Box Office Guru Preview: "Wild Hogs" Aims to Run Over "Ghost Rider"

by | March 1, 2007 | Comments

One super hero on a motorcycle looks to get replaced by four middle-aged bikers at the number one spot at the North American box office this weekend.

The new comedy "Wild Hogs" leads the pack of new releases with the widest release of the trio. Also debuting are the serial killer thriller "Zodiac" and the southern sizzler "Black Snake Moan" to kick of a March movie marathon.

Starpower is at the center of Buena Vista’s new highway to hell comedy "Wild Hogs." The PG-13 film brings together Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy as four suburban men who take to the road to put some adventure back into their lives. An adult audience is likely here and both genders should be represented fairly evenly. Star wattage and concept should sell the picture and trailers and commercials haven’t been half bad. The studio saw encouraging results from its sneak previews last Saturday which were at 85% capacity and skewed 51% male. "Wild Hogs" could reach the same audience that came out for Travolta’s "Be Cool" and "Ladder 49" which opened to $23.5M and $22.1M, respectively. Both Travolta and Allen have been out promoting the film aggressively so awareness is sizable. Opening in about 3,300 theaters, "Wild Hogs" may take in around $23M in ticket sales this weekend giving Allen a badly-needed hit.

Several actors attempt to kickstart their stalled careers in "Wild Hogs."

Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo star in the new serial killer pic "Zodiac" from director David Fincher ("Seven," "Panic Room"). The R-rated film chronicles the investigation behind one of the most notorious and mysterious murderers of the twentieth century. Paramount has long had a solid track record at finding success from crime thrillers with its slick marketing. For this particular film, the studio is hoping that the public does not find out that it is in for a nearly three hour saga. The running time should cut into the box office potential of the film since theaters will have to offer one less showtime per day compared to most other movies. A more subdued theater count will play a role too.

Still some appealing names are being offered in front of and behind the camera. Older adults are more likely to show up as the subject matter is too ancient for those in their early 20s. Films about famous California murders were met with indifference last fall in the other 49 states when Ben Affleck‘s "Hollywoodland" and Josh Hartnett‘s "The Black Dahlia" opened nationally to just $5.9M and $10M, respectively. "Zodiac" is a little more modern and is being packaged in a better way so its debut should be stronger. But the film lacks a star that can really bring some bang to the box office right out of the gate. Critics have been very supportive which will help with the older target audience. Attacking 2,362 theaters, "Zodiac" might find itself with about $16M this weekend.

Contemplating horoscopes is emotionally draining in "Zodiac."

With the eye-catching image of an older black man chaining up a young scantily clad white woman, Paramount Vantage’s "Black Snake Moan" already has one of the year’s most memorable posters. The new R-rated entry from writer/director Craig Brewer is the follow-up to his 2005 hit "Hustle & Flow" which won an Oscar last year for best song. With some more cash and bigger stars, "Snake" features Samuel L. Jackson as a Bible-loving blues guitarist who finds and cares for a beaten, bruised, and half-naked woman with a disturbing past played by Christina Ricci. Justin Timberlake adds some starpower with his second film of the year following
January’s "Alpha Dog."

"Black Snake Moan" should appeal to much of the "Hustle" crowd. That film was a summer opener and bowed to $8M from just over 1,000 locations for a solid $7,915 average. Jackson is always a wild card at the box office as many of the films he anchors do not pull in the big numbers while his ensemble pics tend to thrive. Here, he is the main draw. Competition from other contenders should not be that much of a factor as the film will work if audiences find it cool. Reviews have been generally favorable so that could provide an assist at the turnstiles. Young adults not interested in Vincent Vega and Santa on choppers might go for a more bold moviegoing choice like this. Opening in 1,252 locations, "Black Snake Moan" may debut with about $8M.

Ricci and Jackson in "Black Snake Moan."

After leading the pack for two weeks, Sony’s "Ghost Rider" will get passed up by some of the new releases this weekend. A 50% drop to about $10M seems likely giving the Nicolas Cage film $93M in 17 days.

Disney should enjoy a better hold for its fantasy drama "Bridge to Terabithia" since its audience is a little too young for the newcomers. A 35% decline would leave the PG-rated film with roughly $9M for the frame and push the 17-day cume up to $58M. Jim Carrey on the other hand should tumble with his thriller "The Number 23" which will see some direct competition from "Zodiac." A 55% drop would leave New Line with $7M over the weekend and $25M after ten days.

LAST YEAR: Tyler Perry stayed at number one for the second straight weekend with the Lionsgate comedy "Madea’s Family Reunion" which grossed $12.6M despite a hefty sophomore drop. Opening close behind in the runnerup spot was the Bruce Willis actioner "16 Blocks" with $11.9M on its way to $36.9M for Warner Bros. Disney’s family adventure "Eight Below" held up well in its third ride grossing $10.1M for third place. Debuting with unimpressive results were Sony’s action flick "Ultraviolet" with $9.1M in fourth and Fox’s drama "Aquamarine" with $7.5M in fifth. Final grosses reached $18.5M and $18.6M, respectively. Opening with decent results was "Dave Chappelle’s Block Party" with $6.2M for Focus from 1,200 theaters on its way to $11.7M overall.

Source: Gitesh Pandya,

Tag Cloud

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