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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Comments

  • MaJean says:

    You're giving Jennifer's Body only $15 million. I know it's gotten mostly bad reviews but bad reviews has never stopped a film from taking the top spot at the box office G.I.Joe anyone? One must remember that the large portion of movie goers are kids and teenagers and since there are no children's movies being released this weekend and Jennifer is rated PG-13, she will more than likely take the top spot. Jennifer's Body is the female version of G.I. Joe. I see it taking $25-30 million and the #1 spot. The Informant and Love Happens will battle for the # 2 spot. I think Bright Star will be #3 or #4.

  • stolidog says:

    nope. meatballs all around for #1

  • The Winchester says:

    Did you even read the article? "No kids movies"? What about that first paragraph that's all about the animated movie where food rains from the sky?
    And Jennifer's Body is not PG-13, it's a hard R, preventing a lot of the core audience from seeing it.
    I normally don't mind little things, but when you can't be bothered to pay attention to what you're talking about, that chides my tail.

  • MaJean says:

    I skipped over the Meatballs part because from what I've heard it is not going to be on as many screens as Jennfer's Body or any of the other movies listed (so it's not reaching as wide of an audience), and frankly I had not even heard of it until today, so they probably didn't market the movie well enough. Although parents will probably will take there kids to anything no matter if they've heard about it or not.
    The poster I saw for Jennifer's Body said PG-13 not R, so either it was a mock up, or there some theaters listing this movie as PG-13 to increase sales. Although if it is R it will definitely hinder it's sales.
    And I still doubt Meatballs is taking the #1 spot, it will probably come in at #2 or #3. If JB doesn't go to number #1 it'll be #2 with about $20-25 million.
    I'd actually be shocked and tickled if JB comes in at #3. Shocked because Megan (and Diablo) pimped the hell out of this movie, tickled because they both want so baldy for this mediocre movie to succeed as a slap in the face to the naysayers.

  • JB's on 400 fewer screens than Cloudy, isn't tracking especially well, and is rated R. Also, half of Cloudy's screens are 3-D, so add that 25% surcharge to the top of the gross, which would still beat JB without it.

  • stolidog says:

    As far as TV marketing, I've seen about 10,000 smashing cheeseburgers to 1 jennifer's body.
    spaghetti cat for the win.

  • MaJean says:

    Oh Okay, I thought Meatballs was only a N.Y. L.A. release.

  • sweetbiscuit says:

    Ditto this.

  • katejazz says:

    I like Brandon Camp's love happens movie. Definitely I will collect that movie for my DVD collection as it fascinates me with romantic comedies.
    Source
    http://blog.80millionmoviesfree.com/in-theaters/watch-love-happens-online

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