Box Office Forecast: Cloudy with a Chance of Demons
Welcome back to Movieline Attractions, your regular guide to everything new, noteworthy and crowding the early-fall box office. This week, the season's first real crop of high-profile releases heads to market, offering something for pretty much everyone from families to awards-season junkies to Jennifer Aniston completists and more. A full survey follows the jump.
WHAT'S NEW: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs brings the famous kids' book to the screen, and it's actually pretty sophisticated stuff for all ages. Bill Hader voices a young scientist who finds a way to make food-weather -- hamburger storms, spaghetti twisters, that kind of stuff. Anna Faris's cute, spunky news reporter shares his lust for science while the town's evil mayor (Bruce Campbell) has other plans for their tiny island community. It's funny and relatively risky; the 3-D animation looks great and will boost the film's gross in any case, pushing Meatballs to around $26.5 million and first place for the weekend.
Like director Karyn Kusama, I'm embarrassed for the critical community that has rejected the terrific Jennifer's Body pretty much out of hand; it, too, is a much more complex genre romp than many of these lazy, elitist pricks will give it credit for. Which doesn't have a tremendous amount of bearing on its opening weekend in wide release, but the backlash may turn off the folks more interested in Diablo Cody's Juno follow-up than anything related to Megan Fox. Assuming that to be the case, the starlet-as-cannibal factor may be able to nudge this north of $15 million, but not much more than that.
The Informant! and Love Happens are probably this weekend's most interesting tandem, and by "interesting," I mean I can't wait to see them fight to the death over the female audience. The Matt Damon whistleblower caper is a bit of a mess, and he's almost unrecognizable in the marketing with 30 extra pounds, a horrible rug and a less-than-sexy mustache. But the Jennifer Aniston/Aaron Eckhart romantic effort doesn't have the comic resources of a Proposal or even Ugly Truth, so the single-woman and football-widow demographics are left hanging a bit. (My recommendation is still Jennifer's Body.) Anyway, Informant! has the personality to crack $12 million; I can't imagine Love Happens outclassing that, perhaps slumping behind I Can Do Bad All By Myself and into fifth place with $10.5 million on almost 1,900 screens.
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