The Reject Report - Large

That’s right. We’ve officially gone from grey to black. This means the evil side of the Reject Report is about to rear its ugly head and its taking names. First up, Daniel Radcliffe. He’ll have some stiff competition, though, in the form of teenage super heroes and whales. Those whales might have a miracle up their sleeves, and they’ll need precisely that to come out on top this weekend. It’s not looking to be a massive weekend for box office receipts, but there’s apparently some big football game this weekend that’s sure to take away even more of that dwindling box office. Go ahead and put on your favorite team’s colors. We’re still decked out in black.

BIG HITTERS

If we’re going by past weekend openings, the latest film starring Daniel Radcliffe is bound to break in with around $120-130m. We’re talking about The Woman in Black, though, not a new Harry Potter movie, so those rules go right out the doors of Hogwarts. The Woman in Black is a gothic horror movie that’s faring relatively well with critics. Likewise audiences haven’t had a good, straight-forward horror film in a while – no found footage or unrated cuts here.

The best comparisons to this films are found in the low-to-mid double digits when it comes to weekend box office. The Others debuted to $14m in 2001, and Drag Me to Hell dropped in with $15.8m. Without a noted director like Sam Raimi on board, you can expect The Woman in Black to open closer to the former of those two comparisons. The Radcliffe factor will sway it a few notches, but not enough to even get it up to $15m. It probably won’t even be enough to beat out the other, big, genre release this weekend. Expect The Woman in Black to debut somewhere between $14-14.5m, not up to Radcliffe’s standards but certainly the biggest opening CBS Films has ever seen. J’Lo’s Back-Up Plan is about to get knocked off its high post.

Woman in Black? Meet the Lady in White. You two are sure to have something fashionable to talk about:

What’s better than teen movies? What’s better than teen superhero movies? What’s better than teen superhero, found footage movies? The descriptors end there, because that’s precisely what Chronicle is. It’s also the favorite to win the weekend thanks to the combined efforts of found footage and some staggering buzz coming from test screenings. It’s pretty impressive the amount of steam Chronicle has been able to generate in only a matter of a few weeks. Not many had even heard of this film at the beginning of 2012. Now, opening on more than 2800 screen and with commercials running non-stop, it’s sure to use those super powers to some seriously good use come box office earning time. Expect Chronicle to debut at #1 this weekend with somewhere between $16.5-17m. Hey, that’s better than Sky High.

Now we all know superheroes aren’t real, but, if they were, this is what one of their funerals might look like:

So John Krasinski and Drew Barrymore are doing this movie where they rescue whales. They’re not superhero whales nor are they evil spirits who haunt the moors, so Big Miracle won’t have the same push The Woman in Black or Chronicle have. Director Ken Kwapis isn’t exactly a money factory, either. His last film, the ensemble He’s Just Not That Into You debuted with $27.7m, but, before that, it was $4m, $9.8m, and $10.4m openings for The Beautician and the Beast, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, and License To Wed, respectively. He’s re-teaming with Krasinski from License to Wed this go-around. Big Miracle might come in somewhere around $10m, but closer to $9m is more likely. Barrymore might start taking McG’s phone calls again after this weekend.

FAMILIARITIES

Much of the remaining top 10 will have their typical drops. The Descendants, still on an Oscar nomination kick, will have less of one than everything else, but the expansion days are taking a break this weekend. The Artist breaks into 1000+ screens, but the extra 100 or so theaters it’s hitting this weekend won’t be enough to get it onto the chart.

It should be noted that Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, which doesn’t get a US release until February 10th, has already pulled in $24.2m in foreign markets. It opened on Sunday in seven territories, the biggest moneymaker of them being South Korea with $7.6m. It could be The Rock. It could be Michael Caine. It could even be the giant butterflies. Something’s a draw for the South Korean moviegoers, and it’s a pretty fair guess Journey 2 doesn’t involve horribly painful revenge. That’s just a guess, though. Luis Guzman might throw down if you mess with him too much.

LITTLE OPENERS

You can find Rob Hunter’s Kill List review right here and Brian Salisbury’s review of The Innkeepers right here. Both films have been available for that past few weeks on VOD, but this week they’re hitting theaters, maybe even one near you. Kill List is Ben Wheatley’s mind trip of a horror movie, while Ti West’s The Innkeepers is solid, haunted hotel thrills mixed with a healthy dose of good humor. These are both films worth checking out with a crowd if you have that opportunity. If not, there’s always the 16 or 17 different ways you can watch each of them in your own home. Kill List even plays like an interesting game if you’re not interested in football this weekend. Kill List and The Inkeepers open in select cities and are both currently on VOD.

Also opening in limited release are Dysfunctional Friends opening in select cities, Perfect Sense opening in select cities, W.E. opening in New York and L.A., and Windfall opening in New York City.

Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:

  1. Chronicle – $16.8m NEW
  2. The Woman in Black – $14.4m NEW
  3. The Grey – $11.4m (-41.4%)
  4. Big Miracle – $8.9m NEW
  5. One For the Money – $7m (-38.9%)
  6. Underworld Awakening – $6.3m (-48.5%)
  7. Red Tails – $5.3m (-48%)
  8. The Descendants – $4.5m (-28.5%)
  9. Man on a Ledge – $4.4m (-44.9%)
  10. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – $3.6m (-47.2%)

You hear that rumbling? You hear those computer keyboards clacking away. That’s industry analysts typing the word “slump” over and over and over again. That’s what you get when you have a weekend come in with $82.6m for the top 10, which is what we’re looking at here. No surprise it’ll be the lowest weekend of 2012 so far. Even if these numbers prove to be skewed lower than what we actually get, the weekend is still a lock for weakest hitter of the new year.

It’s not a surprise, though. The same weekend last year generated a measly $68.4m. What can you expect when the only film to break into double digits is The Roommate. So we’ll have a low weekend. People will cry slump. It’ll all get sorted out over the next couple of weeks. If all else fails, the lead-in to the Summer movie season starts early and starts strong in early March, and we still have a little movie called Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 3-D hitting next weekend. Man, that’s a long title.

We’ll be back early next week to go over the weekend numbers.

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