Box-Office Preview: Halloween Forecast Bleak for 'Our Brand Is Crisis'

Courtesy of Warner Brothers
'Our Brand Is Crisis'

Cooper's 'Burnt' and 'Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse' also debut, but all three films could see 'The Martian' stay docked at No. 1 in its fifth outing as the late October box office blues continue.

The Halloween forecast is looking gloomy for David Gordon Green's adult-skewing dramedy Our Brand Is Crisis, starring Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton as rival political consultant trying to influence the 2002 Bolivian presidential election.

Our Brand Is Crisis is tracking to open in the $6 million to $7 million range. That would mark one of the lowest starts of Bullock's career. Her last live-action film, Gravity, was a global blockbuster, earning $732.2 million for Warner Bros. following its release in October 2013.

As such, Hollywood is braced for another tough weekend at the box office. Last weekend no fewer than four new offerings bombed.

Produced by Grant Heslov and Gravity co-star George Clooney, Our Brand Is Crisis was made for $28 million by Warners and Participant Media. Anthony Mackie, Ann Dowd, Scoot McNairy and Zoe Kazan also star in Crisis, which premiered at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival.

With awards season underway, there's no question the marketplace is saturated in terms of adult fare. There have already been several high-profile misses, including Robert Zemeckis' The Walk. And last weekend, Steve Jobs underwhelmed in its nationwide expansion.

Our Brand Is Crisis has received poor reviews, complicating matters. And opening a movie when Halloween falls on a Saturday can mean grosses are automatically reduced, although Warner is hoping the movie serves as counterprogramming for those not so interested in celebrating the holiday.

Our Brand Is Crisis was a passion project for Clooney, Heslov and Bullock, and is based on the 2005 documentary of the same name about the involvement of James Carville's political consulting firm in the Bolivian election (Carville was a longtime Bill Clinton operative).

There's a chance Our Brand Is Crisis could be beaten by Burnt, John Wells' indie cooking dramedy starring Bradley Cooper as a chef determined to redeem his career, although Burnt has likewise been scalded by critics. The Weinstein Co. film also stars Sienna Miller and Alicia Vikander.

Going after the Halloween crowd is Paramount's Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, starring Tye Sheridan, David Koechner, Cloris Leachman¸ Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont and Patrick Schwarzenegger (son of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver).

Just like Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, Scouts Guide is going out in a limited number of theaters after many cinema owners refused to carry both movies because of Paramount's deal with AMC and Cineplex to make the pair of genre titles available earlier than usual on VOD. Paramount's intention is to make sure there isn't a long period of time between when the movies leave theaters and are available in the home.

The studio is anticipating a debut in the $2 million to $4 million range from roughly 1,5000 locations.

Directed by Christopher Landon, Scouts Guide follows three scouts and lifelong friends who join forces with a badass cocktail waitress to battle a zombie invasion. The movie, costing in the mid-teens, debuts in 10 overseas markets, including Russia.

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