much-anticipated movie version of Stephenie Meyer’s smash vampire-romance
novel, hits theaters this weekend, at long last. And it’ll be huge, right?
Totally! But competition from fellow newcomer Bolt and strong holdover Quantum
of Solace could take a bite out of Twilight’s
grosses. Here – for the first time in blog form, woot! – is how I see the
weekend’s box office top five shaping up.
1. Twilight – $69
There’s no doubt that the long-awaited adaptation arrives in
theaters with great expectations. For good reason: This film (starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, pictured) is sure to attract
the same kind of young-woman audience that made movies like High School Musical 3 and the Hannah Montana concert film big hits
earlier this year. But just how huge will it be? Certainly, Bolt and Quantum of Solace will be fierce rivals, and there’s some doubt
that fledgling studio Summit has the marketing chops to open a blockbuster. But let’s get real. Any fair
assessment of Twilight’s demographic
reach (it’s hard to imagine many young women would rather see Bolt or Bond), ticket presales (it has already sold out hundreds of shows
nationwide), and general zeitgeist penetration points to big, big box office.
Bigger, indeed, than HSM3’s debut
($42 mil) or Hannah Montana’s ($31.1
mil). Maybe even – dare I say it? – Harry
Potter big. This’ll be a fun race to watch.
2. Bolt – $41
To me, all these animated movies are indistinguishable, but
to little kids everywhere they’re…well, they’re like crack. Chances are, the
lack of a Pixar label on this CG Disney release will keep grosses well under
the $70.5 mil that The Incredibles
banked in its November opening four years ago. But hefty returns on the order
of Happy Feet’s $41.5 mil November
premiere two years ago seem do-able, especially with this movie opening in a
record 982 digital 3-D theaters.
3. Quantum of Solace –
The latest James Bond adventure is likely to take a hit this
weekend, and its drop could be pretty steep, like 60 percent or more. Why?
Remember that it got a poor B- CinemaScore grade, meaning that its
word-of-mouth probably isn’t very good. Remember that it attracted mostly older
men, folks who can’t always be counted on to keep coming back for more.
Remember that its switch to a more Bond-as-Bourne setup may have alienated some
fans. Remember all those things (which I’ve mentioned before). And now consider
this new piece of info: After I reported that the film scored an estimated $70.4
mil on Sunday, its final figures were remarkably lower. Quantum of Solace, it turns out, only earned $67.5 last weekend. That’s still a
lot of dough, and it’s still a record bow for a 007 flick, but it also
indicates that, starting just three days after opening, the film was already starting
4. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – $18 million
The animated hit (14-day domestic box office take: $120
mil-plus) managed to hold on well opposite James Bond last weekend, dropping
just 45 percent. But it’ll have a tougher fight against two youth-baiting flicks
this time around.
5. Role Models – $6
Blockbuster, schmockbuster. The Paul Rudd comedy has earned
a nice $40 mil in three weeks, making it a profitable success. In this day and
age, mere profitability is enough.
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