The Reject ReportSome days you just have to take a step back, look around you, and – if no one is watching, in my case – cut loose. At least that’s what Paramount is hoping audiences will want to do this weekend, as their Footloose remake hits theaters far and wide. It’s going to have an uphill dance, though, as another revisit to an ’80s classic, this one a prequel, hits and those fighting robots are still out their lurking in the trash yards. Those robots won’t stomp the yard, though. That’ll be left to the teens from Bomont, Georgia. And maybe the creature in The Thing. You think it dances? You think anyone cares if it can dance while it’s taking over their body? Probably not. On with the Reject Report.

BIG HITTERS

Footloose was an $80m hit back in 1984. It came in 7th that year just behind Police Academy at $81.1m, but the people behind the Footloose remake are hoping to stomp all over those numbers like they’re doing the galliard. Yes, it’s a type of dance. No, I don’t know what it pertains to. Back to movies. With the success of films like Step Up, Stomp the Yard, and, yes, even You Got Served, the dance craze doesn’t seem to be dying down any time soon. And who can blame studios for continuing to go back to this foot-tapping, body-gyrating well? No, none of these movies have had monster opening weekends. Save the Last Dance holds the biggest opening for a dance movie with $23.4m. Even the Step Up movies seem to be losing some of their opening weekend muster with debuts running from $20.6m to $18.9m to $15.8m. Still, Footloose could surprise everyone and become a huge success. “Could” being the optimal word there. It seems more likely it’ll come in somewhere around $15m, maybe a bit under that, and just lose the #1 spot this weekend to the returning robotic champions everyone seems to love. Footloose won’t find instant success, but something tells me it’ll be dancing in theaters for the next few months.

Kenny Loggins. Footloose. Music video. And go:

John Carpenter’s The Thing wasn’t exactly a smash success upon its release in 1982. It made $19.6m in its entire, domestic run. You can blame E.T. on a lot of that. Hell, Carpenter does. But the idea of revisiting these ’80s films that found their success after exiting the movie theaters continues with The Thing (2011). The movie itself is actually a prequel, but Universal is making sure they’re selling it hard as a remake, flamethrowers included. But chances are The Thing won’t bring in the same audiences of remakes like Friday the 13th ($40.5m opening weekend) or even Rob Zombie’s take on Halloween ($26.3m opening weekend). Carpenter’s The Thing is much beloved in the film community, but it’s not a solid go-to when discussing the most popular horror films of the 1980s. The new Thing will surely find its way into double digits this opening weekend, but it won’t be able to strive for much more than $13m.

Did you know John Carpenter’s The Thing had an original ending that covered where everyone is now? No? Well, now you do. Have fun. Spoiler warning, though, for those of you who haven’t seen it:

Hey, Steve Martin has a new moving coming out. Jack Black is in it, too. And Owen Wilson. Sure to be a huge hit, right? Well maybe, if anyone had actually heard of it, but The Big Year seems to not be bothered with trivial things like marketing. Seriously, I’ve heard more about that Indian movie coming out this weekend, Khushiyaan, than The Big Year. The Big Year is also directed by David Frankel, the man who directed The Devil Wears Prada and Marley and Me, so the fault here lies squarely at the feet of Fox. Maybe they’re embarrassed by the movie. Who knows? Either way, The Big Year is sure to tank, no one will even notice, and it’ll be hitting DVD and Blu-Ray shelves around…well, hey, what time is it?

FAMILIARITIES

Everybody can cut all they want. The Thing can assimilate itself into our society all it can. The Big Year…yeah, we’re still a little sore about that one. But none of them have fighting robots, and that, my friends, is still what’s looking to drive the big box office car. Real Steel had an impressive but not immense opening last weekend with $27.3m. With the positive buzz surrounding it, it looks to repeat as the #1 place-holder. Look for it to drop somewhere in the mid-40% range. It could be a close race between Real Steel and Footloose, but it will be quite the surprise if Footloose ends up on top when all is said and done. Plus Hugh Jackman has vowed to take out everyone involved in Footloose if it did. No, not really, but you can imagine he would, right?

LITTLE OPENERS

Everyone, it’s time to pick up the bunny, just so we hear Nicolas Cage tell us to put it back down. He’s got a new movie hitting this weekend, and it co-stars Nicole Kidman and is directed by Joel Schumacher. Surely, it’s getting a whopping 3000-screen release, right? Look what section you’re in. Now think about it. Sadly, Trespass is one of those movies that’s getting shafted when it comes to the width of its release thanks to Millennium Entertainment and their habit of casting big actors in their films then self-distributing them to the corners of the country. Anyone remember Trust starring Clive Owen? Didn’t think so. Only opening on 10 screens across the nation, Trespass also hits VOD, so everyone can basque in the Cage glow from the comfort of their homes. I know I will.

I’ll also be checking out this video about 92 times between now and Sunday just to get my Nicolas Cage fix. High-fucking-ya!!!

Also opening in limited release are Chalet Girl opening in New York City, Father of Invention opening in select cities, Khushiyaan opening in select cities, Labios Rojos opening in select cities, My Friend Pinto opening in select cities, Oka! opening in New York City, The Skin I Live In opening in New York and L.A., Texas Killing Fields opening in New York and L.A., and The Woman opening in select cities.

Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:

  1. Real Steel -$15.2m (-44.1%)
  2. Footloose – $14.9m NEW
  3. The Thing – $13m NEW
  4. The Big Year -$8.6M new
  5. The Ides of March – $6.8M (-46.7%)
  6. Dolphin Tale – $5.8M (-35.5%)
  7. Moneyball -$4.6M (-37.5%)
  8. 50/50 – $3.4M (-37.8%)
  9. Courageous – $2.6M (-44.4%)
  10. Dream House – $2.3M (-46.3%)

And that comes out to $77.2m, another weekend down from the previous but no wholly unexpected considering none of the new movies will be taking that top spot. Still, even though it’s expected, you have to step back and wonder when the Fall movie season is going to hit its respectable stride. This time last year, The Social Network was friending its way through the box office, the year before had a nice 1-2 punch from Zombieland and Couples Retreat, and, in 2008, Beverly Hills Chihuahua. We all remember those salad days, don’t we? Still, some level of success seems just on the horizon with Paranormal Activity 3 and Puss in Boots sure to have impressive debuts. And now I’m wondering if the Paranormal Activity demon ever cuts.

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

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