FRIDAY FORECAST: Reigning ‘Cats & Dogs?’

Posted by · 2:36 pm · July 30th, 2010

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

Hey kids! How about that terrifying photo to the right? Make you want to see cats and dogs brutally fighting to the death voiced by Nick Nolte and Joe Pantoliano? While Chris O’Donnell looks on confused? Of course it does. We’ve got three new releases this week but are probably looking at a third straight week at the top for “Inception.”

“Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” is probably a half decade too late to capitalize on any good will the audience had for the original (a $131 million grossing summer surprise). Warner Bros. has even wisely lopped off the number two from the title since what few fans there are will know and anyone else might just think it’s a family film with a cool concept. They’ve also given it a hefty 3,700 screen count.

Here’s the thing though. With “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” being the only exception, talking animal movies have terrible drop offs from the original to the sequel. “Babe,” “Garfield” and “Stuart Little” can all attest. With so much time in between films here, and the almost identical “G-Force” less than a year old, it seems like these cats and dogs are headed for the same pile. I think $17 million is the best they can hope for.

“Dinner for Schmucks” fills the remake quota of the week, turning a French hit into an excuse to have our favorite comedic actors act mentally retarded for an hour before probably teaching us some lesson about how we’re all unique and beautiful in our own ways. Steve Carell headlined comedies tend to be good for a $20-$30 million opening, while Paul Rudd hovers closer to just $20 million. Their last collaboration, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” opened with $26.6 million but that actually looked funny so we’ll say $22 million for this one.

Then there’s “Charlie St. Cloud.” Some sort of tearjerker for the ladies, I couldn’t get through the trailer because Zac Efron was distractingly attractive in it. Seriously, that guy has a nice face. Sappy melodrama, coupled with said face means we’re working primarily with females here, but adults could turn up given the dearth of other options for them. It’s an uphill battle for Universal though and I think it’ll start around $13 million.

“Inception” fell only 32% last week and usually the third weekend drop improves from the second. Not to constantly be the negative nelly towards this film but I’m not sure it can achieve that. Word of mouth is strong but I think it’ll fall another 35% (not too shabby) and pull $28 million for the weekend, enough to win again.

“Salt” could fall around 45% to $20 million since I haven’t heard a single person talk about this movie, while“Ramona and Beezus”” should hold a tiny bit better than that and end up with $4.5 million, making the $31.3 million grossing “Monkey Trouble” look like “Transformers” by comparison. (I saw “Monkey Trouble” in the theatre)

Finally, “The Kids Are All Right” expands wide to 847 theatres. It did $2.6 million on 200 this week but with each expansion comes harder territories to convince a movie about gay people and their problems is worth paying $10 for. I think it could do a shade under $5 million.

What are you guys seeing this week?

[Photo: Warner Bros.]

→ 17 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Friday Forecast

17 responses so far

  • 1 7-30-2010 at 2:44 pm

    JJ said...

    Here’s hoping Inception doesn’t have much more than a 35% drop. I, too, think Salt’s buzz has faded a tad. And none of the new releases look dazzling enough for me to think they’ll do amazingly well. And yeah, if Kids can nab close to $5 mill, that would be great. Gonna catch up on my netflix queue this weekned, or maybe Inception again if someone I know needs a companion.

  • 2 7-30-2010 at 3:41 pm

    Bryan said...

    Finally getting around to Kids. Here’s hoping they do the premise better than Whoopi and Ted Danson.

  • 3 7-30-2010 at 3:41 pm

    Estefan said...

    I thought Dinner for Schmucks was hilarious. It seems every passing day, I become less trusting of mediocre trailers and Schmucks is further proof of that. Great work from both Carell and Rudd (and yes, I’ve seen The Dinner Game which is also hilarious and Roach does a very good job with the American adaptation). Hoping it does well.

  • 4 7-30-2010 at 4:36 pm

    Tye-Grr said...

    Good for ‘Inception’! I’m really happy this film is doing so well.

  • 5 7-30-2010 at 5:21 pm

    Liz said...

    Holy crap, I saw “Monkey Trouble” in the theater too! Until about five years ago, Harvey Keitel was “that guy from ‘Monkey Trouble'” to me.

    I should probably be more embarassed about that.

  • 6 7-30-2010 at 7:17 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    No predictions for “Get Low?” It’s getting some great early word-of-mouth.

    Also, someone should probably make a new post about how “127 Hours” has a set release date of November fifth. Interestingly, the same as “Another Year.”

  • 7 7-30-2010 at 8:33 pm

    Kyle said...

    Dinner for Schmucks…I’ve never seen such decent comedic talent (and strong acting talent in Bruce Greenwood) so completely wasted. I think I chuckled once.

  • 8 7-30-2010 at 10:24 pm

    MattB said...

    Hmmm, maybe I run in a different circle but I have heard some Salt buzz, I have not met anyone, male of female, who did not enjoy and recommend it. Even those who have seen Inception multiple times thought Salt was good action fun. Oh, and I love Steve Carrell, but I think Dinner looks ridiculously unfunny. I have seen Inception, will see Salt this weekend. And maybe Inception again.

  • 9 7-31-2010 at 12:46 am

    Ligaya said...

    I must run in the same circle as Matt; a bunch of women/menfolk at jezebel & couple other blogs liked/loved it: still kickass Angelina but an evolution from Lara/Fox; less fantasy, closer to reality (if Bond/Bourne/Ethan Hunt are plausible, Evelyn Salt is plausible); no skin/sex (wonder if she’ll lose some of her fanbase).

    My husband/I loved it enough to see it a 2nd time because we had fave parts we wanted to see again – there was one I wish had been extended, but then I’m bloodthirsty.

    I hadn’t thought it before but Sasha Stone said something apt: Evelyn Salt as a combination Lara Croft & A Mighty Heart at the end. Clint Eastwood also said something apt, Jolie’s beauty is so powerful people can’t see past it to her craft/art.

    I liken her beauty to Medusa’s deadly hypnotic snakes. It’s only when a person can get past the distraction of her face, just see her eyes and listen to her voice that they can really sink into her character the way she has.

  • 10 7-31-2010 at 6:02 am

    JJ said...

    Early numbers (Nikke Finke) show Inception’s lessening of 240 screens to be a bit damaging, grr.

    May struggle to get 25 million for the weekend; and potentially behind Dinner for Schmucks. Nice result for Carrell & Rudd.

    Why on Earth would WB take from a BO monster and give to Cats & Dogs, which is bombing?

    Also, to those who know, was the reason for Inception’s initial theater count (3700) and not 3900 or 4000 because of it’s running time? Can it add screens again in the coming weeks?

  • 11 7-31-2010 at 11:05 am

    Michael said...

    I saw “The Kids Are All Right” with a pretty large audience on a Friday night showing at the local arthouse theater in Richmond, VA. I was pretty impressed with the amount of people that showed up considering the films content (the gay porn scene was very brave and I could tell there was some strong reactions in the audience) but the message was so transcendent I really think it has the potential to be a hit once word of mouth kicks in. Or maybe not, but I am hopeful b/c I truly think that movie was one of the best films of the year (after such a dull first half) and it was a nice change of pace to see a smart and actually really funny film for adults that truly resonated despite the characters being gay.

  • 12 7-31-2010 at 11:08 am

    Michael said...

    Also I am kinda bummed about Salt not catching on. I really enjoyed the film a lot and really wish more summer movies were made like that instead of dull superhero films. I guess it was just badly timed right after Inception and maybe should have come sooner or held out for later?

  • 13 7-31-2010 at 12:52 pm

    Fitz said...

    Why would anyone have greenlit a sequel to Cats and Dogs?

  • 14 8-01-2010 at 11:36 am

    KBJr. said...

    Anyone else looking forward to ‘The Expendables’?

  • 15 8-01-2010 at 12:53 pm

    Fitz said...


    No, not really. I’ll be watching Scott Pilgrim that weekend.

  • 16 8-01-2010 at 1:39 pm

    MovieMan said...

    For the record, “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” is a marked improvement over the original. Of course, it doesn’t make this film any less frivolous. But at least it’s painless.

    “Charlie St. Cloud” is made up of hokey, Nick Sparks material, but it’s better than it has any right to be, and features an excellent performance from Zac Efron. I liked it, so shoot me.

    “Dinner for Schmucks” is as fluffy as cotton candy for the majority of its length, which is opposite of the material at hand. It kind of reminds of Barry Levinson’s “Man of the Year” in that respect.

    “Life During Wartime” is nowhere near the masterpiece that Solondz’s “Happiness” was and certainly doesn’t quite feel like a whole film, but what is included is stellar. Solondz is a great talent.

  • 17 8-01-2010 at 2:29 pm

    JJ said...

    Saw The Kids are All Right:

    I liked this a lot, without loving it.

    Here my mini-problem: a lot of great acting, nuances, pauses, reflections, vignettes, transitions … all without a truly original or meaty storyline.

    And that’s not to say that the writing is bad or that pauses/reflections/transitions aren’t good as a stand alone element (I love them). And having them in any movie helps.

    But yeah, everything kind of drizzles off in the end; and not in a “well, I’m satiated by everything that predecessed it, so it’s okay” sort of way.

    The acting – absolutely great. Really enjoyed, partcularly, Bening, Moore, & Wasikowska.

    And … I’m having a very, very difficult time deciding who was better btwn. Bening and Moore, and if either of them can withstand a Supporting Actress campaign.

    Moore is in the film more, and a major plotline revolves around her. But Bening seems to be a Lead, too. And she’s such a Type-A personality as Nic. Gahhh, no idea how things will shake out by awards time.