Sunday, January 6, 2008

Weekend Box Office Predictions for the Weekend of January 4-6, 2008

I'm a little late with my predictions this weekend, but that should only make them more accurate than usual, since the studios have already released their "estimates." With that in mind, I press on ahead, owing to my Hollywood insider status. Thank you for reading; here are my predictions:

1: NICOLAS CAGE CASH MACHINE: Star Nicolas Cage appears in his latest, greatest, and most accessible film in ages, and Hollywood, along with the general public, is taking notice. That is the good news. The better news is that this film is topping all charts, including this one, and the public is highly aware of its existence, which my gurus tell me is the first step toward making it to the top of the weekend box office. Which is what I'm predicting this film will do this weekend. I look for it to earn a solid $748 million this weekend, bringing its cume to an impressive per-screen average.

2: WILL SMITH IN I AM AWESOME: America is finally catching on to what the Hollywood executives I've been talking to have long suspected: Will Smith, the actor, is a "Fresh Prince" of the box office, and he will prove it yet again this weekend, with this, his latest four-tier epic science fictional adventure. In spite of the public's built-in prejudice against science fiction (only 67 of the top 100 grossing films of all time are science fiction), this film should continue its hot streak, bringing in an impressive $658 million this weekend.

3: TEEN-O PREG-O: This heartwarmer is warming the hearts of everyone, even those in red states, with its portrayal of a 16 year old girl, who is the star of a popular Nickelodeon television show, who is impregnated by an older producer of the show. Her family tries to hide that fact by claiming her "18 year old boyfriend, whom she met in church," is the actual father. But when the truth comes out, sparks fly, and hilarity ensues. Even Republican presidential heartthrob Mike "F*ckabee" Huckabee approves of this one, and my sources tell me that he took his rival for the nomination, Arizona asshole John McCain, to a private screening during which they played "babymaking" games. Oh, to have been a fly on that wall! Anyway, this film is playing very well with Republicans and gays, and gay Republicans, so a solid $692 million weekend isn't out of the question.

4. ALVIN IN THE CHIPMUNKS: Another favorite of Huckabee and McCain (see above), this film plays very well with adults, mostly slow-witted ones, and children (again, mostly slow-witted ones). In other words, the general public loves this picture, and it's tracking through the roof (my sources tell me it's a marketers dream, because it doesn't feature child rape). A huge $821 million weekend should keep these 'munks in "the pink!"

5. DING-DONG! YOU'RE DEAD!: This is a film with a weird premise, that is frankly a tough sell, according to my sources in the studio. When your doorbell rings and you answer it, you die within 72 hours, violently and painfully (explosive diarrhea). However, if you don't answer the door when the doorbell rings, you will still die, but three days later. So you have to answer the door, but you have to do it within a certain time frame (i.e., before the doorbell rings). I don't want to spoil the ending, but at the end of the movie the heroes win by removing their doorbells. Expect this challenging film, for which awareness could be higher, frankly, to earn about $582 million this weekend.

6. SORRY CHARLIE! Tom Hanks plays a tuna who dreams of being killed and processed into a can of Starkist. Julia Roberts is generating Oscar talk thanks to her role as the net that catches him. And as the bitter, alcoholic fisherman who throws Charlie the Tuna back into the water because he's too gamey to be eaten, Philip Seymour Hoffman is earning critic's awards. This film is skewing older, obviously, thanks to its tuna-centric theme, but it should still pull in about $458 million.

7. P.S: SEND MONEY!: Hilary Swank plays a two-time Academy Award winning actress who finds herself trapped in a crummy "romantic comedy" that no one wants to see. Awareness for this film is very low, as is morale at the studio that released it, whose name escapes me at the moment. Look for it to pull in a paltry $378 million this weekend.

8. WATER WHORES: GOING DEEP: Savannah Sampson and Isabella Soprano portray aquatic prostitutes who like to "go down", several hundred feet below the ocean surface (if you know what I mean!). Trouble starts when the townspeople catch wind of the prostitute's existence, and it's up to one feisty little boy to save them. I'm told that some parents are troubled by the fact that this film is being marketed to children, but are still taking their little ones because they wouldn't stop whining about it. Anyway, expect another $219 million this weekend.

9. SWEENEY WEINER: Johnny Depp portrays a giant penis in this Tim Burton musical extravaganza. Have you ever wondered what a song would sound like if it were sung by a giant penis, with lyrics by Stephen Soundheim? My gurus tell me it's something like this:

"Urination is my temptation,
Gonna take a leak across the nation!
You won't believe when you see this,
The whole wide world covered in piss!"

With lyrics like that, it can't fail, which is why I'm expecting it to pull in about $345 million this weekend.

10. ALONEMENT: Keira Knightley plays a young, painfully thin British woman with exceptional teeth who spends all her time alone. I think she feels guilty about something, as apparently the audiences across the country would feel guilty if they missed this exciting, provocative movie (my gurus tell me there is a nude scene). $216 million is definitely what this film will make this weekend.

11. ENCHANTED: I can't bear the thought of not writing about this enchanting film. Although I don't think it will literally make the top 10, it will be in the top 10 in spirit, pulling in about $349 million this weekend, for an "enchanting" per-screen average.

Another solid weekend at the box office, with receipts on track to make 2008 another record year!

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