Hello. As you all know by now, I am a serious Hollywood insider, with some serious insights into the weekend box office. On this, the all-important "weekend before Christmas," the box office is traditionally volatile, and this weekend will be no exception. I feel my predictions will shake Hollywood to its very foundation, and if you don't believe it, then keep reading.
1. NATURAL TREASURE: BOOK OF PLEASURE: In this film, Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage plays Cunny Lingus, a man who attempts to discover the secrets of a legendary book which purports to contain all of former US president William McKinley's secrets for pleasing a woman, every time. In a surprise twist ending, it turns that McKinley's secret involves a surprise "twist ending." Although it's not exactly winning awards from critics (most of whom are either women or already know how to pleasure them), I think that Americans' natural curiosity on this hot topic should bring this film a lot of scratch, in the $900 million range for the weekend, for an impressive per screen average.
2. I AM STILL WILL SMITH: In his second weekend out, my gurus are tracking Will Smith's latest to hit all the high notes with shoppers who have wearied of holiday shopping, and dream of living on a planet with no other people, except Will Smith. Talk about a merry holiday! Just try and stop this film from raking in about a zillion dollars this weekend!
3. IS THAT A CHIPMUNK IN YOUR POCKET, AND IF SO, WHY DO YOU HAVE A CHIPMUNK IN YOUR POCKET?: This film's title is too long by most standards, but it is still tracking very well with children, who love talking animals, and the older children who remember these lovable talking characters from when the bloom of their own youth had not yet faded. It might seem cynical to you, but the studio is actually doing these people a favor; many of them have nothing else to look forward to, besides a quick trip down memory lane. My gurus are pointing to another big weekend, in the $450-$780 million range (I realize that's a wide range, but this isn't rocket science).
4. SWEENEY HARD: This is a musical comedy about a man who seeks revenge on the people who stole his father's sausage recipe. It is based on an actual historical figure, Sweeney Hard, although it is a fictionalized account of his life. A lot of people think that Johnny Depp might get an Academy Award nomination for this, with some saying that it's John C. Reilly's best ever performance. We'll just wait and see, but I can predict for you is an opening weekend of about $456 million, which should please the studio that bankrolled it, since it is such a hard sell. Get it? I said "hard."
5. CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR: This movie has as much star wattage from its high voltage stars that Congress should pass a law banning it for being bad for the environment! Charlie Wilson is a real person, who did something political, and Tom Hanks plays him with real verve, from what I hear. He has won an Academy Award already, as has Julia Roberts, who is also in this amazing true-life story film. Rounding out the cast is Philip Seymour Hoffman, who also won an Academy Award. Everyone who loves awards will love this film, although it is a tough sell, except for older audiences. I'm expecting it to earn in the high $250s of millions, for an impressive cume.
6. ENCHANTED: I can't say enough about this enchanting film, so I won't say anything at all. Look for another impressive weekend of about $328 million, bringing its numbers to an impressive total.
7. SOMETHING ABOUT CHRISTMAS: This family comedy/drama stars an impressive ensemble as they try to make sense of the family dynamic in a world in which Christmas is threatened, probably by the disappearance of Santa, or some member of the family. It will pull at your heartstrings even as it touches your funny bone. How could it not make at least $234 million this weekend, the weekend before Christmas?
8. ATONEMENT FOR OLD MEN: If you like your drama with a heaping helping of guilt, and a bunch of old men who are trying to kill each other, then this awards favorite is for you! And America will respond in the positive, to the tune of $34 million Friday, $45 million Saturday (matinees), and $23 million Sunday.
9. THE POPE IS AWESOME: The film "The Golden Compass" will change its title this weekend to try to attract more viewers, and hide itself from God, who is really angry about it. Won't help, however, as it will only earn about $134 million this weekend, for a disappointing $657 million cume (although my sources tell me its overseas numbers are through the roof, and thanks to the exchange rate, that's where the real money is).
10. JUNO: This is a sweet little film I know very little about. Apparently, a girl gets pregnant, which sounds alright to me, since I like movies about sex. I would be surprised if this film didn't make at least oh let's call it $100 million this weekend, which would be extremely impressive given the fact that it's only in 14 theaters.
That's it for this weekend! Happy Holidays!