FRIDAY FORECAST: Freeman vs. frog

Posted by · 2:14 pm · December 11th, 2009

The Princess and the Frog*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars.

We are only one week away from the day that movie-going is changed forever so why even bother seeing anything now? I can’t be hassled by anything in only TWO dimensions! I didn’t buy these designer 3D/sunglasses for nothing!

Disney really emphasizes the 2D this weekend with the wide launch of “The Princess and the Frog,” the studio’s first non-computer animated title since “Home on the Range” in 2004. That modest film grossed $57.8 million, despite ingeniously casting Roseanne as a cow, but the damage had already been done by “Treasure Planet” two years before.

Intended to be Disney’s huge Thanksgiving family film, that flick grossed a terrible $46.9 million and effectively closed down the production house. Ironically enough, it’s John Lasseter who is spearheading the renaissance and the grosses here will go a long way towards deciding the future of the medium.

Two weeks of exclusive engagements in New York and Los Angeles have been a gold mine and “A Christmas Carol” and “Planet 51” will not be offering much competition. “The Blind Side” might be the only obstacle in the way of a really large opening but I think this should be the number one film easy and earn $32 million or so. I know I’ll be there.

Clint Eastwood’s ninth movie of the decade, “Invictus,” is our only other new release. Like “Million Dollar Baby” and “Gran Torino” before it, the film arrives with Oscar buzz not because of festival screenings, but simply because it’s Eastwood. Early reviews, including Kris’s, have been mixed at best and check out this little bit of fun trivia: Average gross of the aughts’ Eastwood films that star Eastwood? $103.4 million. Average gross of the aughts’ Eastwood films that don’t feature his pretty face?  $48.2 million.

Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman certainly provide some star power but we already have one multi-racial, inspirational sports drama in the market and you don’t mess with Bullock these days. I think this will walk away with $11 million over the weekend.

“The Lovely Bones” opens in three theaters and “A Single Man” hits nine so expect huge per-venue averages for both of those titles. Not interested in quality? Lucky for you, “The Slammin’ Salmon” also opens on 11 screens and there’s still “Transylmania” floating around somewhere.

What are you seeing this weekend?

→ 10 Comments Tags: , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

10 responses so far

  • 1 12-11-2009 at 2:22 pm

    Michael said...

    I can’t wait to see The Princess and The Frog. I think it looks like a fun time, and I hope it causes Disney to start making hand drawn animation more consistently again.

  • 2 12-11-2009 at 2:55 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Opening a film called “Slammin’ Salmon” in the same week as “The Lovely Bones” is unfortunate.

  • 3 12-11-2009 at 3:00 pm

    Marlowe said...

    @Guy: Sort of a “Drowning Mona” type thing.
    My God, I just reminded myself “Drowning Mona” existed. Why in God’s name did I do that?

  • 4 12-11-2009 at 3:00 pm

    Mike_M said...

    Going to see Up In the Air tonight and Invictus on Sunday… I LOVE Broken Lizards so I really want to see Salmon, but there is no time, hopefully it will still be playing between Xmas and NYE – I’ll try and catch it since I will be off from work.

  • 5 12-11-2009 at 3:07 pm

    Adam said...

    @Guy: So awful, so true.

  • 6 12-11-2009 at 3:09 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    hahahaha guy, thats terrible, but hilarious
    ill see invictus, princess and precious finally

  • 7 12-11-2009 at 4:19 pm

    Bryan said...

    I’m trying to see The Road tonight, and Me and Orson Welles tomorrow, and then Broken Embraces Tuesday (The indie theater has a special 6dollar tuesday deal).

  • 8 12-11-2009 at 7:01 pm

    Joel said...

    “The Princess and the Frog” is indeed wonderful. Just glorious time in the movies.

  • 9 12-11-2009 at 9:21 pm

    j said...

    I don’t want Invictus to get any traction, but reviews aren’t mixed at best.

    They’re generally positive but without enthusiasm. There’s one review that’s 90+ on MC out of 32, and bottoms out with a pair of 50 aka 2 out of 4 stars.

  • 10 12-13-2009 at 9:41 am

    Mike said...

    Loved The Princess and the Frog. Took me back to early nineties Disney movies.