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Whisper Numbers: Ender’s Game begins the box office battle

The holiday movie season kicks off this year with the adaptation of the sci-fi classic Ender’s Game [EGAME]. Asa Butterfield [ABUTT] plays a boy genius who is being groomed and trained as the Earth’s best hope in defeating an alien invasion. Ender’s Game is the first book of a very successful young adult sci-fi novel series. Unfortunately, it was first published in 1985 and the fanbase has already aged up into their 30s and 40s. Therefore, Summit has centered the marketing around Harrison Ford [HFORD] in hopes of capturing these Generation Xers. The PG-13 rated film hasn’t generated as much excitement as the sci-fi fanboys can be hard to please. Ender’s Game may score $30 million from 3407 theaters.

Free Birds [TURKY] is Relativity’s first foray into animation. Owen Wilson [OWILS] and Woody Harrelson [WHARR] voice a pair of turkeys who travel back in time to prevent their kind from becoming a Thanksgiving dinner tradition. The PG-rated comedy should attract families with young children, but is unlikely to broaden into other demographics. Serving in 3736 locations, Free Birds may gobble up $17 million.

The audience for Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa [JCKA4] was slightly older than those of its predecessors. The previous installment Jackass 3D tumbled 58% in its second weekend, while Number Two dropped 50%. A similar drop-off would put Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa around $14 million.

The comedy Last Vegas [LASTV] brings together Oscar-winners Michael Douglas [MDOUG], Robert De Niro [RDENI], Morgan Freeman [MFREE] and Kevin Kline [KKLIN] for a bachelor party in Sin City. While CBS Films is marketing the film like a senior edition of The Hangovers, the PG-13 rated humor is more akin to a geriatric version of The Grown Ups. The starpower should bring out the older crowd, though not necessarily opening weekend. Happening in 2065 theaters, Last Vegas could stay with $13 million.

Universal will open About Time [ABTIM] in 176 theaters this week to get the word of mouth rolling ahead of its wide expansion next weekend. Rachel McAdams [RMCAD] and Domhnall Gleeson [DGLEE] star in the R-rated time-travelling romance. About Time could clock in with $2.5 million.

That’s the whisper from the virtual trading floor.



Tag(s): EGAME, ABUTT, HFORD, TURKY, OWILS, WHARR, JCKA4, LASTV, MDOUG, RDENI, MFREE, KKLIN, ABTIM, RMCAD, DGLEE

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, October 31, 2013 @ 02:59 PM 3175 views

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