The Reject Report Heads West into Zombieland


Welcome to what is shaping up to being an interesting week at the Reject Report. We have three new movies in Whip It, Zombieland, The Invention of Lying, a 3D re-release in Toy Story, and an expanding release in Capitalism: A Love Story. In the meantime, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is still in theaters making money, but it is starting to sink a bit, and it sure looks as if the defending champ could be duck soup this weekend and fall victim to a concerted attack by the zombies and other things.

I might as well begin with Capitalism: A Love Story which rolled out on four screens last weekend and made a per theater average of $60,000!!! Pretty big stuff. It rolls out to 1,000 theaters this weekend and should make a lot more money. Bashing capitalism has been good financially for Michael Moore, and with this movie he takes on the easiest target ever: your favorite financial companies in corporate America.

This movie is going to get an audience and make money, no doubt. The only question is how much. My guess is it makes it up to $7 million, but for it to make much more it really needed to be in more theaters, which it isn’t. Still, I expect all the lefties out there will be lining up for old Michael Moore.

Watch the trailer for Capitalism: A Love Story:

Next up for me is The Invention of Lying, starring hilarious Ricky Gervais. This flick also has Rob Lowe, Jennifer Garner and Jonah Hill. It’s set in a world where no one ever lies, but Gervais plays a guy who has the ability to lie and use it for his own advantage.

I don’t know what to make of the possible box office for The Invention of Lying. It strikes me as the kind of movie that will have trouble getting to $10 million. In fact, its theater count is so low, around 1,700, that I have trouble seeing this movie do better than $8 million. I’m not lying.

Watch the Invention of Lying trailer:

Next, Whip It is a roller derby movie directed by Drew Barrymore and starring Ellen Page, Zoe Bell, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig and Barrymore herself. It’s about this rebellious ex-beauty contest contestant who finds freedom skating in the roller derby in Austin, Texas.

(I kind of find it odd that you have a roller derby movie set in Austin, Texas — I always thought the roller derby was more of a California thing. Maybe the roller derby is big in Austin — I don’t know.)

Anyway, this one is in 2100 theaters and I think that means more dough than The Invention of Lying — up to $8.5 million.

Watch the Whip It trailer:

For you zombie movie fans who are starved for a zombie movie, Zombieland is rolling out. It is starring Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, and it features a bunch of zombies eating people and turning the whole world into zombies. So these folks are basically the last people on earth, and on the run from the zombies.

I saw the trailer for this on TV and some of the interviews with the cast members on late night TV, and I gotta say this looks like fun. I think this is going to do pretty decent business. I don’t know, though, if it will do as well as some people are predicting. Some are picking this movie to get to $25 million or $30 million but the theater count is under 3,000 and that usually means a lower haul. I’m more comfortable predicting $20 million.

Watch the Zombieland trailer:

Finally, we have the return of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 to theaters in a special edition release — this time, in 3D! Yes, these two PIXAR classics are back, and being shown back to back in around 1700 theaters, with plenty of them charging hefty 3D prices. That’s the good news. The bad news is they’ll be running double features for the price of one. Not so good news.

Watch the Toy Story 3D Double Feature trailer:

I like the chances of Toy Story/Toy Story 2 to make it to $10 million, which should attract plenty of families and cut heavily into business for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which I think will make $13 million. Which means — the zombies are going to eat the meatballs for dinner this weekend!

My likely order of finish:

  1. Zombieland $20 million
  2. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $13 million
  3. Toy Story 3D Double Feature $10 million
  4. Whip It $8.5 million
  5. The Invention of Lying $8 million
  6. Surrogates $7.5 million
  7. Capitalism: A Love Story $7 million
  8. Fame $5.5 million
  9. The Informant! $4 million
  10. I Can Do Bad All By Myself $3 million

May I add this observation — according to Rotten Tomatoes it appears the movies rolling out this weekend may be a particularly “fresh” crop. So maybe we are in store for some pleasant surprises at the theaters as far as attendance is concerned as well.

Oops, I forgot — no one cares about what critics have to say. Okay then, go ahead and stay home — but be prepared to miss out.

We’ll be back this weekend with the results of what is sure to be a competitive box office right here at the Reject Report!

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