FRIDAY FORECAST: Charts of ‘Darkness’

Posted by · 9:20 am · January 29th, 2010

Mel Gibson in Edge of Darkness*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars.

Lucky weekend number seven for “Avatar.” The top spot beckons once again and James Cameron will surely oblige. Another slim drop of 20% would give the wild blue wonder $26.2 million and put $600 million within it’s grubby little grasp.

The only thing remotely standing in the way is the return of Mel Gibson, after an 8-year hiatus from leading roles. His last time in front of the camera and above the title was in “Signs,” which grossed $292.7 million and happens to be the biggest hit of his entire career. So technically, the man is on a roll.

In fact, not counting his small part in “The Million Dollar Hotel,” Gibson’s last 12 pictures have all crossed the $100 million mark, dating back to “The Man Without a Face.” Say what you want about his Jew-hating, but he is one seriously bona fide movie star.

“Edge of Darkness” bears more than a passing resemblance to both “Taken” and Gibson’s own “Payback.” Warner Bros. quickly pounced onto the release date of the former, which debuted with $24.7 million and then showed remarkable staying power through the Spring.  The latter opened in February 1999 to $31.2 million. Splitting the difference would give “Edge of Darkness” $28 million, but I think Gibson’s star has fallen enough to make that impossible. I’m thinking more like $23 million and second place.

Disney has “When in Rome,” which stars Kristen Bell and a weird collection of supporting males. Romantic comedies are a dime a dozen in the market and audiences seem to be fine with revisiting the one where Meryl Streep sleeps with Alec Baldwin and not Stanley Tucci. I think this one will be lucky to get $11 million.

And that’s all you get. “Fish Tank” finally opens in Los Angeles so I have something to see but if you’re anywhere else in America, good luck. Go bowling or something. Play outside.

→ 22 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

22 responses so far

  • 1 1-29-2010 at 9:29 am

    Joe said...

    Boy, “The Lovely Bones” fell off the face of the earth, didn’t it? So did “Nine”, although that one didn’t have a splashy re-release campaign.
    Which one of you liked “35 Shots of Rum”? Was that you, Guy? It just opened here today; I might see that one.

  • 2 1-29-2010 at 9:32 am

    James D. said...

    Chad Hartigan, you have made me fall in love with Greta Gerwig. How can I cure my ailment?

  • 3 1-29-2010 at 9:43 am

    David said...

    I have a feeling “When in Rome” is going to nab the second place spot.

  • 4 1-29-2010 at 9:53 am

    Damned Martian said...

    Not counting his supporting role in The Singing Detective either…

  • 5 1-29-2010 at 9:57 am

    Michael said...

    or stay inside and stay warm if you are on the east coast and about to get slammed by the imminent blizzard! My local arthouse theater is finally playing Crazy Heart and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans so I will make it out there at some point to see both of those films but nothing else really stands out worth seeing.

  • 6 1-29-2010 at 10:02 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Edge of Darkness is a fine thriller that probably do well with good word of mouth in the coming weeks. It could be as big a sleeper as Taken.

  • 7 1-29-2010 at 10:05 am

    Rob said...

    I kind of agree. After seeing it on Tuesday, if “Edge of Darkness” manages to open decently this weekend, the word-of-mouth is going to be killer.

  • 8 1-29-2010 at 10:22 am

    Vance said...

    Fish Tank, huh? I just caught it yesterday. I thought it had the whole Precious-style miserablism going on and I wasn’t a fan. That said, the acting is terrific. But the storyline is more or less something you’d tell a shrink not something you’d write for a script.

  • 9 1-29-2010 at 10:44 am

    david said...

    Guess I’ll go see Avatar a second time.

    Michael: I really enjoyed Bad Lieutenant. One of Cage’s most memorable performances. Only Herzog could concoct something like this, and make it work so beautifully. Destined to be a cult classic in years to come. Still, no sign of Crazy Heart in my neck of the woods.

  • 10 1-29-2010 at 10:54 am

    JJ said...

    I don’t think TLB has fallen off the face of the Earth, it’s just having 45-50% drops. Nothing insane.

  • 11 1-29-2010 at 11:19 am

    Michael said...

    david: I can’t wait to see Bad Lieutenant! I am a big fan of Herzog and I have heard that it is Cage’s best performance in years.

  • 12 1-29-2010 at 11:29 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    @Joe: Yep, that was me. My #6 of last year. Give it a whirl.

  • 13 1-29-2010 at 12:01 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I never comment on box office, but I’m going to step out onto a limb and say Avatar falls this week to Gibson…

  • 14 1-29-2010 at 12:19 pm

    Maxim said...

    I will, for the record, say that it won’t.

    Also, I won’t get started on this trajectory but this: “Say what you want about his Jew-hating, but he is one seriously bona fide movie star.”
    could have been phrased a lot better.

  • 15 1-29-2010 at 12:53 pm

    Michael said...

    @Maxim: I don’t know if it could have been phrased any differently personallly. Chad’s political incorrectness is one of his best traits and one of the most entertaining aspects of his column. Clearly he was just joking.

  • 16 1-29-2010 at 12:58 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    James D. – Watch Yeast. She plays a miserable cunt.

  • 17 1-29-2010 at 2:34 pm

    McAllister said...

    I think Mel will take the top spot, for sure. He’s got a lot of fans that are unspoken.

  • 18 1-29-2010 at 4:25 pm

    Glenn said...

    He made a good decision to make a movie like “Edge of Darkness” instead of a “What Women Want” since, well, I imagine not many women want to watch Mel Gibson atm.

  • 19 1-29-2010 at 4:56 pm

    Reuben said...

    I still think Avatar will remain on top this week and then Super Bowl weekend as well.

    Valentine’s Day and The Wolfman will be the two flicks to top it.

  • 20 1-29-2010 at 7:22 pm

    Bing147 said...

    Gibson’s last 12 movies haven’t done 100 million. His last credited role didn’t. (The Singing Detective)

  • 21 1-30-2010 at 12:44 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    So, uh, I was wrong. Someone stop this train. Positively boring.

  • 22 1-30-2010 at 1:15 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    It would help if they released some passable commercial movies.