Hot Tub Time Machine

It’s shaping up to be an interesting weekend at the box office with a couple of promising-looking new movies How to Train Your Dragon and Hot Tub Time Machine rolling out in an all-out attempt to finally knock off Alice in Wonderland as the top-grossing movie in North America.

I think this is definitely, finally, the weekend that Alice gets toppled after three weeks on top. It should drop down to about $20 million this weekend, which would make it duck soup for these other two movies that are being released wide this weekend.

We’ll start by looking at Hot Tub Time Machine, a raunchy comedy starring, among others, John Cusack and Rob Corddry. Basically it’s about a bunch of guys whose lives are on the skids who go to a ski resort and hop into a hot tub which actually turns out to be a time machine. They are transported back to 1986, where they realize they have this one shot to turn around their hapless messed-up futures.

A while ago, when the trailers first came out for this flick, a lot of people looked at it and just about vomited. They thought this movie was going to be trash and garbage, for sure. The last couple of weeks, though, has seen the tide turn bigtime, and people are now saying this movie could be the next The Hangover. That’s the kind of comparison a movie like this wants. I think a lot of people are in the mood for a raunchy movie like this one and that’s why I am predicting $22 million.

The next movie is a CGI-animated picture from the folks at DreamWorks called How to Train Your Dragon. The story is about a young Viking called Hiccup, whose only desire is to grow up and kill dragons. That is until he meets a friendly dragon who makes him rethink his feelings on the whole matter. Jay Baruchel voices Hiccup, and Gerard Butler and Craig Ferguson are also in the cast.

For a while, this movie seemed to keep a very low profile, but the buzz for this movie has been really strong. It’s been scoring at 95 percent at Rotten Tomatoes this week, and there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the special effects. My expectation is this will be one of these movies that will do strong business for weeks on end — perhaps not on the same level that Avatar did early on, but close. You get the idea. Also, the theater count is over 4,000, so a good weekend is pretty much guaranteed.

I am not sure how this movie will do, to be completely honest, but I’m going to predict $60 million. I’d predict higher, except I think this movie has been sort of a best-kept secret compared to a lot of other movies. It’s really looking to me like its strength at the box office will be felt in the weeks ahead as opposed to right away. Also, I should add that this movie will also be seen in 3-D (like just about every other big movie at the theaters these days, it seems) and should get a nice box office bump as a result.

I could be wrong about the box office prediction, though. Heck, I usually am wrong, anyway. My fearless forecast:

  1. How to Train Your Dragon $60 million
  2. Hot Tun Time Machine $22 million
  3. Alice in Wonderland $18 million
  4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid $13 million
  5. The Bounty Hunter $9 million
  6. She’s Out of My League $4 million
  7. Green Zone $3.8 million
  8. Avatar $3.6 million
  9. Repo Men $3.5 million
  10. Shutter Island $3.2 million

As an aside — both these movies are getting people saying good things about them, and I sure hope they do live up to the hype. Personally, I think it’s great and refreshing that we are finally getting some movies that seem to have an effort put into them and are not the usual total trash we have come to expect in the early part of the year.

Usually it’s around this time of year, though, when the movies at the theater start to get a little better anyway. It must be spring. By the way, it’s only five more weeks until May, and blockbuster season.

That is it and that is all for now. I’ll see you again — in the future! — on Sunday when we count the gross for the weekend again here at the Reject Report!


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