5. Watchmen ($6.7 million; $97 million): Another whopping 62 percent drop, but still, I think Watchmen is doing respectably during the weekdays. After three weeks, it’s poised to cross the $100 million threshold, and taking the $50 million international gross into account, it’s close to making back its $150 million production budget. Given its March release date, it’s doing better than the numbers suggest: It’s already the third highest grossing movie of the year (second internationally), and it did have the biggest opening weekend of 2009. It should recoup the marketing budget on DVD, and eventually come out in the black. You know what that means, don’t you? Sequel! We’ll call it, The Grandfather Clockmen. I’m sure it’ll go straight to DVD.
4. Race to Witch Mountain ($13 million; $44 million): I’d like to think that, with a nearly 50 percent drop from its opening weekend, Race will eventually fizzle and die. But The Game Plan had a lot of legs last year — it hung around in the top five for weeks, and eventually scored $90 million after a $22 million opening weekend. Race opened with $24 million, and has only next week’s Monsters and Aliens to compete with in the family film market until May. I expect it’ll eventually top out around $75 million. Johnson next stars at the title character in The Tooth Fairy and is poised to the go-to-guy for bland, inoffensive family films (all of his upcoming projects, both rumored and confirmed, are of the family-friendly variety).
3. Duplicity ($14.4 million): For a few years in the late 90s and early aughts, Julia Roberts was the biggest female box-office draw on the planet. Duplicity makes the fourth film that she’s headlined since 2001 (along with The Mexican, Closer and Mona Lisa Smile) that has underperformed (the fifth if you count Steven Soderbergh’s indie flick, Full Frontal.) Clearly, Roberts has been surpassed by younger, lesser talented actresses. Meanwhile, Clive Owen still hasn’t managed to land a true break-out role. He’s certainly well known, but he’s not a box-office star yet — take out his smallish role in The Bourne Identity and he’s never been in a $100 million movie. In fact, you’d have to consider his last five films disappointments. It looks like he’s going for a something a little more mainstream next, starring in The Boys are Back In Town, based on a parenting memoir. It comes from director Scott Hicks (No Reservations), so we can probably expect a forgettably sappy film. It’ll make billions.
Our review will be up Monday morning.
2. I Love You, Man ($18 million): Opening right between Forgetting Sarah Marshall’s $17 million and Role Model’s $19 million, I Love You, Man will likely end up with a similar final tally somewhere in the $60 - $65 million range, which is good enough to keep Paul Rudd and Jason Segal in bromantic comedy leads for years to come. Next up for Rudd: He has a small role in Year One, before he stars opposite Reese Witherspoon in a James Brooks romantic comedy. After that, he’ll star alongside Steve Carrell in the movie that Jay Roach turned down Little Fockers to direct: Dinner for Schmucks, about a man so extraordinarily stupid he’s capable of ruining a person’s life by spending only a few minutes in his company. Meanwhile, Segal is writing the next Muppet movie, as well as a sequel to Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He’ll also star as Horatio in Jack Black’s Gulliver’s Travels.
1. Knowing ($24.8 million): Nic Cage cannot be stopped. He’s got as many bombs (Bangkok Dangerous, Next) as he does successes (National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Ghost Rider) over the last two years, but the one thing they all seem to have in common is that 1) they star Nic Cage, and 2) they are awful. There is almost no rhyme or reason to the man’s career — it’s impossible to predict his box-office success. Up next for Cage: Mathew Vaughn’s already hugely hyped Kick-Ass, opposite Christopher Mintze-Plasse, who’ll be playing a comic-book geek who one day decides to become a superhero. I’m looking forward to Kick-Ass despite Cage’s presence, although he’s set to follow that up with Warner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant remake. *shudder*