You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Contagion’ could infect adults at B.O.

'Warrior,' 'Bucky Larson' also trying to unseat 'The Help'

Adult-skewing fare should continue to reign in the domestic B.O.’s first fall frame: With a projected launch north of $20 million, Warner Bros. ensembler “Contagion” looks set to wage germ warfare on three-week B.O. champ “The Help.”

“Contagion,” from Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi, bows alongside a pair of pics targeted at those under 25: “Warrior” and “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.”

Late August and post-Labor Day box office is typically driven by adult fodder (e.g., 2010’s “Red” and “The Town”) and an influx of specialty titles. This weekend, indies bowing include Anchor Bay’s Rooney Mara starrer “Tanner Hall” and IFC’s Brit period laffer “Burke and Hare.”

Monster movie “Creature,” self-distributed by Sid and Jon Sheinberg’s Bubble Releasing, also opens wide at 1,507 locations.Overseas, Sony’s “The Smurfs” could win again (cume is nearing $300 million), though titles including “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” ($189 million) and “Final Destination 5” ($61 million) continue to make headway internationally. “Contagion” bows day-and-date in Italy and smaller Asian markets.

It’s not surprising to see high-profile pics like “Contagion” bow after Labor Day weekend — historically one of the slowest weekends at the box office. Because of that stigma, some distribs avoid the Labor Day frame so as not to discourage filmmakers or studio execs.

But the first weekend following Labor Day typically isn’t that busy, either.

The upside is that while kids are busy settling into school, over-25 moviegoers are more active at multiplexes and hungry for mature fare following the box office’s blockbuster season. Think of “The Help,” which has grossed $127 million domestically.

“Contagion,” helmed by Steven Soderbergh, sports a topnotch cast including Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Marion Cotillard. The thriller premiered at the Venice Film Festival and has racked up largely positive reviews.

Lionsgate said it hopes “Warrior,” starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton, will broaden to adult auds, based on positive word of mouth. Pic, which opens at 1,869 engagements, should play best (at first) to core younger males, driving a projected opening of $6 million-$8 million.

The success of “Warrior,” budgeted at a reported mid-$20 millions, will hinge on the extent of the popularity of mixed martial arts. Lionsgate decided to sneak the pic last weekend, with additional advance word of mouth screenings to segments including faith-based auds.

Meanwhile, Sony’s “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star” should figure low in overall weekend standing, with an estimated launch at around $4 million. Luckily for Sony, the Nick Swardson laffer, about a Midwesterner who moves to Hollywood to become a porn star, cost less than $10 million to produce.

Sony mainstay Adam Sandler co-wrote the script with Swardson and Allen Covert. Sandler produced through his Happy Madison banner.

A pair of foreign specialty pics also bow this weekend in the U.S.: Bollywood film “My Brother’s Bride,” being distribbed by Yah Raj Films, opens at 75 engagements, while China Lion’s “Love in Space,” which Fox Intl. bows today in China, launches at 15 Stateside engagements.

More Film

  • 'Chambre 212' Review: A Comedy More

    Cannes Film Review: 'Chambre 212'

    Most of us, in our romantic lives, meditate here and there on the other roads we might have traveled, and movies are uniquely equipped to channel those alternate-universe-of-love possibilities. That’s the idea at the (broken) heart of “Casablanca.” And the fantasy of getting to see the turns your life didn’t take play out right in [...]

  • Zach Galifianakis Jerry Seinfeld Netflix

    Film News Roundup: Zach Galifianakis' 'Between Two Ferns: The Movie' Coming to Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, “Between Two Ferns: The Movie” is unveiled, “Friedkin Uncut” gets a fall release and Sony Classics buys “The Traitor” at Cannes. MOVIE RELEASES Netflix has set a Sept. 20 release date for Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” based on his 11-year-old talk show. Galifianakis made the announcement during [...]

  • Romanian Crime-Thriller 'The Whistlers' Bought for

    Romanian Crime-Thriller 'The Whistlers' Bought for North America

    Magnolia Pictures has bought North American rights to the Romanian crime thriller “The Whistlers” following its premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Written and directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, the film stars Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon, Rodica Lazar, Antonio Buil, Agustí Villaronga, Sabin Tambrea, Julieta Szonyi and George Pisterneanu. Magnolia is eyeing a theatrical [...]

  • Naomi Scott Talks Rebooting Princess Jasmine

    'Aladdin': Naomi Scott on Why Her Princess Jasmine Needed Nasim Pedrad's New Character

    Call Naomi Scott the queen of the reboot – or at least, the princess. The 26-year-old actress is taking on the role of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s live-action remake of “Aladdin,” but it’s not her first time jumping into a role that’s already been well-established. Audiences may recognize Scott from 2017’s “Power Rangers” update, where [...]

  • Moby Natalie Portman

    Moby Accuses Natalie Portman of Lying as the Two Spar Over Dating Claims

    In what’s become a he said/she said spat in multiple mediums, Moby, the elder statesman of electronic music, is now accusing actress Natalie Portman of lying and pleading to those on social media for his safety as “physical threats from complete strangers” emerge. To recap: this month, Moby released a new book, “Then It All [...]

  • A QUIET PLACE Emily Blunt

    'A Quiet Place' Sequel Moves Ahead Two Months to March 2020

    Paramount Pictures has moved its sequel to “A Quiet Place” ahead by two months from May 15 to March 20, 2020. John Krasinski is returning to direct the still-untitled movie with Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe reprising their roles. Cillian Murphy is joining the cast. “A Quiet Place” grossed $340 million at the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content