The big ugly story of the weekend to come… from the two days that came… is Alexander and its projectable $25 - $32 million five-day opening on the way to a domestic cume of under $100 million. And that projection isn’t even severe. End of Days and Spy Game both started over Thanksgiving weekend with over $30 million and ended up with less than $70 million domestic.
The smaller ugly story is not nearly as ugly. Christmas With The Kranks, which opened Wednesday in sixth place, leapt to second place and what looks like its own $30 million range opening and what seems likely to be status as the biggest new movie of the weekend. And the good news for Revolution is that the equally horribly reviewed comedy, The Haunted Mansion, got to $75 million domestic. In fact, no comedy opening this time of year with a number anywhere near where Cranks projects to land has done worse than that.
In the happy column is National Treasure, which had as strong a Thanksgiving Wed/Thur as all but a handful of films (Toy Story 2, Harry Potter 2) has ever had. That includes movies opening on the holiday weekend. That should translate to another strong weekend of sales, leaving the title at around $85 million for 10 days, well ahead where Elf was at the 10-day mark last year and a little ahead of Disney’s highest November grosser ever, The Waterboy.
On the dark side again, Finding Neverland, Sideways and Kinsey all widened out and all disappointed heading into the weekend, averaging between 40 and 75 people per show in each of the cases in spite of the widest release of the trio being 513 screens. As all three films head into awards season, the critical importance of the critics groups to these three titles is now blatantly apparent.
More as the weekend progresses….