Friday, August 5, 2011

Box Office Battle - August 5th

Today is a Friday. In fact, some may even call it a freaky Friday. Why? Probably because we have two major films releasing, one of which involves genetically mutated super animals and the other one stars the deadly duo of James Franco and Tom Felton. I seem to have mostly righted the ship - minus America's penchant for those damn Smurfs and the Katy Perry/Neil Patrick Harris combo - after a string of lackluster weeks, though my numbers and guesses could always use a bit more improvement. So today I am going to cross the streams, channel the super powered gas (that is totally legal and not a hallucinogen), and luck myself in to a couple of predictions that you can take to the bank. Or at least to your bookie. It should be noted that I take no responsibility for any actions you may or may not take as a result of this article. We're making some money this week baby! And so are movies, well at least one of them anyhow.

The Change-Up

You know how I said today was a freaky Friday? That wasn't just clever wordplay - but damn was it clever! - it actually serves a functional purpose! A purpose so deadly, so unspeakably wicked that it results in perennial straight man Jason Bateman switching bodies with always reliable man's man Ryan Reynolds in the new comedy The Change-Up. Uninspired titles and easy comparisons to Freaky Friday aside, I mean it is baseball season so it's practically topical, Bateman has already seen success just a few weeks earlier in Horrible Bosses. And Reynolds has seen greater box office failures with The Green Lantern, so this could act as a rebound weekend for the muscleman dramedian. But Charlie Day won't be flipping shit, in fact judging by the trailers even the Jasan Breynolds character won't be putting up with shit either. Don't come at him...guns hot! Aside from being an interesting existential exercise wherein two vastly different comedians play against type, I doubt the public will be coming at this movie guns hot. Not with the market still so comedy crowded and with such a pervasive, but ultimately bland, marketing campaign. Forget about Bridesmaids ($26M), Friends With Benefits ($18M), or Horrible Bosses ($28M), I'm sensing a movie much more akin to Hall Pass's paltry $13M opening.

Prediction: $11.87M

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

But when one movie loses that usually means another one gains, and it certainly seems that the sour taste left from Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes re-imagining is has disappeared and Rise of the Planet of the Apes is poised to open to relatively big numbers. It's still summer, damn it! We can still hold on to those feelings a couple more weeks, and action films can still be king. Though I actually hear that the action in this movie is toned down for the more sci-fi elements. But don't tell John Q. Public! Excellent marketing that make this look like a high conflict clash between shit slinging apes and gun tottin' military men, and that sells tickets. This franchise is coming off of a poorly received entry, similar to X-Men: First Class, which took in about $55M opening weekend, and has been presented as a high concept action affair similar to last week's Cowboys & Aliens, which bowed to $36M, so it would not be surprising to see this film end up in an area between those two.

Prediction: $42.96M

That would easily allow the latest Apes film to take the weekend, but what else is going to be making money? Let's take a look!

1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
2. The Smurfs
3. Cowboys & Aliens
4. The Change-Up
5. Captain America: The First Avenger

Are you excited to watch the Apes rise? Does the end of a film being in the title bother you? Will The Change-Up be anything but generic? Tell me in comments!


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