The Game Plan: $16.6 million
The Heartbreak Kid: $14 million
The Kingdom: $9.7 million
Resident Evil: Extinction: $4.5 million
The Seeker: The Dark is Rising: $3.7 million
It's going to be a busy weekend with four new releases and two films that are already out expanding into additional theaters.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
What's It All About: Cate Blanchett returns to the role that garnered her an Oscar nomination for 1998's Elizabeth, playing England's Queen Elizabeth I. Clive Owen and Geoffrey Rush also star.
Why It Might Do Well: The previous film broke even domestically on its $30 million budget but only played 600 or so theaters at a time. This wider release should serve the investors well. It also garnered an Oscar for Best Makeup as well as six nominations.
Why It Might Not Do Well: Period drama can be a tough sell.
Number of Theaters: 1,900
Prediction: $6.5 million
The Final Season
What's It All About: Former hobbit and offspring of Gomez Addams, Sean Astin stars as the coach of a high school baseball team in Iowa in this film based on true events. .
Why It Might Do Well: Even a heartless oaf like myself can be moved by an inspirational tale of underdogs making good.
Why It Might Not Do Well: Sports movies, especially high school sports movies, have their share of cliches, most of which are on display in the trailer.
Number of Theaters: 1,000
Prediction: $2.5 million
Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married
What's It All About: Based on Tyler Perry's stage play, the movie follows a group of eight married college friends on an annual ski holiday, and an act of infidelity causes them all to examine their own relationships.
Why It Might Do Well: Should attract those curious to see what became of Janet Jackson after Different Strokes.
Why It Might Not Do Well: Oh, don't be so negative.
Number of Theaters: 1,900
Prediction: $12 million
We Own the Night
What's It All About: Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg play brothers who find themselves on opposite sides in a battle between the Russian mafia and New York City police in the 1980s. Robert Duvall also stars.
Why It Might Do Well: A top notch cast and audiences looking for another The Departed should sell some tickets.
Why It Might Not Do Well: I don't see a good reason for this one tanking. In fact, I think it will hit number one for the week.
Number of Theaters: 2,000
Prediction: $15 million
FILMS ALREADY OUT BUT GOING INTO WIDER RELEASE THIS WEEKEND:
Across the Universe
What's It All About: A psychedelic musical set to Beatles music, telling of love in the turbulent 1960s.
Why It Might Do Well: It's The Beatles, dude. While huge box office is not in the stars, this will eventually find its audience on DVD.
Why It Might Not Do Well: The small number of theaters carrying this one will keep it out of the top 5.
Number of Theaters: 700
Prediction: $3 million
What's It All About: George Clooney is a former criminal prosecutor now working as a "fixer" at a New York law firm, which requires him to do some of the company's dirtiest business.
Why It Might Do Well: Clooney's got the screen presence and a knack for usually picking worthwhile scripts.
Why It Might Not Do Well: There are a lot of people out there with long memories who paid to see Batman and Robin.
Number of Theaters: 2,400
Prediction: $13 million
Once again I'm seeking alternate forms of divination (what have I got to lose?), so here's what the Magic 8 Ball and I came up with for the coming weekend:
1. We Own the Night
2. Michael Clayton
3. Tyler Perry's Why Did I get Married
4. The Game Plan
5. Elizabeth: The Golden Age
I wasn't the only one taken by surprise when The Game Plan held the number one spot for two weeks. None of our other competitors saw it coming either, which makes me feel marginally better (marginally, mind you) about my third place standing. Here's how everyone did:
1. Bubba8193: 7
1. Movie Matt: 7
1. Ray: 7
2. Carlos the Jackal: 6
2. Abird: 6
3. Matt: 5
3. Anna07: 5
3. Neil: 5
3. Chris: 5
3. Gregory Rubinstein: 5
3. Josh: 5
4. Nathan: 4
4. uforeader: 4
As always, thanks to everyone who took part in our little competition, and we're always looking for more folks to join in on the fun. Please post your prediction in the comments section below before 5:00PM on Saturday. One point for every top five movie correctly named, two points for every correct placement, and one extra point for the top movie. I promise to wave to the winner of next week's competition, and the fact that I will do so from the confines of my own home with the curtains drawn should in no way seem odd. Just provide me with your latitude and longitude so I know which way to face.