The Reject ReportSniffle. Sniffle. Drip. Cough. I’m not sure where or when, but some time in the last week we’ve picked up a wicked cold. Hope it’s nothing fatal. We’ve got movies we have to watch and box office we have to analyze and report. Like this weekend. We have the new Soderbergh film, this time a star-studded air-born disaster movie, a dramatic tale of two brothers who must duke it out within the confines of an MMA cage, and Bucky Larson. Let’s just move past Bucky Larson and forget it’s even happening. I don’t feel like exerting any effort talking about it, so I’ll roll with $3m right up top. Okay. Done with that. Now for some chicken noodle soup, Gatorade – gotta keep pumping those fluids – and words about movies and money.

BIG HITTERS

Who better than to document a worldwide pandemic than Steven Soderbergh? Maybe they’ll throw a Vegas heist in there for good measure. With people like Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, and Marian Cotillard thrown into the mix, Contagion definitely has the star power to its advantage. You could say that’s when Soderbergh is at his most lucrative. You could also just look at his biggest movies, the Ocean’s trilogy, and chalk all that success to George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Damon. Still, Contagion looks to freak a whole lot of audience members out this weekend. It’s on IMAX, too, because if there’s anything scarier than flu-carrying Aves, it’s giant freaking flu-carrying Aves who COME RIGHT AT YOU! Oh, it’s not in 3-D? Still, shocking. Don’t expect Contagion to hit the same stride as any of the Ocean’s movies, but somewhere in the mid-$20ms seems a good bet.

Here’s Bird Flu from M.I.A., a song that is almost as freaky as the idea of the world becoming infected with such a thing. Here’s hoping it’s over the end credits. Hope hope hope.

Speaking of things taking over the world, Tom Hardy. That’s it. Just Tom Hardy, walking around, acting cool as all hell, punching people’s lights out. That’s what you get in Warrior. There’s also a familial drama in there with Joel Edgerton and Nick Nolte, but nothing compares to the gravitational pull Hardy has in his muscles. Directed by Gavin O’Connor who also directed 2004′s Miracle, Warrior could have had a stellar debut, maybe somewhere in the high teens or low $20ms. However, it’s releasing on less than 2000 screens, just 300 more than Bucky Larson and Creature. Speaking of things we’d like to see get punched in the head. The appeal is there. The word of mouth is all up in everyone’s faces. But just by the numbers game, Warrior will be lucky to get much more than $11m.

Okay, we’re making it a sing-along here at the Reject Report this week. Here’s Scandal’s The Warrior for all the ’80s glory you wish to bestow on it. Bang bang!

Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star. See above.

Creature. I have even less to say about this movie.

FAMILIARITIES

The Help is just going to have to step aside this week. After three weeks at the top of the charts, it’s amassed $127m domestic, quite an impressive feat. But now it’s time to step aside for the birds. Still, The Help is looking to only get knocked a single peg to #2, probably pulling in another $13-15m. It’s also found release outside of the US. It’s made $1.7m in Australia. Man, what a bomb.

LITTLE OPENERS

It’s been 13 years since John Landis’ last feature narrative film. $10 to the person who can name it without looking it up. No, seriously, I’m not sending you $10. Now, he’s back with Burke and Hare, a comedy about 19th century grave robbers. HILARITY! It does star Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis, though I don’t think he’s using motion capture in this one. The movie might have actually gotten a larger release if he had. Still, the movie could prove to be quite funny. Who better to present some effective horror-based comedy than the guy who brought us An American Werewolf in London? Yeah, it was 30 years ago, but we have high hopes. Burke and Hare opens in New York City.

Here’s that trailer for Burke and Hare complete with annoying voice-over. Enjoy:

Also opening in limited release are The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 opening in New York City, Inside Out opening in select cities, Laugh at My Pain opening in select cities, Love in Space opening in select cities, Main Street opening in Palm Desert, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan opening in select cities, My Kingdom opening in select cities, Shaolin opening in select cities, Tanner Hill opening in select cities, We Were Here opening in New York City, The Whale – Ryan Reynolds narrates this one! – opening in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, and Where Soldiers Come From opening in New York City.

Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:

  1. Contagion – $24.4m NEW
  2. The Help – $13.6m (-31%)
  3. Warrior – $11.2m NEW
  4. The Debt – $7.3m (-42.2%)
  5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – $5.6m (-44.8%)
  6. Apollo 18 – $5.3m (-51.5%)
  7. Colombiana – $6m (-36.6%)
  8. Shark Night 3-D – $4.4m (-56%)
  9. Our Idiot Brother – $4.7m (-32.8%)
  10. Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star – $3m NEW

And with that, we’re looking at a $85.5m weekend. That’s up from the previous two weekends – not counting the 3-day Labor Day weekend – and still a reasonable take considering the time of year we’re in. The numbers won’t star to go up too terribly much until the Oscar bait movies start hitting. We’re not counting The Help. No one expected that to have Oscar potential or be a success. Okay, maybe that guy over there.

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

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