thanksgiving-feature

Movie News – How Many Turkeys Will You See This Week?

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BOX OFFICE BRASSERIE – MOVIE NEWS FOR MOVIE LOVERS

The 2016 Thanksgiving Edition

The smells of Thanksgiving  are already overpowering the smell of popcorn at multiplexes from coast to coast, as there were three massive turkeys let loose in theaters this past weekend–“The Edge of Seventeen,” “Bleed For This,” and “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.”

Instead, audiences gobbled up “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and feasted on leftovers like “Trolls,” “Doctor Strange,” and “Arrival.”

While “The Edge of Seventeen” and “Bleed For This” both cost under $10M and will likely be okay in the long run, Ang Lee’s latest, from the novel of the same name, has become a massive misfire for Sony, as the $40M flick debuted with just $900k in 1,176 theaters. To put that into perspective, that’s just a smidge better than “Ernest Rides Again.” Yes, Ernest P. Whorrell…the late, great Jim Varney.

This weekend sees cinemas stuffed with four new wide releases including Disney’s “Moana,” Paramount’s “Allied,” Broad Green Pictures’ “Bad Santa 2,” and Fox’s “Rules Don’t Apply.”

Disney’s Hawaiian themed toon, “Moana,” is expected to say “aloha” to the top spot at the box office over the extended weekend with around $75M, as it sails into nearly 4,000 theaters. The recently revamped Disney Animation machine has ventured into these parts before releasing one of their biggest hits, 2013’s “Frozen,” to $93M over the five-day stretch.

Dwayne Johnson leads the cast, while “Hamilton” genius, Lin-Manuel Miranda, strikes up the chorus. Should be another huge hit for the Mouse House as they fend off “Fantastic Beasts” which will probably finish a close runner up.

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And then we have golden turkeys lurking about. Warren Beatty is back in the directing chair with “Rules Don’t Apply,” marking the first time since “Town & Country,” (which was a massive bomb, costing $90M and grossing just $10M worldwide).

“Rules Don’t Apply” is receiving decent reviews, but you have to wonder what the demographic is for this PG-13 industry-based romance set in the late 1950s. Beatty plays entrepreneur  Howard Hughes;  however, much of the film is centered on a budding relationship between Lily Collins and newcomer, Alden Ehrenreich.

Don’t expect much more than $5M for the fiveday span, but at least “Rules Don’t Apply” only cost $25M. Hopefully “Dick Tracy 2” will get a green light, so this won’t be Beatty’s last Hollywood hurrah.

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“Allied” also falls into the much older demographic as Robert Zemeckis’ war romance should appeal to adults 35+, but not much outside of that narrowing audience. Sure, Brad Pitt is still as relevant as any A-list actor in Hollywood, provided he’s attached to the right project, like, say, “World War Z.”

The problem for Paramount is that the film cost $80M to produce, and unless “Allied” gets some awards heat (it won’t) then the financial upside looks downright gloomy. Reviews have been kind, but not sensational, and with a glut of other entertainment out there, it’s doubtful this will even approach $20M over the long holiday.

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And then we have “Bad Santa 2.” While reviews certainly don’t matter for the crude, lewd sequel, it may not be able to live up to the hype of the original, which was released 13 years ago, and took holiday curmudgeons by storm, whipping up $60M domestic by the end of its long run.

Still, Billy Bob Thornton’s jolly bag of juvenilia should be able to cover its $25M price tag, as nostalgia will be in full effect, but its holiday jeers will probably be on the low end: $14M.

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Weinstein Co. will release one of their Oscar contenders, “Lion,” in limited release this weekend, but the drama  doesn’t arrive with the fanfare typically associated with previous films that have snagged awards glory for the studio.

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WEEKEND ESTIMATES (5-DAY)

  1. Moana – $75M
  2. Fantastic Beasts – $60M
  3. Doctor Strange – $20M
  4. Trolls – $16M
  5. Allied – $15M

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Jeff Bock, NewsWhistle’s movie editor, is the senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations in Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at Jeff@NewsWhistle.com.

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Lead-In Image Courtesy of Monika Vosahlova / Shutterstock.com