Let’s get one thing out of the way before we launch into this week’s previews and predictions. There is an eight megaton bomb about to explode on the entertainment landscape as the video game, Destiny, will be released to a delirious public this coming Tuesday, the 9th. We bring that up because it will make a serious dent in midweek grosses for any male oriented title and could possibly affect them on the weekend as well. The game is the first new franchise from game developer Bungie, the company behind the “Halo” games. It is expected that the game could generate sales of between $600-900 million by the end of the year. Yes, you read that correctly. So be forewarned.
THIS WEEK’S PREVIEWS AND PREDICTIONS
DOLPHIN TALE 2—WARNER BROTHERS—WIDE—107 MINS—PG
Step One…look at the picture to the left. Step Two…utter the compulsory “awwwwwwwww”s and let’s get on with the preview. We’ll wait. Ok, let’s proceed. 2011’s “Dolphin Tale” was a surprise September hit with families, opening to $19 million and amassing $72 million once it finally came up for air. The entire DT gang is back again, Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr, Kris Kristofferson, Nathan Gamble and director Charles Martin Smith (the director of the first outing and the actor best known for “Never Cry Wolf”, “American Graffiti” and “The Untouchables”).
This time out, the people who saved Winter must now find her a companion before the government takes her away. Whatever this grosses it is sure to be the highest Ashley Judd opening of the last two weeks (“The Identical” being the other) and there’s a chance this hits the way the first one did. Hey, who thought a dolphin movie in September would gross $72 million, for the love of Mike.
BOX OFFICE INSIDER’S WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $15 MILLION
CAST: Morgan Freeman, Nathan Gamble, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr, Kris Kristofferson
DIRECTOR: Charles Martin Smith
THURSDAY NIGHT LATE SHOWS: 7:00 PM
NO GOOD DEED—SONY/SCREEN GEMS—WIDE—97 MINS—PG-13
The cinematic question, “Is there anything Idris Elba can’t do” will be put to the test this week as he stars in this home invasion thriller that also stars Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson. Elba plays a charming ex-con (is there any other type, I ask you?) who talks his way into the lives of Henson and her children with predictably unfortunate results. Think “Labor Day” meets “Enough”. The latter film opened to $14 million back in 2002 but that was when J Lo was at her box office peak (yes I said that with a straight face). Helmer Sam Miller directed Elba in TV’s “Luther”, an undiscovered gem by the way, and I hear the film is a decent little thriller.
BOX OFFICE INSIDER’S WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $13 MILLION
CAST: Idris Elba, Taraji P. Henson, Leslie Bibb, Henry Simmons
DIRECTOR: Sam Miller
THURSDAY LATE SHOWS: 8:00 PM (but that’s not confirmed as of yet)
THE DROP—FOX SEARCHLIGHT—500 RUNS—106 MINS—R
So when you need a male and female co-star to play opposite James Gandolfini in a Brooklyn mob movie, don’t you just naturally go to a British dude and the Swedish waif from “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”? Ummm, of course you do. Tony Soprano’s final film is a down and dirty look at the Brooklyn underworld in this robbery-gone-awry thriller from author Dennis Lehane. Reviews are good but not overwhelming. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final film, “A Most Wanted Man”, debuted to $2.6 million in 361 theatres at the end of July but that came with sterling reviews and Hoffman had passed away just weeks prior, and not over a year ago, as is the case with Gandolfini.
BOX OFFICE INSIDER’S WEEKEND BOX OFFICE PREDICTION: $2.0 MILLION
CAST: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini
DIRECTOR: Michael R. Roskam
THURSDAY NIGHT LATE SHOWS: 8:00 PM
One final note, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” makes its IMAX debut this Friday for one week only.