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Whisper Numbers: Horror sequels look to top Basterds on body count.

Studios typically avoid going after the same audience by scheduling films of the same genre together.  In a Hollywood rarity, two horror films open head to head this weekend.  Both are sequels that must also contend with Inglourious Basterds [BSTRD], another R-rated male-targeted film coming off a $38 million splash last weekend.  All three appear to have a chance to claim first place at the box office.   

Whereas Fast & Furious lost a couple of ‘The' from its title in its fourth edition, The Final Destination [FDES4] picked up one in the fourth iteration of Final Destination.  The previous chapter Final Destination 3 was the most successful yet, debuting to $19.2 million in 2006.  The new 3D sequel features another cast of unknowns being killed off in gruesome Rube Goldberg-esque accidents.  Although it faces stiffer competition, The Final Destination should still achieve a franchise best debut with about $20 million from 3121 theaters. 

Director Rob Zombie [RZOMB] is back with Halloween 2 [H2], the sequel to his Hallloween remake which set an opening record over Labor Day weekend 2007.  Instead of taking the same weekend again this year, The Weinstein Co. strangely decided to slot it in the shadow of their own Inglourious Basterds.  With plenty of R-rated options in the marketplace, the slasher pic looks to appeal to mostly fans of Michael Myers.  Carving out 3025 theaters, Halloween 2 could be treated to about $18 million.

After a successful first weekend attracting fans of Quentin Tarantino [QTARA], Inglourious Basterds will try to appeal to more discriminating adult moviegoers. The word of mouth has been mostly positive on the World War II revenge fantasy.  Even so, Inglourious Basterds is likely to decline more than 50% and settle with around $18 million.

Switching up his genre once again, director Ang Lee [ALEE] tackles the seminal countercultural event of 1969 inTaking Woodstock [WDSTK]. The comedy has received mixed reviews, critical for its target adult audience.  Releasing on the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival, nostalgic moviegoers could bring the attendance at 1393 locations to roughly $5 million.

That’s the whisper from the trading floor.





Tag(s): BSTRD, FDES4, RZOMB, H2, QTARA, ALEE, WDSTK

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 03:20 PM 4901 views

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