B.O. frame will need its ‘A’ game

A pair of '80s reboots enter the fray

A pair of ’80s reboots — Sony’s “Karate Kid” at 3,663 locations and 20th Century Fox’s “The A-Team” at 3,534 — enter the fray this weekend poised to deliver a swift kick in the domestic B.O.

Strong tracking for both wide releases could lift a slumped summer B.O., which was down 22% last weekend after a wide array of new entries failed to arouse much enthusiasm among moviegoers. Still, B.O. observers expect this weekend’s fare to play well among broad demos, while Paramount and DreamWorks Animation’s 3D toon “Shrek Forever After” could maintain a strong hold in its fourth frame.

“A-Team” should put up the biggest fight overseas, launching in 35 territories including Australia, Mexico and Russia. Yet, with the World Cup kicking off today, Fox will hold the pic from most European markets to avoid clashing with the tourney. “Karate Kid” launches day and date in South Korea, with several smaller Asian markets added to the mix.

The Cup has less impact in the U.S., where auds have a relatively limited interest in the tourney.

Both of the weekend’s wide releases are hoping to strike a chord with those who were fans of the original as well as appeal to younger auds.

“Karate Kid,” rebooted from the original franchise starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita, relocates to China this time around, toplining Jaden Smith as the title kid and Jackie Chan as his wizened sensei.

Budgeted at $40 million, Sony’s PG-rated reboot has been tracking strongly, and should play best with families. Sony said stars Smith and Chan both rep potential draws for all audiences. Chan’s most recent turn in Lionsgate’s “The Spy Next Door,” while underperforming with $24.3 million domestically, targeted tykes. Yet, the martial arts guru also helped boost boffo results for New Line’s “Rush Hour” franchise, which has cumed a collective $1.4 billion worldwide.

Much has been made of Smith performing his own stunts, which could help the young star’s credibility with moviegoers. Smith’s most prominent pic, Sony’s “Pursuit of Happyness,” with real-life father Will Smith, totaled a powerful $162.6 million in 2006.

Fox’s “A-Team” updates the 1983 TV series, with Liam Neeson as the character Hannibal Smith. Thesp Bradley Cooper co-stars as Face, while UFC fighter Quinton Jackson tackles the role of B.A. Baracus — first played by Mr. T — and Sharlto Copley (“District 9”) plays Murdock.

Rated PG-13, “A-Team” is likely to draw a significant male following as well as family auds, with parents who were fans of the original bringing along the kids. Fox’s bigscreen version follows the titular rag-tag team of Iraq War veterans, looking to clear their names of a crime they didn’t commit.

Warner’s similarly themed action comedy “The Losers” failed to gain much traction among auds when it bowed April 23, cuming a low-end $23.5 million, while Fox’s version is likely to be boosted by the pic’s familiar smallscreen origins.

Last week’s top-grossing opener “Get Him to the Greek” will compete with “A-Team” for male interest, but positive word of mouth and a B+ CinemaScore rating among men should bode well for “Greek.” Pic enters its soph sesh after debuting with $17.6 million.

With few fresh femme-driven titles, “Killers” and “Sex and the City 2” will hope to eke out a few more tickets in the coming weeks. Lionsgate’s “Killers” bowed to $15.8 million, having cumed $20.7 million as of June 9; while “Sex 2” dropped a steep 60% last weekend and enters its third frame with a domestic haul of $77.8 million. Disney’s vidgame adaptation “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” has earned $64.3 million domestically, slipping 53% last weekend.

Fest favorites

In limited release, indie distrib Roadside Attractions rolls out Sundance Grand Jury prizewinner “Winter’s Bone” at four Stateside locations.

Sony Pictures Classics Coco Chanel biopic “Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky,” based on a love affair between the two historic figures, launches at three engagements.

“A-Team” opens at the international B.O. opposite repeat players “Sex 2” and “Prince of Persia.” Last weekend, Warner’s “Sex 2” expanded to 50 international territories, enough to top the frame with $44 million; “Prince” totaled $37.6 million for Disney.

While overseas figures continue to outpace last year’s earnings, the World Cup could potentially slow down international B.O. receipts as most distribs are holding their films until after the tourney.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety