adventures. I’m not sure which one it is. All old movies look alike to me:

Chipmunks. Oh, those chipmunks. They keep making these movies, and Jason Lee and David Cross just keep making their house payments. This third movie in the Alvin and the Chipmunks saga – hahaha, saga – is called Chipwrecked, so I’m sure there’s something about the squeaky-voiced rodents getting stranded on an island. I’m sure there’s something about having to get off the island in time for a concert. I’ll bet $5 right now David Cross gets hit in the head with a coconut at some point. Takers? Anyway, the other Chipmunk movies were rousing successes, so why should this one be any different? Let’s say $46.9m for good measure. You can spot me the $5.

It’s not exactly a huge hitter, but Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol drops into IMAX theaters this weekend. As if that wasn’t enough to have people lining up, the prologue to The Dark Knight Rises is playing in front of it. That bit of marketing sure helped I Am Legend back in 2007, and it’s a guarantee now. Only playing on 400 screens, Ghost Protocol won’t be launching full force this weekend, but its per screen average is sure to get it somewhere around $10m. That’s a lot of money spend to see a trailer for something you’re gonna pay money to see anyway. I’m sure Mission: Impossible is a draw itself, too.

Tom Cruise running. We all love to see it. Here’s a look at the evolution of the man’s stride. Nice form:

FAMILIARITIES

Young Adult expands this weekend from 8 theaters to 1000. That’s not much of a surprise considering the $38,783 per screen average it generated last weekend. This expansion is sure to bring it some big, box office buck and likely to bump it into the top 5 for the whole weekend. Like The Descendants, it’s going to end up being a successful movie based on roll-out as well as the buzz being created from its awards possibilities. Expect Young Adult to pull in between $8-8.5m this weekend with another expansion coming in the next few weeks. Also expect me to continue stalking Charlize Theron well after the film disappears from cinemas. Stuart Townsend who? That’s what I say.

LITTLE OPENERS

There’s not much in the way of limited releases coming out this weekend, but we should mention Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel. The man’s a legend in the industry and brought many of today’s A-listers into the game. Stars like Jack Nicholson, Ron Howard, Robert De Niro, and a whole lot more owe Corman a huge debt of gratitude. This documentary shows all of that as well as the way he changed the industry for good. You should check it out. I’m sure going to check it out. It opens this weekend in New York and L.A.

Also opening in limited release are Carnage opening in New York and L.A. and Cook County opening in select cities.

Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:

  1. Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows – $64.8m NEW
  2. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked – $46.9m NEW
  3. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – $9.6m NEW
  4. Young Adult – $8.4m Expanding to 1000 screens
  5. New Year’s Eve – $6.2m (-52.2%)
  6. Arthur Christmas – $5.1m (-21.4%)
  7. The Sitter – $4.9m (-49.5%)
  8. The Muppets – $4.5m (-33.7%)
  9. Hugo – $4.5m (-23.6%)
  10. Breaking Dawn Part 1 – $3.4m (-55.5%)

Sherlock Holmes clearly wins this game, but the whole weekend is something to be excited for. $158.3m for the top 10 is what we’re looking at, a bump up from the same weekend last year when Tron: Legacy was letting people down left and right. In fact, this will be the biggest weekend this early in December in history. Most of these winter blockbusters hit on Thanksgiving or Christmas, and this year’s slew of new releases is an indication the Winter blockbuster is ever expanding to include all of December. I’ll drink a glass of eggnog to that. Also, I’m still waiting for my $5.

We’ll be back on Sunday to go over the weekend numbers.

Click here for more of The Reject Report


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