Welcome to what is sure to be a very Inglourious weekend at the movie theaters this weekend, as Quentin Tarantino’s much-anticipated Inglourious Basterds comes out seeking box office glory — or is it “gloury?”. This movie made its bow at the Cannes Film Festival and there’s word that they’ve worked to improve the movie since then. Now it’s rolling out into theaters, one of four new ones set to take on the box office. Also rolling out is Shorts and Post Grad, but I think I’ll begin this week by looking at the prospects of X Games 3D: The Movie.
X Games 3D: The Movie is one of these one-week 3D events brought to you by Disney and the folks at ESPN. Basically they shot the 2008 Summer X Games in stereoscopic 3D, and the result is this movie, which follows the stories of six of the competitors. This movie rolls out in around 1,400 theaters, and knowing some of these 3D houses they will absolutely be charging an arm and a leg. I think this has niche appeal to the extreme sports crowd and the 3D people, but it won’t be the phenomenon that the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus 3D movie was. This should crack the Top Ten, though, probably with a haul of $3 million.
Next up is Post Grad in just under 2,000 theaters, and it stars Alexis Bledel as this college grad who gets her big degree and finds out, surprise surprise, that it is completely worthless and she moves back in with her weirdo family. I know this is a comedy but man, this sounds kind of depressing. Zach Gilford, Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch and Carol Burnett also star.
I just don’t see a lot of interest in this movie out there. A lot of people want to go to movies to get away from all their problems — not being reminded about having to move back home with your useless degree. To me, this movie looks like a $6.5 million opening.
Opening in 3,105 theaters will be Shorts which is directed — interestingly, to you Grindhouse fans — by Robert Rodriguez. It’s aboput a young boy’s discovery of a wish-granting rock in the back yard, with everyone predictably going nuts over this rock. Included among the adults in the cast are Jon Cryer, William H. Macy, Leslie Mann and James Spader, among others.
This is aimed at the family crowd, and to me it looks like counterprogramming to the other stuff we are seeing at the theaters right now. Then again, maybe the reason Warner Bros. is dumping it on August audiences is because they know there’s no hope for it any other time of the year, anyway. Or maybe someone in the executive ranks sees the irony of pitting Rodriguez against Tarantino at the box office the same week. Whatever. I think this will make it to $12 million.
Finally we get to Inglourious Basterds, and the first trick for me in writing this writeup is to get the spelling correct — or correctly wrong, in this case. I won’t go into too many of the details about this flick, which you have heard about ad nauseum from all the websites, including this one. This flick is being released by The Weinstein Company and Universal Pictures and stars Brad Pitt as 1st Lieutenant Aldo Raine, otherwise known as “Aldo the Apache”, who leads the “Basterds” in their plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler during World War II. The movie is sort of set in an alternative universe of sorts, with Hitler and his cronies are in Paris for this big film premiere there, and the Basterds are plotting to knock him off.
So that’s what we are in for. I think this movie will make quite a bit of money, even though I know Tarantino has his detractors out there among people who think he’s overrated. But I think he’s also got enough fans to make a hit out of this, and there’s been enough buzz for this movie that this ought to win the weekend. I am predicting $28 million domestic for Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Incidentally, I am already hearing reports of big box offices for this flick overseas, particularly in Europe and Australia. So this may well be a very good weekend for Inglourious Basterds — better than predicted, even.
So looking at the weekend ahead here is what I see the breakdown being:
- Inglourious Basterds $28 million
- District 9 $19 million
- Shorts $12 million
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra $10 million
- The Time Traveler’s Wife $9.5 million
- Julie and Julia $7.5 million
- Post Grad $6.5 million
- G-Force $4.4 million
- X Games 3D: The Movie $3 million
- The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard $2.7 million
That’s it for now! See you at the end of the weekend with the results from what looks to be a “glourious” box office — here at the Reject Report!