Box Office Preview

'10,000 BC': How Big Will It Be?

It's opening the same weekend the record-shattering ''300'' did last year, but don't expect the prehistoric action flick to do nearly as well. EW.com's box office expert explains why

Steven Strait, 10,000 B.C. | 10,000 BC Steven Strait's action flick will march to No. 1 at the box office this weekend
10,000 BC Steven Strait's action flick will march to No. 1 at the box office this weekend

This weekend marks the first anniversary of one of the most newsworthy box office debuts in recent memory: 300's record-smashing, somewhat out-of-nowhere $70.9 mil opening. Ah, yes, I remember that well — the frantic e-mails with my editors as we saw the Spaaaaartahhhhhns building steam, the breathless Sunday-morning box office reporting, the little piece of me that died when I realized that a vastly overrated movie was rewriting the record books. What fun.

As it happens, we'll get to mark this occasion with another potentially big weekend featuring four major new releases, led by another epic period action flick with a number for a title, 10,000 BC. But will this movie do its blockbuster predecessor proud? Read on, dear reaaaaadahhhhhs!

THE (LIKELY) TOP FIVE

10,000 BC
Warner Bros. · PG-13 · 3,410 theaters · NEW
The same studio that brought you 300 now offers this adventure yarn, starring young purdies Steven Strait and Camilla Belle and set in caveman times, from German explosion-meister Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, etc.). It looks like a sure winner, right? Sure. But caution is key in predicting just how well 10,000 BC will do. Despite all the similarities, this movie is not 300: It lacks the graphic-novel pedigree, the fanboy buzz, the charismatic lead star, and all the other stuff that made the Frank Miller adaptation a $456.1 mil global hit. It also has been delayed a few times (first from last summer and then from last Christmas), ostensibly because it wasn't ready to be released, but also, one might assume, because the studio doubted whether the film could play in a more crowded field. So don't expect another $70 mil debut or any shattered records. Still, 10,000 BC's clear shot at No. 1 this weekend (its competition is light) and Emmerich's uber-impressive track record (his past four releases have grossed well in excess of $100 million domestically) are big points in its favor.
Weekend prediction: $36 million

College Road Trip
Walt Disney · G · 2,706 theaters · NEW
Kind of odd that this G-rated family film has practically the same title as that Tom Green-starring raunchfest of several years ago. Ha ha. Anyway, Martin Lawrence plays an overprotective father who takes his daughter (Raven-Symoné) on a cross-country drive to school. Lawrence's financial clout (Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins bowed with a nice $16.2 mil last month) plus the fact that Raven-Symoné is a teen-girl magnet will equal an A-plus at the box office.
Weekend prediction: $19 million

Semi-Pro
New Line · R · 3,121 theaters · 2nd weekend
Will Ferrell's basketball comedy practically fouled out of its opening weekend, which it won with a low $15.1 mil only because there wasn't much else for people to go see. What's more, it hasn't been playing very well during the week, struggling to bank a million bucks per day. Anybody wanna guess how soon it'll be before the apparently biannual Ferrell pooping-on begins?
Weekend prediction: $6 million

Vantage Point
Columbia · PG-13 · 3,163 theaters · 3rd weekend
From my point of view, Vantage Point has earned nearly $45 mil in three weeks, benefitting from a dearth of strong opponents at the multiplex.
Weekend prediction: $6 million

The Bank Job
Lionsgate · R · 1,603 theaters · NEW
The latest Jason Statham shoot-'em-up — about a real-life London heist in 1971 (and not to be confused with The Italian Job, in which he also starred) — is directed by one of my favorite filmmakers, New Zealander Roger Donaldson (No Way Out, Thirteen Days, The World's Fastest Indian), and is getting remarkably strong reviews. Which could be exactly what it needs to score a nice bounty on a small number of screens.
Weekend prediction: $6 million

THE OTHER NEW RELEASE

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Focus · PG-13 · 535 theaters · NEW
The cool cast of this 1930s London-set farce (Frances McDormand, Amy Adams, Ciarán Hinds, Pushing Daisies' Lee Pace) lives, for this weekend at least, in a mere 535 theaters.
Weekend prediction: $2 million

Originally posted Mar 06, 2008