And so Spider-Man 3 has been unleashed upon us. The first weekday totals seem to be considered "slow" (or so says the IMDb). This is partly due word of mouth, and partly due to schools not being out across the country. That means this is the weekend that tells the tale.
THE MOST INTERESTING MOVIE OF THE WEEK
Well, it's back to Spidey. After a record-breaking three-day gross, and that mixed word of mouth settling in, this is the weekend that tells us if Spidey gets past $400 million. It isn't the non-starter of Superman Returns; it's the film with the highest opening weekend in the history of the last couple of years, or - that is to say - ever. Yawn.
Instead of Spidey breaking the world speed record for $200, it looks to tie Pirates 2, Spidey 2 and Revenge of the Sith for breaking it after eight days on Friday. The question is how much of a hit will it take in its second weekend? Dropping 70% - normally a very troubling plummet - would still result in a haul of $45 million. This seems far-fetched, as the four competing wide releases are non-starters, and there are still people who haven't seen the film and may have waited for the crowds to thin. But the world - or more to the point numbers junkies and the would-be intelligentsia - will look to see how bad it takes a hit, and for those who aren't fans, anything more than 50% will be considered a victory. 50%, though, would best Shrek 2's second weekend record. But that's pretty much impossible because we're not in a holiday weekend, and the word of mouth hasn't been that good. PotC 2 did $62 million, and that’s a better gauge. I'd expect around $60, or just under - which critics will note is less than the first day total. Still, a great number.
THE MOST INTERESTING LIMITED RELEASE OF THE WEEK
That would be The Hip Hop Project. A documentary about a homeless man turned hip-hop mentor, this sounds fascinating. Though the story sound exactly like Freedom Writers or that one movie with the Madonna song and Joe Pesci playing a homeless dude at Harvard or whatever true life story that gets turned into pabulum (and it probably will be remade as such at a later date; the voices in my head tell me that Antoine Fuqua has already made inquiries). But it's likely a fascinating story and well worth the effort. And it features the world's most famous talkbacker.
Spidey at number one is as sure a thing as ever has been. It's not facing Godzilla hate, though it's hard to gauge the Joe Public spirit on this and it's fair to say George Lucas does carry a lot of weight with them. And if he says it's silly, then by gum, it is.
Last weekend pictures leaked of Lindsay Lohan doing blow in a bathroom; as I joked on the MB's, that's the strangest guerrilla publicity I've ever seen. But I like it. Were these coke photos on Extra? I can't follow that side of biz because I have a weak stomach (watching Entertainment Tonight gives me the poops), but I'm sure whatever interviews Lohan has been doing for Georgia Rule are now fraught with different questions, or scrapped entirely. And, frankly, Lohan is not a movie star; at this point that ship has sailed until she cleans up her image (her act... well that's something different). She hasn't had a hit since Mean Girls, which was three years and a hundred drug dealers ago. Herbie: Fully Loaded did $66 million but that was a Disney film, and she's no longer under their umbrella. Will Soccer Moms' moms turn out for another "Jane Fonda is cranky" movie? Monster-in-Law had Jennifer Lopez, and opened to $23 million. Just My Luck opened to $6 million. Let's split the dif, and put it at $12 million.
28 Weeks Later has received a Devin special , though other word has been not as negative elsewhere. The original 28 Days Later opened as counter programming in the middle of summer and scored a big Fox Searchlight victory. That was a well-groomed success. With Fox Atomic treating the film like The Hills Have Eyes 2, that TLC is gone. But like Hills 2, a $10 million weekend is likely in order, and a $25 bow out is likely.
The Delta Farce follows Larry the Cable Guy's Health Inspector and Cars to the big screen. I have no idea who the audience is for this picture, and I'd rather not know. If LtCG were making regional films, they might be more crappy, and thus make him the white Dolemite. Perhaps the Tarantinos of the future would be showing these at some sort of festival and people would bug out at their insanity and barely concealed racism. That would be interesting, whereas these films are way too expensive and streamlined for that. If it gets to $7 million this weekend, it should be no surprise. If it falls off the face of the earth, would anybody be there to hear it? The Ex stars Zach Braff, who ruined all the cinematic goodwill of Garden State quicker than you can say The Last Kiss. How did this happen? Was it repeat viewings or just a general sense of douchery? Whatever happened, first off GOOD, and second off, it's not going to help or hurt the dumped The Ex, which opens on 900 screens, and should be gone without much more of a $3 million trace. The trailer makes it look like a most unpleasant evening out, and something of an anti-date movie.
So let's do Top Five this week, cause after that it's splitting hairs. Or Splitting Heirs, that hilarious Eric Idle, Catherine Zeta-Jones comic romp!
1. Spidey 3 – 57 million
2. Georgia Rule – 12 million
3. 28 Weeks Later – 10 million
4. The Delta Farce – 7 million
5. Disturbia – 4 million
Let's see how wrong I am on Sunday.