Ladies' Week at the Box Office
Welcome back to Movieline Attractions, your regular guide to everything new, noteworthy and left over from the summer at the movies. Or maybe that's not entirely fair; we all know Madea won't stand for being called leftovers, and Sorority Row waited its turn in the late-summer genre queue just like the rest of them. We'll sort it all out after the jump.
WHAT'S NEW: No matter how bad things get in our lives, we can always count on a new Tyler Perry film twice a year with clockwork regularity. Today we've got I Can Do Bad All By Myself, featuring an all-starrish cast led by Taraji P. Henson, who plays a ne'er-do-well nightclub-singer lush suddenly charged with custody of her orphaned niece and nephews. From there, a roundelay of inspiration from Gladys Knight to Mary J. Blige to Marvin Winans and, of course, Perry himself turns her life around. Damn Toronto for keeping this from me on opening weekend, but the States will represent with $21.2 million and a first-place finish.
We're a little overstocked with even more horror and fantasy outings as well, including Kate Beckinsale's long-shelved murder-on-Antarctica skein Whiteout, the sister-slay knockoff Sorority Row, and, for the whole family (if your family is goth and/or into rag dolls of the apocalypse), the animated effort 9. The latter film got an early jump on Wednesday (9/9/09 -- very cute, Focus Features) for what that's worth; a high-flight voice cast featuring Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover and Martin Landau will earn a fitting $9 million over the weekend (and maybe $14.5 for the full five-day frame). Whiteout is tracking like crap and not fooling anybody -- especially not opposite Sorority Row, which is where it's at tonight for both guys and girls under 25. Expect Whiteout to take home about $10.1 million, outmatched by the Sorority gang's $15.6 million.
Over in the art house it's kind of a divvied up week of new releases: The Laura Linney/Antonio Banderas/Liam Neeson love triangle The Other Man hits New York and L.A., but New York exclusively gets the "Big Oil" expose Crude. The West Coast gets the Japanese-American family comedy White on Rice, the comic-book-dreamer indie Vicious Circle, and the father-daughter dream-world battle fantasy Ink.
THE BIG LOSER: I'm not sure if Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is idling at 0% at Rotten Tomatoes because critics are pissed off that Peter Hyams would dare remake Fritz Lang's 1956 courtroom drama or because it's genuinely bad or perhaps both, but let it suffice to say that on five screens nationally and with no push from Anchor Bay Entertainment beyond a Saul Bass-ripoff of a poster (itself a frightening hybrid of vintage class and contemporary ensemble gloss), this might top off around $16K en route to a video afterlife where Netflix customers might rediscover Lang's original when it's shipped by accident. One can only hope.
THE UNDERDOG: As befits its aggressive, laudable documentary push, Oscilloscope Pictures has generated some significant word-of-mouth for No Impact Man over the last month. Doc subject Colin Beavan has managed to cultivate no small measure of it himself, long sustaining the cult around his and his family's year-long experiment to live completely organically -- like really organically, consuming no energy and generating no waste. On one screen apiece in New York and L.A., and faring pretty well to date critically, this should likely have the nation's highest per-screen average come Monday. And you know what? Tyler Perry will forgive them. That's the kind of guy he is.
FOR SHUT-INS: This week's new DVD's include Crank: High Voltage, that unfortunate, recut version of The Exorcist from a couple years ago, the huge sleeper-hit documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor, and the first seasons of both Parks and Recreation and Important Things with Demetri Martin.