'Brothers' hopes to buck late August doldrums

As the summer season winds down, Dimension hopes to buck the tradition of low late-August openings with a mighty bow for “The Brothers Grimm” this weekend.

“Grimm” arrives at 3,087 theaters this weekend as Sony’s “The Cave” opens at 2,195 and Lions Gate’s “Undiscovered” bows at 1,304.

Traffic at the wickets has long slowed dramatically in the final two weeks of August. The record for the final two weeks of the month came in 2003, as “Jeepers Creepers 2” opened with $18.4 million on the weekend before the Labor Day frame.

And while the end of summer is widely seen as a dumping ground for slasher titles, Miramax managed a solid $18 million bow for “Hero” in this frame last year.

Tracking on the Terry Gilliam-directed “Grimm,” which stars Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, has been strong in all four quadrants and has been improving in the final days before release. Interest is strongest among men over 25, followed by women over 25.

A bulked-up blurb buy is going after the younger crowd, among whom there is slightly more interest among women than men.

“We’ve got really encouraging signs for a good opening,” producer Daniel Bobker said. As for “The Cave,” “It seems to be tracking well and appealing to primarily a young male audience,” said Sony distrib chief Rory Bruer. “Really, if we end up doing somewhere around $6 million this weekend, there will be plenty of upside on this film.”

Screen Gems, which produced “The Cave,” is no stranger to this time of year. Last year its snake scarer “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid” opened to $12.8 million on this frame. In 2003 “The Medallion” launched to $8.1 million from a late August berth.

“Undiscovered,” about a struggling L.A. musician and a Gotham model who moves West to become an actress, is registering mostly among older femmes who like romancers.

In the limited arena, new titles include Televisa’s “Matando cabos,” which starts at 85 screens, Innovation’s “Dirty Deeds” at 64 and IFC’s “The Baxter” on 47.

In Gotham and L.A., Sony Classics starts “The Memory of a Killer” on six screens.

Indican begins “Shoujyo: The Adolescent” on one each in Gotham and Toronto while Lifesize starts “Wall” on one each in Gotham and Minneapolis.

Starting on solo New York screens are Regent’s “Eternal” and Strand’s “Formula 17.”

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