Shia LaBeouf is back and the box office couldn’t be more pleased with his return, for his surveillance thriller Eagle Eye marks the official introduction of the fall season. It seems Hollywood, though, has thrown together a little bit for everyone with three new wide releases targeting three distinct audiences this week. How high will LaBeouf get with Eagle Eye? What will the third pairing of Richard Gere and Diane Lane in Nights in Rodanthe do at the box office? Will Spike Lee's attack on Clint Eastwood hurt him in theaters? Play along with EW.com’s Fall Box Office Challenge. Happy guessing!
THE (LIKELY) TOP 5
Dreamworks/Paramount · PG-13 · 3,510 · NEW
Not even a drunken car wreck can shake Shia LaBeouf from his newly found box office power. Sure, Transformers and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull were bigger than one actor, but last year’s low-budget, high-return Disturbia insured that LaBeouf will be a force for years to come. Eagle Eye, from Disturbia director D.J. Caruso, takes off on the Disturbia themes, only this time around nefarious forces have their eyes on LaBeouf’s character, instead of the other way around. The PG-13 film is guaranteed to surpass Disturbia’s impressive $22 million opening and could even get into the $30 million range if those teen girls show up for the newly crowned heartthrob.
Weekend prediction: $31 million
Nights in Rodanthe
Warner Bros. · PG-13 · 2,704 · NEW
Richard Gere and Diane Lane were first together in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club in 1984. They then re-paired in 2002 in the sexy Adrian Lyne thriller Unfaithful, to strong box office numbers. Now the on-screen couple is back in an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ romance novel from director George C. Wolfe. Its performance will be completely dependent on whether those over-25 women can persuade their significant others to ditch a hip thriller for a sappy romantic comedy. While there hasn’t been much romance at the theaters lately, I’m still not convinced how well received Rodanthe will be.
Weekend prediction: $10 million
Sony/Screen Gems · PG-13 · 2,467 · 2nd weekend
This Sam Jackson starrer is likely to face some steep competition from Eagle Eye this frame, especially with the younger moviegoers. Expect its box office to fall at least 50 percent, perhaps closer to 60 percent.
Weekend prediction: $6 million
Miracle at St. Anna
Touchstone · R · 1,185 · NEW
Touchstone parent Disney isn’t going nearly as wide with this film as the other big releases opening this weekend, and that may be smart considering director Spike Lee isn’t exactly box office gold. His last film, Inside Man, opened really strong at $28 million, but St. Anna is about as far away from that 2006 thriller as Lee is from making nice with Clint Eastwood. Being that St. Anna is a period piece centering on the African-American soldiers fighting for the U.S. in WWII, the subject matter may be a harder sell with audiences today. The reviews haven’t been very kind either.
Weekend prediction: $5 million
Burn After Reading
Focus · R · 2,649 · 3rd weekend
The Coen Bros. are holding strong with their George Clooney-Brad Pitt comedy. It only fell 42 percent its second weekend but is likely to see a steeper drop its third weekend in. But with that pedigree and momentum, it could give St. Anna a run for its money.
Weekend prediction: $5 million