The Reject Report Spends Christmas with Sherlock Holmes

Welcome to a pre-Christmas edition of the Reject Report! We have a crowded next few days in store at the box office. On Wednesday we have Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel plus the expanded release of Up in the Air, starring George Clooney. Then on Christmas Day we have Sherlock Holmes, It’s Complicated plus the expanded release of Nine.

I was thinking of doing two separate Reject Reports to cover the two separate release dates, but due to time I have decided I will just do one to cover all five of these all at once, starting off with the Wednesday releases and then with the Friday ones, and that should have this Christmas weekend covered. Besides, I pretty much have to do these all at once. I will be on vacation in Las Vegas, hopefully living it up, so I might as well get these out of the way now so that I will be free to enjoy my vacation until Sunday, when I expect to provide the full roundup of results — assuming I am not stuck in some airport somewhere waiting for some delayed aircraft.

First of all we have Up in the Air, which is getting plenty of Oscar buzz and has already been nominated for six Golden Globes. George Clooney stars as this corporate shark who makes a living flying all over the place to fire people. Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick and Jason Bateman also star and the film is directed by Jason Reitman.

I am only predicting a weekend haul of $12 million for Up in the Air, and the reason for that is because it still isn’t in a ton of theaters yet. It rolls out wide in 1,800 locations which is not a heck of a lot, but there’s enough of a buzz for this movie for this flick to get up to $12 million. For some reason, George Clooney’s Oscar-type movies always seem to hit that $10 million-or-so opening range but don’t go much higher. That’s what I see here, so I feel I am being generous predicting $12 million.

Watch the trailer for Up in the Air:

The other release going wide on Wednesday is Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. This is the followup to the surprise success from a couple of years ago, when Jason Lee hit the screen along with three musical CGI Chipmunks, Alvin, Simon and Theodore. Well, it was only a matter of time before their girlfriends showed up (like they did during their run on Saturday morning TV). So get ready for three girlfriends for these Chipmunks.

These chipmunks are polarizing, to say the least. A lot of people hate the Chipmunks and their high-pitched voices, and think they’re idiots. A lot of kids, though, think they’re great. And this movie made a ton of money the first time, so I am sure that a lot of parents will get dragged by their kids, kicking and screaming, to see this sequel whether they like it or not. I am predicting a $44 million weekend and a possible Wednesday first-place finish for Alvin and his Chipmunks, which will be in 3,700 big locations.

Watch the Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel trailer:

So that is on tap for Wednesday. On Friday, three more join them and we shall begin with Nine, the musical starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Sophia Loren and others.

This flick has already been in limited release and it now expands to 1,500 locations. Again, not a lot, but given the good buzz this movie is getting I am expecting Nine to get, oh, how about $9 million? That would be nice.

Watch the trailer for Nine:

Next, rolling into 2,800 theaters is It’s Complicated starring Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, in a story about two guys — one of them the ex-husband — competing for the affections of the same woman.

My feeling is this movie will get more of an older crowd and seems to me to be the Christmas counter-programming to all these flicks aimed at fanboys, kids and other cool people. The theater count alone should bring the weekend haul up to $16 million.

Watch the It’s Complicated trailer:

Finally we have Sherlock Holmes, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams in the latest version of the adventures of Sherlock and his partner Dr. Watson as they battle yet another case.

I guess the big question is how it will do against Alvin and the Chipmunks and the rest of these movies. My guess is Sherlock will top Alvin on Friday but fall behind on Saturday and Sunday, and end up with a haul of $42 million. Just too much competition.

Watch the Sherlock Holmes trailer:

Which brings me back to Avatar and whether or not it will be able to win a second weekend in a row. As I said, I think the threats to Avatar really are on Wednesday night and again on Friday night. But I think that now that the buzz is out about how good and how big this movie is, that it really will be difficult for it to be stopped. My guess? A weekend of $50 million — and a second weekend in a row at the top for Avatar.

There are a few more limited releases out there, but those are the main ones. And here is the way I see the Top Ten unfolding this Christmas weekend (Friday to Sunday):

  1. Avatar $50 million
  2. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $44 million
  3. Sherlock Holmes $42 million
  4. It’s Complicated $16 million
  5. Up in the Air $12 million
  6. The Princess and the Frog $11 million
  7. The Blind Side $10 million
  8. Nine $9 million
  9. Did You Hear About the Morgans? $4 million
  10. The Twilight Saga: New Moon $3.4 million

That is it! Happy Holidays from here at the Reject Report, and we will see you with the box office results Sunday.

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