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Whisper Numbers: 3D spectacles take on arthouse expansions

The 1982 cult classic Tron was better remembered for its groundbreaking special effects than for the quality of its story. The $200 million sequel Tron Legacy [TRON2] looks to deliver the same with the latest 3D effects. Jeff Bridges [JBRID] returns to star in dual roles while Garret Hedlund [GHEDL] plays his son now also caught inside the dangerous digital world. While Disney’s marketing machine has been hitting on all cylinders for weeks, the hype has not approach that of Avatar last year. With surcharges for 3D and IMAX, Tron Legacy could break $42 million from 3451 locations.

Warner Bros. offer its own 3D fare with the live-action mix with animation Yogi Bear [YOGIB] that hopes to emulate the success of Alvin and the Chipmunk. While holiday legs are guaranteed, an opening on the last weekend before Christmas is hard to predict for a film targeted at families. Opening in 3515 theater, Yogi Bear could dig up $24 million.

The based on a true story The Fighter [FITER] expands into 2503 theaters after just one week of limited release. Paramount is eager to ride the momentum of critical acclaim and award honors for the boxing drama starring Mark Wahlberg [MWAHL] and Christian Bale [CBALE]. With buzz to bring out the serious moviegoers, The Fighter could punch out about $14 million.

How Do You Know [HDYKN] is the latest dramedy from James L. Brooks [JLBRO]. Even though the film boasts the starpower of Reese Witherspoon [RWITH], Paul Rudd [PRUDD], Owen Wilson [OWILS] and Jack Nicholson [JNICH], the PG-13 rated film has received poor reviews. With adults opting for awards contenders, How Do You Know may settle for $13 million from 2483 theaters.

Judging by its opening last weekend, fantasy fans have abandoned The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader [NARN3]. The sequel looks to drop 50% to $12 million in its second outing.

After Black Swan [BLKSW] performed spectacularly in two weeks of limited release, Fox Searchlight pushed up its wide expansion to capitalize on the buzz for the Darren Aronofsky [DARON] directed film. The R-rated thriller starring Natalie Portman [NPORT] and Mila Kunis [MKUNI] as ballet rivals has been a favorite during this award season. Dancing into 959 theaters, Black Swan could tally $10 million.

That’s the whisper from the trading floor.



Tag(s): TRON2, JBRID, GHEDL, YOGIB, FITER, MWAHL, CBALE, HDYKN, JLBRO, RWITH, PRUDD, OWILS, JNICH, NARN3, BLKSW, DARON, NPORT, MKUNI

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, December 16, 2010 @ 04:49 PM 6955 views

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