Weekend Preview: Beyonce Fights The Earth Solo, And Wins!

on Friday, April 24, 2009  

In case you haven't noticed, The Box Office Junkie looks a little bit different than it did a few days ago. I switched the template from two columns to three columns, and I hope you like the change! It just makes distribution of widgets and advertisements so much more manageable. Anyway, all the formatting and html tinkering has left me with very little time to get this weeks Weekend Preview together, so excuse me if it doesn't measure up. At least it will be better than last week, when I just skipped this column altogether! Let's just tackle the newcomers.

Obsessed - $20 million
Confession: I'm kind of obsessed (no pun intended!) with Beyoncé. I have this awkward habit of saying, "That's so Beyoncé" whenever something awesome happens. It all started when my friends and I decided to start saying, "That's so Raven," to see if we could make a new, trendy phrase catch on. It didn't, and after a few months I found myself constantly saying, "That's so Beyoncé." Oh well. Regardless, the former Destiny's Child lead singer is pretty much a stud at everything she does, and it looks like she's made a very wise career move with Obsessed, a woman-gone-mad drama also starring Ali Larter. This thriller has a lot going for it: The female leads should draw in women. The fact that the female leads wrestle on the floor should draw in men. Having black leads (Beyoncé's husband is played by Idris Elba) will draw in ethnic audiences. The jury's out on reviews, since it wasn't screened for critics, but the Screen Gems feature has had a very strong marketing campaign, and frankly, I think it looks pretty great. Kicking and screaming onto 2,514 theaters, I'm giving Obsessed a solid $20 million weekend.

Earth - $12 million
I'm kind of over the whole "going green" thing. It's just a little bit too liberal-Hollywood, self-important, politcally correct for me to buy the whole fad. Still, never willing to miss a moneymaking opportunity, Disney is tapping into the trend, releasing Earth, which is essentially a film crafted from some of the clips that weren't used for Planet Earth. It had a great Wednesday debut of $4 million out of 1,804 theaters, but that was with the Earth Day boost. For the regular weekend, I'll give Earth $12 million, which is about three times higher than what I would've predicted last week. Ugh. I guess all the "going green" stuff isn't going away any time soon.

The Soloist - $11 million
Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx teamed up for this inspirational drama about a struggling, but extraordinarily talented, homeless musician. Director Joe Wright (Pride And Prejudice and Atonement) is receiving some mixed reviews for this, though the lead actors are receiving much praise. This musical project sort of reminds me of 2007's August Rush, which audiences lapped up like liquid lollipops, and with a lauch into 2,024 theaters, I'm seeing a modest $11 million weekend, with some decent legs after that.

Fighting - $8.5 million
I'm not a girl. I have never watched Step Up. I don't know to what extent teenage girls are willing to flock to the theater just to see Channing Tatum shirtless and physical. Thus, I reserve the right to be very wrong about this prediction. I also reserve the right to gloat if I'm correct. This looks almost exactly the same as last month's teen fighting film, Never Back Down, which debuted to $8.6 million. This has a better lead actor, but it also has Terrence Howard, who is box office poison, so I'll give it a similar $8.5 million over the weekend frame.

What do you all think? What will win the box office race this weekend? Also, did you know that the last week in April is historically one of the toughest frames for a film to debut in, since it falls right before the massive first week in May? Speak your mind in the comments!

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