“Sideways” and “The Aviator” will see if Golden Globes glitter as Fox Searchlight and Miramax will attempt aggressive expansions of their Globe best-pic winners this weekend.
Miramax is adding 305 playdates to “The Aviator” for a total of 2,261 and Fox Searchlight is boosting “Sideways” to 699 screens, its widest point of release. Last week, “Sideways” was on 370 screens.
Meanwhile, frame’s wide releases — Revolution and Sony’s “Are We There Yet?” and Rogue Pictures’ “Assault on Precinct 13” — have relatively modest ambitions.
Revolution’s Ice Cube starrer bows at 2,709 locations while “Assault,” opened on Wednesday and will play 2,297 theaters.
Warner Bros.’ “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera” is making its long-planned jump to wide release, expanding its run to 1,504 engagements (up 604 from last weekend). After Universal’s “In Good Company” performed well in its first week of national release last week, pic is adding 395 locations, for a total run of 1,961.
‘Coach’ in the game
The weekend could produce a tight race for the top spot on the box office chart. Paramount’s “Coach Carter,” which rang up $24.2 million in its debut, would be in the mid-to-high teens if its second-week drop is in the neighborhood of 30% to 40%.
U’s “Meet the Fockers” also has potential to return to the top of the B.O. heap, based on midweek results. Laffer sequel, which now has a domestic cume north of $235 million, was the top-grossing picture on both Tuesday and Wednesday with around $1 million in receipts.
That’s the same range the Ice Cube family comedy “Are We There Yet?” is aiming for, said Revolution partner Tom Sherak. “If we can get into the midteens, we’d be very happy,” he said.
Sony distrib prexy Rory Bruer added that tracking on the pic has shown interest from family auds as well as teens. “We’re very pleased with how it looks for the weekend,” he said. “I don’t know if it’ll end up No. 1, but it all feels good.”
Sherak noted that a wild card for the weekend is a potential winter storm that is forecasted to hit much of the East Coast on Saturday. “If there’s a lot of snow, it closes down the business,” he said. However, depending when it hits and how much there is, the wintry weather could also be a boon. “After a snow, once people are able to get out of the house, the business explodes.”
“Precinct 13” opened on Wednesday with $757,858, which was behind only “Fockers” and “Carter.” Remake of the 1976 John Carpenter pic is the third film to be releaed under the Rogue banner, which Focus Features introduced last year for low-budget genre titles meant to appeal to edgy young male auds. Previous pics were “Shaun of the Dead” and “Seed of Chucky.”
“Because of the economies of the film, if we can just get to low double digits for the weekend, we’ll be very happy,” said Focus distrib chief Jack Foley.
Also expanding this weekend are MGM and United Artists’s “Hotel Rwanda,” which is pushing to 319 screens in 71 markets, up from 192 screens in 39 markets last week. Warners is adding 25 screens to “Million Dollar Baby,” for a total of 147, in advance of its national release next week.