It's the question of the week. Lionsgate took a considerable risk in snapping up Oliver Stone's rushed-to-production W.
with the plan of releasing it just a couple weeks before the election, when the country -- and especially
the film's target audience -- has already been living and breathing presidential politics for months. On the other hand, Lionsgate's marketing effort has been very solid, giving the jokes and conventional wisdom (Bush as a beer-guzzling frat boy, etc.) plenty of play while successfully pitching it as a serious historical saga. I think they've succeeded in making people curious, which is the best they could have hoped for. And the positive buzz that has started to surround the film in the last week or so will only help.
So let's talk turkey. How much money will W.
, opening on 2,000 screens with Max Payne
as its main competition, make this weekend? There's no real precedent for this, so the prediction is very difficult. Stone's World Trade Center
managed to open to $18 million despite the subject matter, though it had 1,000 more screens to work with. I could be way off, but I still think this release is precarious enough that $15 million would be a big victory, and $10 million not a disappointment. I suspect the reality will be somewhere between those two numbers.
What do you think? Do people want to see this? Will they actually be able to bring themselves to go?