FRIDAY FORECAST: Pass the ‘Salt’

Posted by · 3:36 pm · July 23rd, 2010

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

Laziest headline ever? It’s that kind of Friday folks.

Hey boys! Anything you can do, Angelina Jolie can make look sexier and she’s here to prove it with “Salt.” Originally a vehicle for Tom Cruise, Jolie stepped in and is literally the only woman in Hollywood who can have action scripts rewritten and re-gendered to fit her interest. She’s also the only woman in Hollywood who is currently sleeping with Brad Pitt, so let me just add this up; Angelina Jolie-2, every other woman in Hollywood-0.

This clout came from solid performances for “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and “Wanted.” The last of which opened to a very strong and surprising $56.4 million back in 2008. Sure, it was based on a comic book and had other recognizable faces in it, but the marketing really didn’t have much going for it other than the promise of Jolie shooting ridiculous weapons and leaning out of cars.

She’s had less success when dipping into dramatic territory, with “Changeling” and “A Mighty Heart” earning her rave reviews but fizzling at the box office. Nobody wants to see those hit lips quivering like a victim. We want to see fights and just enough skin to warrant a PG-13 rating!

Director Philip Noyce is in the same boat. His last three films have been more prestigious affairs and “Catch a Fire” in particular was dismissed by audiences. You have to go back eleven years to the last time he helmed big studio fare in “The Bone Collector,” also starring Jolie, and that grossed a solid $103.8 million. Nobody really cares about him anyway and this is Jolie’s to make or break. I say we’re looking at $38 million for the weekend and a close race for the top spot.

Leading the competition will be Chris Nolan’s “Inception.” Mid-week figures were pretty spectacular and indicate that word of mouth is indeed getting out there. The film passed $100 million yesterday after only 7 days and now should easily have enough in the tank to get past $200 million. I don’t think the hold will be amazing, but even if it’s just 40%, Warner Bros. should be pleased.

That would give it $37.7 million and you see where a photo finish might be needed.

“Despicable Me” isn’t going anywhere and could gross another $22 million or more. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” certainly won’t be providing any competition as it could slip all the way to $9 million in just its second week. Next time Disney should aim higher and give us “The Sorcerer’s Master” so we don’t have to watch someone filing sorcery paperwork all day.

Fox has a movie called “Ramona and Beezus” coming out and I heard it was based on a book but I only remember a beloved children’s story by Beverly Cleary called “Beezus and Ramona” and why would they adapt that book and reverse the names, ruining all syntax? Is someone still bitter that nobody listened when he suggested changing that mouse movie name to “Little Stuart?” Or his other adaptation idea, “The Friendly Giant Big.”

I digress. This movie is for little girls, of which I am not, so I haven’t heard much about it but Fox can usually be counted on to muck these things up and we’re probably looking at $7 million for the weekend. Cue studio executives reminding themselves that nobody likes movies about girls, unless they are super slutty or carrying a gun.

Summer’s winding down it seems and all the nerds are at Comic-Con. What are you guys seeing?

[Photo: Columbia Pictures]

→ 25 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Friday Forecast

25 responses so far

  • 1 7-23-2010 at 3:46 pm

    Hans said...

    Might finally catch up with Despicable Me. It’s been plastered all over my Facebook by my other friends, but the “funniest” part’s already been ruined for me (ad nauseam).

    Or Predators. I dunno.

    Not Salt because I don’t get an employee discount on that yet.

  • 2 7-23-2010 at 4:31 pm

    Kevin said...

    Seeing Inception again, and I do plan on finally seeing “The Kids Are All Right” and “Winter’s Bone” sometime very soon.

  • 3 7-23-2010 at 4:42 pm

    BDM said...

    I’m hoping The Kids Are alright gets wider release soon.

  • 4 7-23-2010 at 4:49 pm

    Bryan said...

    Kids Are All right did add 150 screens but I’m seeing Inception again and waiting until next weekend for the blatant Made in America knock-off (they replaced race with sexual orientation).

  • 5 7-23-2010 at 4:56 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    That British guy with the beautiful mouth in “Inception” should make a movie with Angelina Jolie. It would be all about their lips.

  • 6 7-23-2010 at 5:03 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    By the way, I actually saw a matinee of “Salt” today. SPOILER ALERT: I expected an enyoyable guilty pleasure, but–not so much, really. It wasn’t terrible, though, and Angelina Jolie is rockin’ throughout. I especially liked the Natasha Fatale homage during the Manhattan scenes. There were a lot of plot problems, as usual. REALLY BIG SPOILER ALERT: Can anyone explain to me why she goes down to the bunker under the White House once her fake-Czech side-kick gets himself killed? Why does she think she needs to do that? I mean, she needs to for the plot to keep moving, but I don’t see why the character would think she needs to continue with the plan, which she doesn’t support in the first place.

  • 7 7-23-2010 at 6:22 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    I might be giving away too much of my childhood here, but the Quimby family was a pretty important part of it, and the “Ramona and Beezus” switch KILLS me. Anyone else?

  • 8 7-23-2010 at 7:08 pm

    al b. said...

    Chad, that was the perfect headline!

    I’ve seen Inception three times now and now I wait until Expendables!

  • 9 7-23-2010 at 8:39 pm

    Hans said...

    Guy: It probably doesn’t irk me to the same degree as you, but still it irks. Beverly Cleary was significant presence in my childhood, but less so than the Boxcar Children and…Laura Ingalls. I’m frankly shocked those two franchises have gone untouched cinematically.

  • 10 7-23-2010 at 9:33 pm

    Adam M. said...

    “She’s also the only woman in Hollywood who is currently sleeping with Brad Pitt”

    I wouldn’t bet money on that ;)

    I think ‘Salt’ will do better than you predict and have good legs (heh). Even if reviews are mixed, I think it will play extremely well to the casual movie-going crowd.

  • 11 7-23-2010 at 11:09 pm

    ThreeOfAKind said...

    Nikki Finke has Inception (14.4) beating Salt (13.8). Inception could possibly pull in 45 million in its second weekend.

  • 12 7-23-2010 at 11:11 pm

    Kevin said...

    I just saw “The Kids are All Right” at a preview screening here in Australia (it doesn’t release wide until September) and I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. Very funny, but at the same time, not caught up in its witticisms (a complaint I made about Juno and other similar comedies).

    No, “Kids” is definitely a very different beast and Cholodenko has obviously taken her time imprinting her style all over it. Funny how the marketing is selling it as a broad, mainstream film whereas the film’s content is actually much more adult-oriented and is actually not all right for kids.

  • 13 7-23-2010 at 11:57 pm

    Julian Stark said...

    I’m seeing “Salt” tomorrow. It should be a fun time at the movies. I might be seeing another movie (or movies) later in the week.

    On the other hand, I can’t wait until “The Kids Are All Right” and “Winter’s Bone” come to my area… if they ever do, that is.

  • 14 7-24-2010 at 2:02 am

    Andy said...

    Won a free double pass to Winter’s Bone, so I’ll be seeing that. I also have two passes to the Melbourne International Film Festival, which I’ll have to use sparingly.

  • 15 7-24-2010 at 5:29 am

    JJ said...

    I think Inception will win the weekend, but Salt will be right on it’s heels. I expect both to have decent legs in the coming weeks.

    Saw Salt last night with a very approving crowd. I thought it was OK with 1 or 2 nice fluorishes; and Angie was in “stare into the camera and kill you” badass mode. Loved it.

    But yeah, 6-7 out of 10, overall.

  • 16 7-24-2010 at 12:10 pm

    Speaking English said...

    I had trouble with the little plot turn in “The Kids Are All Right” involving Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo (you know the one).


    I mean, really? Isn’t there other conflict that can be introduced into the (acknowledged) lesbian family without a typical heterosexual affair breaking it up? Just seemed lazy and backwards, especially for a movie that’s supposed to be a positive portrayal of a same-sex marriage.

  • 17 7-24-2010 at 1:17 pm

    Kyle said...

    The affair is more realistic than you realize…perhaps it was a lazy choice…but it wasn’t exactly out of left field. And I found it rather daring in defining just how complicated
    same sex relationships can be.

  • 18 7-24-2010 at 1:42 pm

    Speaking English said...

    But would a lesbian woman who has been happily married for quite a while be so quick to jump on a man? I don’t really understand this.

  • 19 7-24-2010 at 3:39 pm

    Kyle said...

    People are complex, it can happen, I know an instance personally…and perhaps you noticed in the film, the character wasn’t necessarily happy, particularly in the pseudo-dominant manner in which the relationship was going.

    Like I said, not that far-fetched.

  • 20 7-24-2010 at 6:02 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    People are complex. Love triangles in a Hollywood film are not.

  • 21 7-24-2010 at 6:08 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Have you seen the film?

  • 22 7-24-2010 at 6:39 pm

    Kyle said...

    Me or Chad?
    I saw it last night.

  • 23 7-24-2010 at 7:15 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Sorry, I meant Chad.

  • 24 7-24-2010 at 11:47 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    No, I haven’t seen it. And that element from the trailer is the chief reason why.

  • 25 8-01-2010 at 1:28 pm

    MovieMan said...

    “Ramona and Beezus” is an honest, charming, witty, touching film that deserves to be the sleeper hit of summer 2010. The performances by Selena Gomez and Joey King are star-making.

    “Salt” is utterly preposterous, but it’s a lot more fun than, say, “Inception.” It’s fast, furious, “Bourne”-like entertainment that grabs you by the ass and doesn’t let go.