Welcome to this week’s edition of the Reject Report, where we have a close battle brewing for this weekend’s movies. It looks like it’s going to be a close battle between The Pink Panther 2 and He’s Just Not That Into You. We also have Push and Coraline rolling out. I dunno what to make of the lineup this weekend. To be honest, I’m just not that into the weekend’s movies. If you’re a fanboy, you probably won’t be too thrilled either.
Yes, this is the long-awaited opening weekend for Fanboys, that oft-delayed Weinstein Company flick about those Star Wars freaks who are travelling to a premiere of their beloved movie. It’s being released to theaters this Friday. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s only going to be on about 44 screens.
How the heck is this movie going to make any money on 44 screens?! Man, I don’t think the Fanboys fans are going to be too happy about this. They were all moaning before about how the movie wasn’t getting a proper release and were bellyaching that this flick would go straight-to-DVD. This may not be a straight-to-DVD situation but it’s close to it.
Anyway, you do the math on how much money this movie will make in 44 theaters this weekend. It can’t be much, although the per-screen average should be pretty good. How good, though, is a big question mark. It depends on whether the fanboys have truly buried the hatchet with the hated Weinstein Company that have made such a mess of this release.
Anyway, that’s the situation right now for Fanboys which, according to their MySpace page, might yet get a broader release if business is good this weekend. Or it may not. Stay tuned, folks.
On to our look at the real contenders at the theaters this weekend, and I might as well begin with He’s Just Not That Into You.
He’s Just Not That into You is based on the best-selling book by comedian Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, who of course coined that phrase on a popular episode of the famous HBO show Sex and the City. That TV show later spawned a Sex and the City movie which ended up making millions upon millions of dollars. So needless to say, the folks over at New Line and at Flower Films know a sure moneymaker when they see it, and so we get this latest movie. It stars a cast of thousands — okay, maybe not that many, but it does star Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connelly, a few other people, and last but not least Drew Barrymore, whose company produced it. It’s set in Baltimore and is pretty self-explanatory about how guys just aren’t that into these women.
You can see the problem this movie faces just by looking at the title. What self-respecting guy is going to this see obvious chick flick? Probably boyfriends dragged to the movie on a date with their woman, but that’s it. There will probably be guys who won’t go with their girlfriends, period. Girls, if this happens, don’t sweat it. It’s not that these guys just aren’t into you. It’s that these guys aren’t into seeing this stupid effing movie.
So once again we have another flick that has to rely entirely on females to do well, and since lots of women are crazy for all things Sex and the City I am willing to predict a decent showing and maybe $24 million. I know there are some people out there who think that having Jennifer Aniston and Scarlett Johansson in the movie will sell tickets, but I actually think having those two broads in the cast will repel as many people as they attract. Also, any movie with Drew Barrymore in it is just advertising itself as a flick for guys to avoid.
Anyway, girls, have fun by yourselves at this one, because us guys are going to be staying home. En masse.
Next up is The Pink Panther 2, which is the follow-up to the 2006 hit movie The Pink Panther. Which, of course, is itself based on the original Pink Panther movie series that starred the late great Peter Sellers. Unfortunately, the problems with the whole Pink Panther franchise these days have everything to do with the phrase “the late great Peter Sellers.”
Yes, Peter Sellers was great as Inspector Clouseau — so great that he’s ruined it for everyone else who takes on the role. No one else is Clouseau — no one. The other problem is that he’s dead, and there hasn’t been a decent Pink Panther production since he died so many years ago. Just as there hasn’t been a good Get Smart production since Max and 99 got married. (Not even last year’s movie, frankly.) Still, the Get Smart franchise is in better shape than THIS one is.
The Pink Panther 2 is the second movie in a row starring Steve Martin in the title role as Clouseau. Personally, I don’t know why they even bothered to do a sequel to the one Martin made the first time. Every respected film critic seems to think that 2006 movie was terrible and that Martin was terrible in it. Anyhow, the cast this time excludes Beyonce, and includes John Cleese as Inspector Dreyfus along with Jean Reno, Alfred Molina and Emily Mortimer.
Personally, I think Peter Sellers had to be rolling in his grave over this latest effort, but that’s only my opinion. I don’t know whether this movie will do well or not, quite frankly. There’s been a big marketing push for this flick on TV. Whether that will put this flick over the top remains to be seen. What sounds the alarm bells for me is the Rotten Tomatoes rating. It’s hovering at 5 percent right now, which is lower than for such atrocities as Showgirls and even Basic Instinct 2! You would think bad buzz for this movie would have an impact — but it may not! Heck, there was bad buzz for the first one and people STILL went to see it. So we ended up getting this sequel, which may also end up a hit! A lot of kids might drag their parents to see Pink Panther 2, just so they can see the goofy Pink Panther in the opening credits!
Anyway, I think this one will only make it as far as $19 million. I think the word is out now about how bad this Pink Panther series is, so a lot of people who might otherwise go won’t show up. It opens in 3,000 theaters, around the same number as for He’s Just Not That Into You.
Next is Push, a sci-fi thriller with Colin Ford, Joel Gretsch, Djimon Hounsou and Dakota Fanning. It’s a movie about psychic espionage from what I gather. Based on what I read over at the IMDB page, it “involves a group of young American ex-pats with telekinetic and clairvoyant abilities, hiding from a clandestine U.S. government agency.” So the sci-fi folks might be interested in this one. Push is rolling out on roughly 2,300 screens and I think it could get up to $11 million.
Finally, there is Coraline, an impressive 3-D animated feature — and Dakota Fanning is in this one, too! She’s the voice of Coraline, and Teri Hatcher, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders also lend their talents. This movie is based on the 2002 horror novella by British author Neil Gaiman. Coraline unlocks a mysterious door in her home which takes her to an alternate reality with alternate versions of her mom and neighbours, and of course things go terribly wrong and she must find a way out of this mess to get back to the real world. This flick uses stop-motion animation and was filmed using the dual-digital 3-D process. So far the critics have been raving about this movie, so I think this could have a positive impact and this movie might make more money than some might expect. I’ll say Coraline surprises some people and gets to about $12 million. I know a lot of people think Push will do better, but I have to be independent. We’ll see what happens. It’s in almost 2,300 theaters.
So here is what I see happening this weekend:
- He’s Just Not That Into You $24 million
- The Pink Panther 2 $19 million
- Taken $14 million
- Coraline $12 million
- Push $11 million
- Paul Blart: Mall Cop $8.5 million
- Slumdog Millionaire $5.9 million
- Hotel for Dogs $5.7 million
- Gran Torino $5.4 million
- The Uninvited $4.8 million
And maybe Fanboys makes it to six figures. Who knows.
What can I say? Unless you are a big 3-D animation fan, it sure looks like a depressing weekend at theaters. Anyhow, good luck trying to find Fanboys at a theater near you — you may have to hit the road to see that one.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go watch some Pink Panther cartoons on my DVD player. See you this weekend as we count the loot at the Reject Report!