You have to bet that there are a bunch of pretty peeved people in Hollywood right now, folks who didn’t expect to be opening their promising new movies — Fool’s Gold, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, and Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show — opposite a Hannah Montana juggernaut that was only supposed to play for one week. But oh well. So goes life in ”the business.” Folks don’t like it, they can move onto a friendlier, gentler pursuit, like, I dunno, mercenary jungle warfare. (Speaking of: Buh-bye, Rambo, we hardly knew ye!)
Anyway, considering that Miley Cyrus’ concert movie has been out for a week, its grosses should see a small decline — maybe 25 percent — and it’ll face a much tighter battle for No. 1. But I’m still picking it to eke out a win. Because I’m no fool.
THE (LIKELY) TOP FIVE
Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert
Walt Disney · G · 683 theaters · 2nd weekend
After blowing away expectations, earning $31.1 mil, and garnering the best-ever per-theater average for a wide-opening movie ($45,560) last weekend, is it any surprise that Disney extended this tween-baiting event film beyond its originally planned one-week-only run? Of course not.
Weekend prediction: $23 million
Warner Bros. · PG-13 · 3,125 theaters · NEW
Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson play a pair of bickering exes hunting for treasure in the tropics. Wait. Haven’t I seen this film before? Sure sounds a lot like The Big Bounce…or Into the Blue…or The Jewel of the Nile…or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days…or pretty much any screwball comedy of the 1930s and ’40s (minus, um, most articles of clothing). For the record, several of those movies I mentioned bombed, but occasionally star chemistry pays huge dividends: Romancing the Stone was a similarly themed smash way back when, and McConaughey and Hudson’s pairing in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days opened to a stellar $23.8 mil on this weekend five years ago before becoming a $105.8 mil hit. But back to more important business: Will this Barbie and Ken find the loot? Will they fall back in love? Will audiences care that critics seem to utterly loathe the film? Probably. Possibly. Not a chance.
Weekend prediction: $21 million
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins
Universal · PG-13 · 2,385 theaters · NEW
Martin Lawrence has had a great ride at the box office lately, scoring big with the blockbuster Wild Hogs (which grossed $168.3 mil domestically) and drawing impressive crowds for Big Momma’s House 2 ($70.2 mil). So let’s ignore his 2005 summer flop Rebound and focus instead on the fact that, as in Lawrence’s most successful projects (which also include the Bad Boys movies, of course), he’s surrounded in this domestic comedy by a terrific cast — James Earl Jones, Joy Bryant, Cedric the Entertainer, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Mo’Nique. Ensemble films geared toward African Americans have rung up hefty receipts in recent months (This Christmas and First Sunday both opened with nearly $18 mil), so a strong bow is in store.
Weekend prediction: $18 million
Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show
Picturehouse · R · 962 theaters · NEW
News of this long-in-the-making comedy-tour concert film broke in the pages of EW three years ago (hmm, I recognize that byline), and Vaughn talked about it again with EW.com a year later (hey, that byline looks familiar too). So this movie has definitely been on my radar. But have you heard about it recently? Didn’t think so. What’s more, comedy-concert flicks have always been an iffy business proposition (2000’s The Original Kings of Comedy boasts the genre’s top debut ever, a mere $11 mil), in part because they’re often rated R, in part because they’re aimed at a very narrow crowd (don’t let the runaway success of the G-rated Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus flick fool you; that’s something completely different). Vaughn’s name will help attract some people, certainly, but not a ton.
Weekend prediction: $6 million
Fox · PG-13 · 2,841 theaters · 4th weekend
Fool’s Gold will make Katherine Heigl’s minor hit film (which has nearly $60 mil in the bank to date) a bridesmaid among rom-coms at the multiplex this weekend. But I think the leggy movie still has a little game left in it. I mean, really, look at those legs!
Weekend prediction: $6 million