The Reject Report Seeks ‘Fame,’ Forecast Still ‘Cloudy’


Welcome to what is sure to be another down week at the movie theaters here at the Reject Report! September has not let anyone down so far, living up to its bad reputation as the month to avoid long lineups and get a good seat in an empty theater. This week, we have three movies in wide release — although to be honest, rolling out in 3,000 theaters isn’t exactly blockbuster potential. We have Fame, Surrogates and Pandorum rolling out, and they stand the best chance of knocking off Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Or they may not.

The thing is, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs still stands to pick up some good repeat business because of all the good buzz it is getting. Moreover, it’s clear to everyone that none of these new movies seem likely to set the woods on fire, so we may have a repeat winner at the box office this weekend.

We might as well start with Fame, which is a remake of the 1980 film of the same name, which also spawned a TV series of the same name. As an aside — is it me, or does it feel like the 1980s at these movie theaters these days?? This year alone we have Fame and Friday the 13th, and My Bloody Valentine, and Halloween II, and I could go on and on. What’s next — Ghostbusters? Revenge of the Nerds? Hardbodies!? Hey, why not — they’re bringing back everything else. (I love the Eighties.)

I think part of the reason they are doing this teenagers-seeking-fame-and-fortune-in-New York movie remake is because we live in the era of “American Idol”‘ and “High School Musical”, and “Glee”, and all these other musical movies and TV shows. So this definitely fits right in. But I dunno — we may be near the saturation point. It seems like a bit of a stale idea to me.

My prediction for Fame? $16 million.

Watch the Fame trailer:

Next is a movie called Surrogates, a sci-fi action movie starring Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell and based on the comic book series of the same name. It’s set in a futuristic world where people live pretty much isolated from one another, and they interact through robots — surrogates. But then these surrogates start getting murdered, and Willis must leave behind his own surrogate so he can solve the problem.

Interesting stuff. Still, I think it will only be moderately successful. I’m predicting $18 million here.

Watch the Pandorum trailer:

Finally, there’s Pandorum, another sci-fi movie starring Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster. This about two men on a spacecraft who wake up on their ship and don’t remember a darned thing — but they soon realize they are not alone.

This one is in fewer theaters than these other two — about 2,500 — so I don’t think it will do quite as much business. What I worry about is that it HASN’T BEEN SCREENED FOR CRITICS. When a movie doesn’t get screened for critics, I gotta say, it’s always a red flag unless your name happens to be Tyler Perry or someone like that. Surrogates was another one that didn’t get too many screenings. Anyhow, I am predicting $7 million for Pandorum.

Watch the Pandorum trailer:

So really, as far as the quality of the movies we are in store for this weekend, it really is anyone’s guess right now. My guess is that these movies may not have enough strength to make it past Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which I think may just sneak back into first place again with a haul of $20 million. As I have said, it has a lot of good buzz going for it, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say there will be a rare repeat first-place finish this week. My predicted order of finish is as follows:

  1. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $20 million
  2. Surrogates $18 million
  3. Fame $16 million
  4. Pandorum $7 million
  5. The Informant! $6.7 million
  6. I Can Do Bad All By Myself $5.5 million
  7. Love Happens $4.5 million
  8. 9 $3.5 million
  9. Jennifer’s Body $3.1 million
  10. Inglourious Basterds $2.7 million

For those looking for alternatives, I Hope They serve Beer in Hell is in limited release in 120 theaters, Whip It has 500 sneak previews on the 26th, and Bright Star expands to 130 theaters. And there are a few other limited releases out there showing in select cities, like Capitalism: A Love Story from Michael Moore. That expands next week.

That’s it for now! See you at the end of the weekend when I hope to get these predictions right — for a change — at the Reject Report!

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