Weekend Forecast: Contagion to Brush Off Help For Box-Office Top Spot
Welcome to another edition of Weekend Forecast, your weekly guide to the latest film offerings and/or whatever you want to call that new thing Nick Swardson is in. It's your call! Meanwhile, we're looking at one of the most competitive weeks in a while -- three cheers for the fall movie season, for reals.
· Contagion: A year ago, in Hereafter, Matt Damon played a guy who could hold entire conversations with the dead. So maybe that's why I crack the fuck up laughing every time I think of him here -- in that trailer, for instance -- bellowing at that doctor announcing his wife's pandemic-hastened death: "Can I talk to her? WHERE IS SHE? WHAT HAPPENED TO HER???" And then he's like, "Oh, hey, babe. GOD, IT'S A CURSE!!!" Anyway, this is supposed to be good, and it should handily knock off the redoubtable The Help as the number-one film in the country. FORECAST: $20.3 million
· Warrior: Also good, and very visible as a marketed property, but ultimately a) it looks to the uninitiated like a movie strictly about mixed martial arts (when its family and redemption threads are handled exquisitely) and b) it doesn't have any real "stars" (though Tom Hardy will probably be a household name within a year and Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte and Jennifer Morrison match him dramatically pound-for-pound). So it's likely going to wind up battling The Help for its second-place standing, both bobbing and weaving around the $11 million mark. I like Warrior's chances; it'd befit the underdog theme. FORECAST: $10.9 million
· "Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star": I still don't know what on Earth this is, but I'm told it exists and that one or more of my colleagues here at Movieline HQ intend to voluntarily watch it. Something about a guy chasing his porn-star heritage? Starring Nick Swardson and produced by Adam Sandler? OK! Will report back as events warrant... FORECAST: $4.7 million
Hoo boy, too bad about the Colin Firth/Patricia Clarkson/Ellen Burstyn zeppelin crash Main Street. At least there's Verge designee Ezra Miller doing it up in the student-journalist farce Beware the Gonzo, or Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis as graverobbers in John Landis's Burke & Hare, or the Sundance-approved documentary The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, or the San Francisco AIDS-crisis reflection We Were Here, or Rooney Mara's boarding-school exploits in Tanner Hall.
Options! You've got 'em. Let's talk it over in the comments.