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, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

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