Friday, April 01, 2005

The New Yorker tries her luck at predicting the future, OR Boffo B.O.!

In a moment that was spurred on by a sense of “all the cool kids are doing it”, I have decided to do my own set of predictions for the weekend box office.

My favorite of the weekend, is of course, is Sin City. It looks like the universe that Frank Miller created in his comic books and graphic novels, has been successfully brought to life with the help of Robert Rodriguez’ noir sensibilities and a bunch of good looking and talented actors. I’m sold on the visuals and the performances, but as always, I’m a little bit nervous about the script and the story. Not that a script is necessarily any indication of how much money a movie makes. There have been many a blockbuster smashes with stinky scripts. Still a good script always helps, and I would be disappointed to see them fall into the trap of “style over substance”.

Defamer has predicted that Sin City will follow in the footsteps of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, a highly anticipated action adventure genre piece with a box office that fizzled not sizzled. Sky Captain won its weekend in September, but only made 15.5 million.

The Hollywood Reporter on the other hand predicts it will land at number one, and gross over $30 Million. According to the HR

“co-director Robert Rodriguez's film noir should draw not only comic book fans but also audiences interested in seeing Rodriguez's marvel in moviemaking.”

The other big studio release this weekend is Beauty Shop, starring Queen Latifah. You’re probably laughing right? Thinking it doesn’t have a chance? Well both Barbershop and Barbershop 2, the first two in the franchise, each grossed over 20 million in the first weekend, and jointly grossed over 150 million in their runs. That’s a lot of money for comedies which had a budgets in the 20’s. They made their money back and then some.

So here we have it, Beautyshop and Sin City battling it out. Also let’s not forget about Guess Who? The Bernie Mac/Ashton Kutchner comedy made 20 million and came in on top last weekend. It was only a month and a half ago or so, that Constantine was released (another dark comic book movie) and was shut out of number one by repeat offender Hitch, who in its second week still edged out Constantine by 4 million. Sin City, like Constantine, is also rated R, as opposed to the PG – 13 ratings of both Beautyshop and Guess Who? If history does indeed repeat itself Guess Who? Might be raking in the cash this weekend, and remain #1.

But I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’m going to bet on my favorite, and proclaim that Sin City will win the weekend with about $22 mil. Then Beautyshop with $18 and Guess Who? just behind it at around $15.

I think it will be really interesting to see how Sin City does because it is primarily in black and white, and I think that as foolish as it sounds, that could be a deterrent for people. But if the masses can get around that and not be thrown off by the artsy cinematography and art direction, well ladies and gentlemen, we might just have another Kill Bill on our hands. (Fitting because Quentin Tarantino apparently directed a segment for Sin City for which he was paid one million dollars.)

A lot of people thought Kill Bill was going to get slaughtered when it came out because it was up against Intolerable Cruelty, the Cohen Brother’s movie with George Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones. Many in Hollywood thought the star power of Clooney and Z Jones combined with the romantic comedy angle, would trump the ultra violence and exotic settings of Tarantino’s epic. But it didn’t. Kill Bill made almost twice what Intolerable Cruelty made, and came in at number 1, while IC came in at #4.

When movies like Sin City and Kill Bill do well, I am pleased because I hope that more studios will recognize that works with creative and original flair can be commercially successful. It shows that these films can draw in a curious audience, and that just because it is unique that it will not turn people off or drive them away.

So there you have it. My first box office weekend prediction. I won’t bother going past #3, because that will just get boring.

Anyone wish to cast a wager?


Anonymous Crazy Monk said...

I'm pretty sure Quentin was paid $1, not $1,000,000, to guest direct the Owen-del Toro scene. It was in return for the $1 Rodriguez was paid to score parts of Kill Bill 2.

11:05 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Ok yeah, you're right, the source that I got that from was wrong. It was from the Hollywood Reporter too! Go figure. Thanks for the correction.

11:44 AM  

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