The master of disaster films, director Roland Emmerich [REMME] is back with another doomsday scenario to destroy the world. Inspired by the end date of the Mayan calendar, 2012 [2012S] chronicles a chain of natural disasters worldwide that is about to end humankind. The PG-13 rated film employs the usual formula of focusing on one believer trying to save his family, here headed by John Cusack [JOHNC], as everyone else falls by the wayside. Who cares about the billions of other lives? Knowing the CG special effects are the real attractions, Sony marketing has no qualms about giving away plenty of money shots. Audiences have been waiting for the first holiday blockbuster and 2012 looks to spare no monument. Arriving in 3404 theaters, 2012 may pile up $55 million or more.
Getting moviegoers to see a Christmas movie before Thanksgiving proved harder than anticipated. But as we get closer to December, business should cheer up with the rising holiday spirit. A Christmas Carol [CAROL] should be able to hold about 75% of its debut to finish at around $22 million.
This Is It [JACKO] has managed a decent hold at the box office on the strength of Michael Jackson fans, which skewed older than those that had front-loaded the concert films of Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers. This Is It should take in another $7 million in a close fight for the third spot with The Men Who Stared at Goats [MGOAT]. George Clooney [GCLOO] and Ewan McGregor [EMCGR] brought out an older-skewing crowd to the R-rated comedy. A 45% decline from its opening would mean $7 million as well.
Focus Features’ Pirate Radio [PRADO] is set in 1960s England when rebellious DJs took to the sea to broadcast rock music that had been banned. Philip Seymour Hoffman [PSHOF], Bill Nighy [BNIGH], Rhys Ifans [RIFAN], and Kenneth Branagh [KBRAN] star in the R-rated comedy that hopes to connect with baby-boomers who grew up during those times. However, Focus’ own similarly themed Taking Woodstock opened with just $3.5 million earlier this year. Invading 882 theaters, Pirate Radio looks to reach no more than $4 million.
That’s the whisper from the trading floor.
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