FRIDAY FORECAST: End of the Road

Posted by · 4:58 pm · August 27th, 2010

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

It’s the last full weekend of the summer, the last weekend of me being 27, and the last weekend for Friday Forecast on InContention. A time of introspection. A time of reflection. A time of paying another $20 to see those blue things in 3D again. I can’t wait to not see it again… for the first time.

The dog days of August are notoriously tough on the multiplex as kids start heading back to school so don’t expect any Oscar nominations for this week’s crop of films. Leading the pack is “The Last Exorcism” from Lionsgate. This could be the first time in that company’s history that one of its films takes the top spot away from another one of its films. A low budget faux-documentary, Lionsgate picked up distribution rights and has sold it fantastically with sharp trailers and posters.

Exorcism is a foolproof box office meme, with Sony able to milk a $37.3 million debut for “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” in September 2005. That film had some movie stars and a true story hook, while Lionsgate is definitely no Sony, but we should still be looking at a strong opening for the film. Something like $18 million, but if Lionsgate can get some stories printed about audience members puking, then you can bump that up to $22 million.

Speaking of Sony, they finally release “Takers,” which has bounced around the schedule for a year. The crime/drama stars Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen, once and for all putting to rest confusion that they are the same person, as well as America’s favorite woman-beater, Chris Brown. With a cast like that, how can it fail? This is the type of movie that Sony always turns into an overperformer, but with “Exorcism” stealing the young adult dollars, I think it will be a more subdued $11 million start and second place.

Remember when we saw “Avatar” in the theaters guys? Good times, right? I just wish we could do that again, but with a few extra minutes of establishing shots and a weirdo sex scene. What? James Cameron has answered my prayers? “Avatar: The Let’s Make More Money Edition” arrives in 812 theaters and will probably do really well. Nevermind that the thing is already on DVD or that I’m maybe the only person on the planet who hasn’t seen it already. Another $7 million or so will help Cameron afford that small planet he’s had his eye on.

Where does this leave “The Expendables” you ask? Well, it’s certain that the film won’t become Stallone’s first weekend threepeat since “Rocky IV,” but it will also shortly pass “Rocky Balboa” to become his most successful film since “The Specialist.” You know, the one with the super awkward Sharon Stone sex scenes. That doesn’t really narrow down Stone films, does it?

Last week’s films are barely worth mentioning. “Vampires Suck” should plummet, along with “Lottery Ticket” and “Piranha 3D.” “Nanny McPhee Returns” and “The Switch” could fare a little better, but we’re still talking around 40% drops. The sooner we can collectively forget about these films, the better.

You know when gas prices get raised from $2 to $4 during the summer, everyone gets pissed, but still pays the $4 and then when gas goes down to $3, everyone is psyched, totally forgetting that we should be paying $2. That’s like late summer movies. We’ve been paying for “Vampires Suck” and “The Switch” so now when we get mediocre Oscar bait, we’ll leap out of our seats to praise it. Classic Hollywood.

Alright, that’s it for Friday Forecast. Let’s see how well we do on Sunday and give the box office column a proper kiss off. What are you guys seeing?

[Photo: Lionsgate]

→ 27 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Box Office · Friday Forecast

27 responses so far

  • 1 8-27-2010 at 5:57 pm

    Ben said...

    So this is the last weekend of your box office columns? If so, you’ll be missed. I enjoy your writing so let us know if you are taking your writing to another site.

  • 2 8-27-2010 at 5:59 pm

    Ben said...

    Nevermind, just found last weekend’s note in Sunday Cents (been a bit out of the loop). Good luck on the second feature and look forward to the rest of Life W/o Oscar!

  • 3 8-27-2010 at 6:35 pm

    Anon said...

    Good riddance to a horrible writer of a horrible column.

  • 4 8-27-2010 at 6:49 pm

    Gustavo said...

    What Annon said.

    No hard feelings, but it was about time.

  • 5 8-27-2010 at 7:17 pm

    Estefan said...

    It is kind of ironic that the writer of a box-office related column hasn’t seen the highest-grossing film of all-time (not adjusted for inflation, of course).

    Looking past the snarkiness and general anti-Hollywood theme, they were still interestingly written pieces.

  • 6 8-27-2010 at 8:09 pm

    Andrew R. said...

    Hey now, let’s not gang up on Chad. Sure he’s had more than his fair share of douche bag/troll/asshole/snark comments in both his columns (*Cough* Eat Pray Love opening weekend column *cough*) and post responses, and he often times portrays himself as a full of himself elitist with little regard for other peoples opinions on film. But he loves movies and is passionate about them. He makes them after all, not many on here can make claim to that.

    And sometimes he’s funny – but not always. I’ll miss the box office columns.

  • 7 8-27-2010 at 9:10 pm

    Danny King said...

    What has stopped you from seeing “Avatar”?

  • 8 8-27-2010 at 9:35 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Looks bad

  • 9 8-27-2010 at 10:36 pm

    SJG said...

    I disagree with Chad on everything but I love reading his posts, so he’ll be missed (by me).

  • 10 8-28-2010 at 12:02 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’m so happy Chad has rubbed so many people so wrong for so long. And I love that their feelings have been so weirdly hurt and/or their views/opinions/perspectives so aggressively challenged that they can’t help but to come in here and reveal with petty anger their sad frustration toward a person who couldn’t have less of an impact in their actual day-to-day lives.

    Thanks for the passion, Chad. Looking forward to the send-off on Sunday.

  • 11 8-28-2010 at 12:49 am

    BJT said...

    I’ll be back at work tomorrow and unable to make comments, but I’d just like to wish Chad all the very best for the future.

    As a long time reader of In Contention your columns reinvigorated my interest and often I would look at the site purely to catch up with your thoughts. I haven’t always agreed with your opinion but I am enamoured of your integrity.

    From a true fan – good luck.

  • 12 8-28-2010 at 1:53 am

    Chris said...

    To those who complain about this column: why do you keep reading it? Seriously.

    Chad’s insulted quite a few films I like in this column, and yet it never bothered me, and why should it? It’s just one man’s opinion. At least he made a subject I used to find rather dull, seem interesting and worthwile.

  • 13 8-28-2010 at 2:48 am

    Bebe said...

    Chad’s awesome. When it comes to art and entertainment, I prefer my journalists extreme and subjective (even if I disagree with them) rather than objective and dull.

  • 14 8-28-2010 at 2:57 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    At least the column is ending on a high note — that first paragraph, in particular, is a gem.

    I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss these. (I suspect the Anons will, too. Don’t worry, we’ll do our best to give you guys something to whinge about when Chad goes.)

  • 15 8-28-2010 at 4:10 am

    deeks said...

    I can honestly say that I log into this site more regularly on a Friday and a Sunday than on any other day waiting for Chad’s updates (no offence to Kris and Guy). Even if you disagree with his taste and / or opinions, I don’t think anyone can deny that his posts are both entertaining and informative.

    Looking forward to the final “Sunday Cents” on Sunday. Here’s hoping it will be something special. (Also, best of luck to Chad with the second feature – please leave us know if there’s somewhere we can follow progress, eventual release etc).

    After that, looking forward to the site getting busier again as Oscar season gets into full swing. Having lurked in many Oscar sites over the last few years this is the only one I still check out on an almost daily basis year round.

    Keep up the good work guys.

  • 16 8-28-2010 at 5:27 am

    Loyal said...

    The internet is losing vitriolic cinema snark left and right. First Devin, now you.

    Good luck on your second feature. I’m not a big mumblecore fan, are we in for another Luke and Brie?

    On a side note, I actually remember watching you on IFC’s UFF, a great show that separated movie nerds from super movie nerds. How you’ve managed to amass such a great memory of all things movie related while hating and ignoring Hollywood’s biggest films is both commendable and confusing.

  • 17 8-28-2010 at 6:55 am

    Daniel said...

    Quite honestly, this one my favorite ongoing column on the site. Great work, Chad.

  • 18 8-28-2010 at 7:00 am

    Sieben said...

    I’ll miss this column, even though I couldn’t care less about the box office. Best of luck with the new film, Chad.

  • 19 8-28-2010 at 9:18 am

    Maxim said...

    “And I love that their feelings have been so weirdly hurt and/or their views/opinions/perspectives so aggressively challenged that they can’t help but to come in here and reveal with petty anger their sad frustration toward a person who couldn’t have less of an impact in their actual day-to-day lives.”

    Good job, Kris, way to reveal *yourself* as a classy guy you so clearly are.

    And, Chad, all bs aside, this may not be a bad time to see Avatar. Who knows, you might be pleasantly suprised.

  • 20 8-28-2010 at 9:21 am

    James D. said...

    Hartigan is only rude if you like bad films, guys. If you like good ones, he is very entertaining.

  • 21 8-28-2010 at 10:41 am

    Michael said...

    I am definitely going to miss you and your box office coverage Chad! I think you are an excellent writer and provide (mostly) witty and funny commentary. Good luck on your new film, and keep us posted on the status of its release/availability as it comes out.

    In regards to the movies that are out near me this weekend: I have already seen The Last Exorcism and I do not recommend it. Way too much of a rehash of other films to be worth anyone’s time. I do plan on seeing Get Low tomorrow afternoon b/c it is finally being released in my area (almost a year after it originally premiered at Toronto!)

  • 22 8-28-2010 at 11:01 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Maxim: You try so hard to be argumentative to the point that it doesn’t really make any sense anymore. Why are you such a hateful little child?

  • 23 8-28-2010 at 11:21 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Loyal- I think winning that show was kind of a fluke. I know my trivia but clearly, some of those nerds were bigger film fanatics than me. As for the new movie, I don’t think it will be labeled mumblecore, primarily because it’s not about young people.

    Deeks- There won’t be much movie stuff on it yet but the best way to keep track is probably my tumblr-

    Thanks for the love and or hate. Both indicate that you’ve been reading and that’s all that matters.

  • 24 8-28-2010 at 7:52 pm

    josephchilders said...

    Going to miss the column, Chad. I don’t give any piece of a part of a fuck about box office numbers, but it was a reliably entertaining read nonetheless. Good luck with the flick.

  • 25 8-28-2010 at 11:34 pm

    al b. said...

    Chad, we will miss these columns immensely! Even the haters will miss them!

    Good luck on your film and here’s hoping you come back to box office reporting, because god knows you’re the only one who has fun with it!

  • 26 8-29-2010 at 11:04 am

    Paul Outlaw said...

    Chad’s writing at the site has been consistently clever and vital, if often misguided and obnoxious. ;-) But as the only other person on the planet who has not seen Avatar, I will certainly miss this column.

  • 27 8-29-2010 at 11:05 am

    Paul Outlaw said...

    Oh, and Chad was spot on about The Last Exorcism this week.