'Warrior's Way' only wide release slated; 'Swan' eyes limited bow
The weekend after Thanksgiving is usually one of the slowest B.O. frames of the year and, according to most box office pundits, this year will likely be no different, with just one wide release, Relativity Media’s “The Warrior’s Way.” It’s bowing at 1,620 locations.But the holiday sesh’s top performers, including “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1″ and “Tangled,” could help spur attendance with few fresh titles in the picture. Fox Searchlight’s “Black Swan,” which debuts at 18 U.S. locations, could profit from the dearth of new commercial titles. The Darren Aronofsky ballet thriller, starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, netted four Indie Spirit nominations this week. Another specialty title looking to gain traction is Roadside Attraction’s Jim Carrey-Ewan McGregor starrer “I Love You Phillip Morris,” which opens at six playdates domestically. With no holiday to recover from, the international box office is expected to see business as usual, with “Hallows” entering its third frame, having already cumed a massive $383 million in foreign B.O. Paramount and DreamWorks Animations’ 3D toon holdover “Megamind,” with $32.5 million from 11 markets, will more than double its territory count this weekend, with new markets including Germany, Spain and the U.K. Last year saw three films debut wide on the same weekend: Lionsgate’s “Brothers,” Sony’s “Armored” and Miramax’s “Everybody’s Fine.” Each failed to reached $10 million domestically, with “Brothers” just shy at $9.5 million, followed by “Armored” at $6.5 million and “Everybody’s Fine” with a mere $3.9 million. Insiders attribute the significant slowdown to multiplex fatigue after the holiday as studios wait to launch bigger Christmas titles, similar to the week following Labor Day weekend. This weekend, many people begin holiday shopping, which also limits family outings. According to pre-weekend tracking, “The Warrior’s Way,” starring Dong-gun Jang, Geoffrey Rush and Kate Bosworth, should land near $5 million for the three days. Pic, about a warrior-assassin forced to hide in the American badlands, was financed independently for an estimated $42 million. Relativity Media is handling marketing and distribution for the film, targeting guys with advertising on male-oriented TV nets. Warners’ “Hallows,” with a domestic cume of $225.6 million as of Wednesday, should ride strong mid-week perfs through the weekend, followed closely by Disney’s 3D toon “Tangled,” which has been generating positive word of mouth. “Tangled” overperformed last weekend, grossing $68.7 million during the five-day holiday sesh. Toon’s totals stand at $73.5 million. Three other soph sesh titles will compete for aud attention, including Sony/Screen Gems’ “Burlesque,” 20th Century Fox’s “Love and Other Drugs” and CBS Films’ “Faster.” “Burlesque,” with $20 million, should hold well with femme auds, as well as “Love and Other Drugs,” which has tallied $16.2 million going into the weekend. Male-driven “Faster,” having cumed $13.8 million, may be most affected by “The Warrior’s Way” debut.