Friday, August 1, 2008

Weekend Box Office Bingo (really quick)

The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor - $45 million. Or, about the $43 million that The Mummy opened to in May of 1999 (I still take pride in being alone in calling that one, when everyone else was predicting $25 million). The original was well-liked (and it's aged well), and the sequel rode a wave of good will and the buzz surrounding The Rock to a stunning $69 million (number 2 all time opening at the time).

Alas, seven years, cast changes, and mediocre reviews will prevent this one from even equaling the inflation-adjusted opening of part 01 (about $60 million). Let's see... director Stephen Summers has been replaced by Rob Cohen (he of Stealth and XXX). Rachel Weisz has been replaced by the far less intriguing Maria Bello. Arnold Vosloo's original mummy seems to have stayed dead. Finally, Oded Fehr's bad-ass Ardeth Bay is nowhere to be found (was he really that busy or was Rob Cohen too stupid to ask Fehr to reprise the role that made him a star and a heart throb?). The only real link to the franchise is lead actor Brendan Fraser and supporting comic relief John Hannah. New to the franchise are Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh, but Li is barely worth $10 million on his own these days. Point being, familiarity, good will towards the first two films, and the need to see another tentpoler inbetween seventh and eight Dark Knight viewings (cough - Hellboy II - cough) are the only things this one has going for it. One weekend and then kaboom for this one.

Swing Vote - $10 million. Costner hasn't had a real hit since August 2003, with the fantastic western Open Range, so this should do about Mr. Brooks numbers. Again, middling reviews won't help, nor will a premise that's so topical that people may feel like they can see it on TV for free.

The Dark Knight - $46 million. Expect Warner to pad the numbers just enough to get past Spider-Man's record for the biggest third-weekend of all time. Also expect it to cross the $400 million mark by Wednesday at the latest (a mere 20 days). The thing just celebrated two full weeks in theaters by hitting $350 million.

Check back tomorrow for info on the Friday numbers.

Scott Mendelson

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