Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Preview: Ashton vs. Ashton - This Time It's Personal

by | September 28, 2006 | Comments

Ashton Kutcher fans get two chances to see (or hear) their favorite star this weekend as the Hollywood prankster takes on reigning box office champ "Jackass: Number Two" by voicing a mule deer in the animated comedy "Open Season" and going up against Kevin Costner in the action drama "The Guardian."

Also opening nationally is the Billy Bob ThorntonJon Heder comedy "School For Scoundrels" while some potential Oscar contenders debut in the arthouses.

Hollywood’s umpteenth computer-animated feature film of the year hits multiplexes on Friday in the form of "Open Season." The PG-rated pic features the voices of Martin Lawrence and Kutcher and finds a domesticated grizzly bear being dropped into the wilderness right before the start of hunting season. Young kids usually eat up these fish-out-of-water comedy toons and this Sony release should play to the same family audience. The target demographic has had an endless line of movies this year featuring talking animals getting into wacky situations, but since the current marketplace is lacking any major offering for children, "Open Season" should score as the first animated hit of the new school year. The studio is saturating the market with screens giving the film the fourth widest bow ever for a non-DreamWorks toon, and the second widest in Sony history for any film after 2004’s webslinger sequel. With no competition and solid funnyman starpower behind the mics, a strong number one bow could result. "Open Season" makes its way into 3,833 theaters and may debut with around $24M this weekend.


Ashton Kutcher, in his other film, "Open Season."

For those who would rather see the "Punk’d" star’s face, Buena Vista sets sail with its Coast Guard thriller "The Guardian" which finds Kutcher playing a young and cocky swimming champ who butts heads with his unorthodox teacher played by Kevin Costner. Directed by Andrew Davis ("The Fugitive," "Collateral Damage"), the PG-13 film has broad appeal with each star pulling in his respective generation. Cross-gender appeal is also present with the military-like storyline doing the job for males and the hunky actors attracting the ladies. Disney offered successful sneak previews two weeks ago to get some word-of-mouth spreading before the official debut. The studio will try to lure in the same audience that spent a solid $22.1M on the John TravoltaJoaquin Phoenix firefighter drama "Ladder 49" two autumns ago. Launching in over 3,000 theaters, "The Guardian" might debut with about $18M.


Kevin Costner to the rescue in "The Guardian."

Following his commercial success with the male-driven comedy hits "Road Trip," "Old School," and "Starsky & Hutch," Todd Phillips returns to theaters with "School for Scoundrels" which finds Billy Bob Thornton squaring off against "Napoleon Dynamite"’s Jon Heder for the affection of a young gal. MGM’s PG-13 film about an awkward young misfit who enlists the help of an expert on getting the ladies should aim for an audience of teens and young adults, plus fans of the "Bad Santa" star’s rogue ways. Starpower is not very high here. Films anchored by the former Mr. Jolie usually don’t explode on opening weekend as evidenced by the recent debuts of "The Bad News Bears" ($11.4M), "The Ice Harvest" ($3.7M), and "The Alamo" ($9.1M). Competition for young males will be tough, but if "School" can connect with teen girls as a funny romantic comedy, then it has a chance of doing some respectable numbers. Opening in over 3,000 theaters, "School for Scoundrels" might debut with about $12M.


Thornton, Heder, and that Real World chick again in "School For Scoundrels."

Some high profile indies pop into limited release this weekend. Fox Searchlight launched its Idi Amin pic "The Last King of Scotland" in four theaters on Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles and has already been receiving early Oscar buzz for Forest Whitaker‘s portrayal of the Ugandan dictator. Coincidentally, a year ago this same weekend, "Capote" debuted and fueled its own Best Actor buzz which sustained itself throughout awards season leading to a trophy for Philip Seymour Hoffman. Reviews for "Scotland" have been good and for Whitaker, have been electric.


Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland."

Miramax gets its Oscar campaign going, but for the Best Actress prize, with its Helen Mirren film "The Queen" which opens in New York City on Saturday after it officially opens the New York Film Festival on Friday evening. Mirren has already taken home the top actress prize at the Venice Film Festival for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in the dark days after the death of Princess Diana. The PG-13 film is directed by Stephen Frears ("Mrs. Henderson Presents," "Dangerous Liaisons") and has ranked number two at the U.K. box office for the last two weeks.

First Look Studios takes audiences back to Queens in 1986 with its coming-of-age drama "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" which stars Robert Downey Jr., Chazz Palminteri, Shia LaBeouf, Dianne Wiest, Channing Tatum, and Rosario Dawson. The R-rated film won awards for Best Director and Best Ensemble at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and bows in New York and Los Angeles on Friday.

Last weekend, "Jackass: Number Two" flexed its muscles at the box office with a better-than-expected $29M launch. The Paramount film’s predecessor dropped 44% in its second weekend in the fall of 2002, but the sequel may drop harder. A 50% decline would still give the Johnny Knoxville flick about $15M for the weekend and a strong ten-day cume of $51M.

Jet Li‘s "Fearless" also drew upon a built-in audience of young men last weekend setting itself up for a sizable sophomore drop. The Focus title might also lose half of its business and take in roughly $5M. That would give the martial arts saga $18M after ten days. Sony’s "Gridiron Gang" held up well last weekend despite tough competition. Another 35% fall could be in order giving The Rock a $6M frame and a $34M total after 17 days.

LAST YEAR: For the second straight weekend, Jodie Foster‘s airline thriller "Flightplan" topped the box office with $14.8M dropping only 40% from its bow. Opening in second place was the sci-fi actioner "Serenity" which grossed $10.1M on its way to $25.4M for Universal. Warner Bros. followed close behind with $10M for its animated comedy "Corpse Bride." The revenge thriller "A History of Violence" expanded nationally and placed fourth with $8.1M and a solid $6,047 average which was the best in the whole Top 20. Opening in fifth was the Jessica-Alba-in-a-bikini pic "Into the Blue" with only $7.1M leading to a weak $18.5M final for Sony. Disney debuted its historical golf drama "The Greatest Game Ever Played" to the tune of $3.7M. A $15.3M final gross resulted.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

CNN crime drama rotten book 2015 Grammys cinemax hidden camera harry potter Nickelodeon Food Network spider-man Emmys unscripted joker Disney mutant ABC Signature kaiju breaking bad Western Mary Tyler Moore Britbox Academy Awards finale Amazon best space cooking Comedy Central Christmas politics Vudu MTV monster movies scary movies See It Skip It Character Guide Watching Series The Walt Disney Company Classic Film TNT President doctor who NBC what to watch Interview scene in color Baby Yoda GIFs comic classics Red Carpet australia green book king kong superman emmy awards TV movies Tumblr french a nightmare on elm street DGA universal monsters Marvel Television Infographic Captain marvel thriller 45 cancelled TV shows Marvel cancelled TV series Awards Tour nbcuniversal james bond jurassic park Peacock Lionsgate LGBTQ documentaries game show TV Land Amazon Prime Video Film adaptation Binge Guide VICE HBO Go X-Men strong female leads Martial Arts rotten movies we love Television Academy Fox Searchlight ratings Adult Swim Starz cancelled television HBO Max supernatural VOD Avengers Holidays fresh fast and furious Shondaland Valentine's Day Black History Month Mary Poppins Returns cats saw OWN Amazon Prime golden globes YouTube Red Rom-Com laika Anna Paquin Opinion stand-up comedy Biopics 20th Century Fox foreign WarnerMedia cults cartoon psycho black asian-american jamie lee curtis films Paramount Network Sundance Now Spectrum Originals batman independent AMC Pixar History DC Universe slashers Masterpiece Tarantino TIFF superhero Paramount documentary biography Mindy Kaling Superheroes adventure Apple TV+ 72 Emmy Awards based on movie Spike Universal indiana jones Sony Pictures Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ID Logo japanese Pet Sematary dramedy 2016 telelvision psychological thriller Trophy Talk critics 2021 Film Festival Ghostbusters New York Comic Con TCA 2017 elevated horror know your critic ghosts worst GoT dragons Horror Hallmark Pop TV Disney+ Disney Plus Marathons IFC Films Rocky PlayStation christmas movies comic books women Lucasfilm 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards name the review Cannes USA Network Legendary El Rey Mystery FX TCM PaleyFest theme song blockbuster teaser APB 2020 Holiday chucky PBS toy story marvel cinematic universe criterion SDCC festivals TCA 2019 streaming movies Box Office binge ABC Family CBS Photos Amazon Studios Schedule natural history football diversity anime Podcast zero dark thirty YouTube Premium live action talk show Disney Channel spinoff Oscars satire E3 crossover high school richard e. Grant venice E! Musicals Rock Action lord of the rings discovery 2018 The Witch Pacific Islander technology Ellie Kemper Travel Channel kong Funimation Video Games Cosplay hist new star wars movies streaming BET war deadpool hispanic Bravo Polls and Games Rocketman Extras The Arrangement BET Awards A&E WGN dceu Disney Plus Brie Larson CBS All Access italian video YouTube Turner Classic Movies international child's play Nominations Kids & Family reviews aliens Quiz Ovation worst movies dogs nature archives hollywood Epix Exclusive Video zombie Calendar popular 2017 Marvel Studios spain animated remakes movie sequel science fiction The Academy Winners Columbia Pictures Pop CMT Nat Geo Best and Worst CW Seed DC streaming service Broadway Paramount Plus Dark Horse Comics Teen TCA Awards mockumentary canceled 99% San Diego Comic-Con First Reviews television dark reboot Apple sequels scorecard screen actors guild Election Lifetime Disney streaming service Trivia robots prank SundanceTV boxoffice Set visit golden globe awards die hard game of thrones Star Wars Country FX on Hulu sports Sneak Peek Heroines franchise FOX Women's History Month new york American Society of Cinematographers Thanksgiving Tomatazos Trailer IFC indie RT History Superheroe YA blaxploitation miniseries serial killer Endgame 71st Emmy Awards MCU pirates of the caribbean 4/20 Animation godzilla Writers Guild of America ESPN Shudder TBS renewed TV shows Discovery Channel Elton John political drama National Geographic DirecTV tv talk romance vampires Showtime spanish language latino spy thriller Family 93rd Oscars parents Winter TV book adaptation ITV police drama Netflix Pride Month Mary poppins HBO The CW Crackle Creative Arts Emmys directors obituary 24 frames crime thriller justice league Certified Fresh Spring TV Fox News Comics on TV movies Fantasy revenge docuseries 21st Century Fox Warner Bros. stop motion OneApp Esquire Pirates Music quibi casting Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TV One halloween tv children's TV nfl Hulu target sag awards Black Mirror USA Alien BBC America Fall TV witnail Hear Us Out disaster Lifetime Christmas movies TruTV canceled TV shows series period drama NYCC TCA Winter 2020 Sundance ViacomCBS facebook cars 007 news Crunchyroll south america Cartoon Network Awards Song of Ice and Fire sitcom zombies Summer rom-coms werewolf The Walking Dead Comedy award winner Mudbound cops festival halloween transformers Star Trek versus dc ABC Image Comics Acorn TV Stephen King Netflix Christmas movies composers Television Critics Association GLAAD free movies docudrama Year in Review crime boxing RT21 razzies screenings A24 Super Bowl LGBT Reality blockbusters VH1 all-time BAFTA Musical TLC video on demand kids Countdown BBC Arrowverse BBC One singing competition heist movie comedies medical drama TV toronto Premiere Dates First Look Walt Disney Pictures Turner TV renewals Chernobyl romantic comedy FXX anthology Reality Competition Freeform Syfy Toys rt archives DC Comics travel social media new zealand Sci-Fi stoner Tubi Emmy Nominations spanish cancelled Apple TV Plus concert The Purge Sundance TV comics Hallmark Christmas movies aapi true crime trailers historical drama twilight MSNBC comiccon Drama Comic Book SXSW mission: impossible