Welcome to yet another September edition of the Reject Report. Well, this certainly has been a month to forget at the cash registers, but things may change this weekend. A number of new movies are rolling out and at least three of them will be going wide right across North America: Miracle at St. Anna, Nights in Rodanthe and Eagle Eye. So we’ll be profiling those movies as the main box office contenders at the Reject Report.
Without further waiting here’s a look at the much-anticipated Eagle Eye, rolling out on 3,500 screens. It’s a political thriller directed by director D.J. Caruso and stars Shia LaBeouf of Transformers and Indiana Jones fame. He and Michelle Monaghan play two people drawn in by some mystery woman they have never met, who follows their every move in Big Brother-esque fashion. She ropes them in to her diabolical terrorist plot by planting her voice on every technological device and voice-messaging system imaginable, by controlling stoplights, you name it. Billy Bob Thornton and Rosario Dawson are also in it.
This should get the best box-office response of any movie so far, and the predictions out there range anywhere from $28-to-$35 million. I will be a little cautious and say $30 million, because it’s fall and the movie may not be as good as it looks. Heck, every movie out there seems to have a good trailer and decent-looking movie poster these days, and then people go to see it and it turns out to be not so great. Shia LaBeouf is in it though, so all these Transformers people will see it. Just as all these Transformers people will go to that How to Lose Friends and Alienate People flick to see Megan Fox. In any case, I am predicting $30 million for Eagle Eye.
Next up is Nights in Rodanthe, a romantic effort starring those two chick flick veterans Diane Lane and Richard Gere. It’s based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. Here, a doctor travelling to see his estranged son falls head over heels for this woman who has a lot going on in her life (cheating husband, etc.). So they fall in love.
Yee haw! I’m excited. Actually, I suspect the only people who will be wild about this flick will be the chick flick fans, particularly these aging ones (because Lane and Gere are both starting to get old). This seems to me to be the kind of movie that will do $13 million in business, and that’s about it.
Also appearing wide this weekend is the latest from Spike Lee, Miracle at St. Anna, which has played the film festival circuit. It’s the story of four black American soldiers who were trapped in a Tuscan village during World War II. Derek Luke, Michael Ealy and Laz Alonso are in the cast. It’s rolling out on almost 1,200 screens and I expect this will generate about $6 million in business, but the reviews could be a problem. Buzz is not so great for this flick, a rarity for a Spike Lee joint.
So those are the three main contenders at theaters this weekend. There are also a number of other movies rolling out in a more limited release. These are Choke, Fireproof, Forever Strong and The Lucky Ones, but all of them roll out in less than a thousand theaters. None of these are likely to do big business though Choke might sneak in the Top Ten.
So here is how I see the box office breaking down this weekend:
That’s all for now! Back at weekend’s end with box office results here at the Reject Report.