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Whisper Numbers: Inglourious Basterds is out for box office blood

After spending years crafting his World War II action film, Quentin Tarantino [QTARA] has finally unleashed Inglourious Basterds [BSTRD], a R-rated war fantasy about Jewish soldiers on a mission to kill and scalp Nazi Germans.   The film premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and the buzz has been mixed ever since.   Nevertheless, Tarantino has a loyal following eagerly anticipating his latest opus. The two Kill Bill films opened to $22 million and $25 million.  While Brad Pitt [BPITT] adds a bit more starpower, Basterds is unlikely to appeal to much female moviegoers. As its first wide release for 2009, the financially distressed The Weinstein Co. has put most of its resources behind Basterds to insure its success.  Playing in 3165 theaters, Inglourious Basterds may slay as much as $26 million.

District 9 [DIST9] backed up its brilliant marketing campaign with a smart sci-fi movie that received great reviews. Favorable word of mouth is spreading from its first weekend audience.  Faced with direct competition from Inglourious Basterds, however, the starless District 9 is likely to drop 50% in its sophomore frame to about $18 million.

Tarantino’s Grindhouse co-director Robert Rodriguez [RRODR] is also back this weekend. Unfortunately for his older fans, Shorts [SHORT] is a PG-rated family film aimed at kids.  Rodriguez’s last family offering The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D opened to $12.6 million.  Opening in 3105 theaters, Shorts should be able to match the mark with roughly $13 million. 

Even though female-targeted romances typically have legs, The Time Traveler’s Wife [TTRWF] was front-loaded on Friday by fans of the bestselling novel.  A decline of approximately 45% would bring its second weekend to around $10 million.

Post Grad [POSTG] makes a last play for teens and young adults before they head back to school.  Alexis Bledel [ABLED] stars in the PG-13 rated comedy, which has not attracted much buzz. Matriculating from 1958 locations, Post Grad may walk away with $4 million.

After targeting young females with 3D concert films, Disney hopes to attract young males with X Games 3D: The Movie [XGM3D].  The documentary captures famous extreme sports athletes performing their tricks.  Promoted as one week only, X Games 3D could flip $3 million from 1399 screens. 

That’s the whisper from the trading floor.




Tag(s): QTARA, BSTRD, BPITT, DIST9, RRODR, SHORT, TTRWF, POSTG, ABLED, XGM3D

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, August 20, 2009 @ 04:12 PM 2980 views

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