Weekend Forecast: Clooney and Gosling's Ides of March Contend With Jackman's Real Steel
With September's box office duelers on their way out, it's time we clear space for two new contenders to duke it out for the moviegoing public's vote. But try as he might, does George Clooney have what it takes to unseat Hugh Jackman's crowd-pleasing sci-fi actioner, the probable weekend victor? He does have Ryan Gosling on his ticket. Not too shabby. Onward, to the polls! It's your Weekend Forecast.
• Real Steel: The good news for Shawn Levy's (Night at the Museum) robot boxing pic -- besides the fact that everyone loves star Hugh Jackman -- is that while they're pretty much only up against the one-two punch of George Clooney and Ryan Gosling, the dreamboat two-fer political thriller comes in as a comparably niche property. Clooney (who co-stars and directed) will get the blue state vote (not to mention the sympathies and minds of Oscar-watchers), but on the other hand, everyone loves robots! Especially the ones that tug at heartstrings with their giant, mechanical, Hugh Jackman-loving android mugs. Besides, everyone's already seen The Lion King 3D and Dolphin Tale. Families, get thee ringside. FORECAST: $28 million.
• Ides of March: That's not to say you should count out Clooney's crackling thriller, adapted from the play Farragut North. For starters, everyone might love Jackman, but everyone mad crushes on Ryan Gosling. And the Goose is in fine form here as a young, idealistic press secretary who finds his allegiances tested during a particularly stressful primary campaign. Ides might struggle to hit its numbers in showing in less than two-thirds of Real Steel's theater count, but should perform on par with other smaller Clooney projects. FORECAST: $10.2 million.
Tom Six's first Human Centipede film capitalized on its horrific word of mouth to the tune of a $12,400 opening last year, and on a single screen, at that, and despite poor reviews -- maybe even because of the ones lambasting its depraved one-upmanship -- hardcore horror hounds will take the challenge of squirming through the sequel. Elsewhere, Variance Films opens Jackie Chan's 100th film, the historical pic 1911, in select niche markets, while Emilio Estevez debuts his directorial effort The Way and the Weinstein Co.'s Dirty Girl attempts to draw the indie vote. Let's hope they come up with a last-minute marketing ploy better than this.