FRIDAY FORECAST: Celebrity ‘Apprentice’

Posted by · 12:22 pm · July 16th, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars.

Hey gang, it’s the weekend we’ve all been waiting for. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” finally opens and satisfies our bloodlust for not one, but two fantasy collaborations between the Walt Disney company and Jerry Bruckheimer per summer. Perhaps only Pixar can rival their impressive streak of quality entertainment which includes “G-Force,” “Coyote Ugly” and “Bad Company.” More like good company!

Nicolas Cage teams with the two of them for the seventh time and the hope is obviously to pull in “National Treasure” numbers. Actually, all six previous collaborations have earned over $125 million, so they obviously bring out the best in each other. Unfortunately, “National Treasure” looked brisk and fun while “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” looks dark and muddled.

The film already opened on Wednesday and earned $7 million in its first two days. Not looking good for the old Cagester and Bruckmeister as the weekend should only muster another $18 million or so, becoming yet another summer title reliant on international grosses to make a profit. Maybe Jerry will have to stick to TV producing where he lords over, at my last count, 361 crime or detective shows. And at least Cage is shrewd with his money. Oh wait.

Also opening, on 623 screens is “Standing Ovation.” Bet you haven’t heard of it, unless you are a 7- year-old Christian girl. Some genius decided to combine the pageantry of “Glee” with the dancing of “Step Up” and the tweens of everything on the Disney Channel. Rocky Mountain Pictures is doing the honors of releasing this indie all across America, because clearly there’s too much artistic integrity going on to be consigned just to the art house.

Go ahead, watch the trailer. See if you don’t revise those Oscar charts.

As far as predicting goes, I want to say $300,000 for the weekend but you never know with these things. Remember when “Facing the Giants” debuted with $1.6 million from 441 screens in 2006? Of course you don’t, unless you distributed or made “Facing the Giants.”

“Despicable Me” should have a good hold, since word of mouth seems to be strong. A 40% drop would give it another $33 million and ensure that those little yellow things will be popping up in cereal and AT&T commercials for years to come.

“Predators” is gonna drop like a rock. That’s just the way it is. If it makes $10 million this weekend, Fox can be proud of their half-hearted campaign. Perhaps we should have been warned from the beginning that this would be a lazy endeavor when the pitch apparently went, “Guys, remember ‘Predator?’ Well, what if it was ‘Predators!‘” Ka-ching!

I guess that’s about it. Let me just double check. Yup.

Oh, and $55 million for “Inception.”

What are you guys seeing?

→ 23 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Friday Forecast

23 responses so far

  • 1 7-16-2010 at 12:37 pm

    Jeremy said...

    Chad Hartigan, ladies and gentlemen! Where even burying the lead becomes a snarky commentary on populist entertainment.

  • 2 7-16-2010 at 12:51 pm

    Al said...

    I had never heard of Standing Ovation before this week. During vacation in Cape May (jersey shore) there was a blitz of ads for some reason and I figured it was just a local production and would only play in town. 600+ screens you say? Yikes.

  • 3 7-16-2010 at 1:08 pm

    Aaron G said...

    lol hartigan u dick

  • 4 7-16-2010 at 1:10 pm

    Hans said...

    HAHA Facing the Giants. That movie was hailed like the second coming at my Christian high school. The dean had no idea what movie to put on on a Saturday night? Bam! Facing the Giants to the rescue.

  • 5 7-16-2010 at 2:21 pm

    m1 said...

    Way to diss Inception.

  • 6 7-16-2010 at 3:01 pm

    James D. said...

    I Am Love opened at the local indie theater. I wonder if I can trick my friends into going to it instead of Inception.

  • 7 7-16-2010 at 3:29 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Good one.

  • 8 7-16-2010 at 3:54 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    $55mil sounds like a good bet for Inception, but I wouldn’t be surprised if word-of-mouth and everyone saying “it has to be seen more than once” makes it have a big Friday-to-Saturday increase. That and the IMAX thing might bring it up to as much as $70 million. The former two reasons may also give it a small first-to-second weekend drop unlike most fanboy films.

  • 9 7-16-2010 at 4:17 pm

    JTag said...

    Jacob – our local theatre is almost sold out for its 11 pm Inception show tonight, which doesn’t sound all that big a deal until you realize that it’s playing in the non-mall crowd theatre, and the 11 pm shows NEVER sell out unless it’s Twilight. I cannot wait to see what the second weekend numbers are. Poor Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

    So Standing Ovation gets a bigger release than The Hurt Locker? Got I hate Summit (I know Standing Ovation isn’t their release).

  • 10 7-16-2010 at 5:09 pm

    al b. said...

    Chad Hartigan, you genius!

    Seriously! $55 mil! It’s gonna be at least $70! Despicable Me drops to $35 million and you know what, I have a feeling that Sorcerer’s Apprentice will pick up, look for about $25 mil weekend for about $32 million 5-day total.

  • 11 7-16-2010 at 6:10 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    This column is truly Chad’s finest hour.

  • 12 7-16-2010 at 6:41 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...



  • 13 7-16-2010 at 7:24 pm

    Mike said...

    And with those comments, perhaps Guy’s and Kris’ as well. Fantastic weekly column, Mr. Hartigan!

  • 14 7-16-2010 at 11:54 pm

    Glenn said...

    I was going to say the same thing as Guy. Great stuff!

  • 15 7-17-2010 at 5:34 am

    Ben M. said...

    I think Inception should have a big OW, 60 million or more; I went to see The Girl Who Played With Fire yesterday and Inception had five sold out evening shows with no tickets available till the late night shows at the same theatre (Eclipse was the only other movie at that theatre with any sell-outs, and that was just one 7pm showing).

    Anyway obviously saw Girl Who Played With Fire last night as well as Sorcerer’s Apprentice on Wed., both were very mediocre and ran at least 15 minutes too long, also seeing Inception in Imax today.

  • 16 7-17-2010 at 9:03 am

    The Dude said...

    Early reports puts Inception’s Friday gross at around $20 million. Translation: Chad’s prediction seems to be right on the money.

  • 17 7-17-2010 at 9:07 am

    Michael said...

    love it! I wish there was a like button for these columns, I would like every single one of chad’s posts.

    Inception is prolly gonna do pretty good, I know that I am already planning on seeing it a second time on Sunday with another large group of friends. I am also stoked to finally see Winter’s Bone which randomly got released in a rather dumpy theater that isn’t necessarily known for releasing indie films but needless to say I am making the drive out there tonight to watch that movie.

  • 18 7-17-2010 at 9:24 am

    Adam M. said...

    Why is everyone thinking that ‘Inception’ will hold? It won’t! The Nolan fanboys and eager beavers will all be out this weekend. That will front-load the film right there. Finke reports a B+ Cinemascore, which isn’t so great for a summer blockbuster (‘Batman Begins’ and ‘Dark Knight’ had A’s, as did ‘Iron Man 2.’ ‘Blind Side’ had an A+. ‘The A-Team’ got a B+!). So repeat business and word-of-mouth will be tamer (aside from whatever comes from the aforementioned fanboys–whose reach will be limited). And then there’s Saint Angie Jo, who should steamroll over the box office with the supposedly taught, exciting, and accessible ‘Salt.’

  • 19 7-17-2010 at 11:09 am

    Kyle said...

    By god, if Christopher Nolan has become a brand enough to front-load a film’s first weekend into a 60-70 odd million dollar gross…than there really is good taste out there in the general populace.

  • 20 7-17-2010 at 4:10 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    Wow, Adam, butt-hurt much?

  • 21 7-18-2010 at 11:42 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Pretty damn close on Inception, Chad. Most were trumpeting 70+. I have no idea how to call box office, never have, never will.

  • 22 7-18-2010 at 4:30 pm

    Adam M. said...

    @Kevin – This is what I can’t stand about the Nolan fanboys. I lay out a very specific argument supported by facts and examples for why ‘Inception’ will not hold at the box office next weekend, and the best response you have is to insinuate that my anal cavity is inflamed. I liked ‘Inception.’ I liked it a lot. But eh gads, it’s not the second coming of cinema already!

  • 23 8-01-2010 at 1:23 pm

    MovieMan said...

    Conor MacPherson’s “The Eclipse” is a horror film, a character study, and a romance all concocted into an unforgettable film that is easily one of the best movies of 2010 so far.

    “Inception,” as I’ve stated before, is a weak-willed sci-fi picture without a heart. For every astounding visual image, there is a cold-to-the-touch moment that ultimately signifies nothing.

    “The Kids Are All Right” doesn’t add up to a whole lot in the end, but the scripting is wise, the thematic relevancy is readily apparent, and the performances are all absolutely top-notch, especially Annette Bening’s.

    “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is clunky, thrown-together entertainment and, in fact, is no more impressive than Bruckheimer’s other summer release, “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.”