Box Office Preview: Clint Eastwood Battles Jennifer Lawrence, Jake Gyllenhaal
Clint Eastwood's new baseball drama Trouble with the Curve faces plenty of competition on the field this weekend and could find itself in a close race for No. 1 with Jennifer Lawrence horror-thriller House at the End of the Street.
They're not the only players suiting up -- also opening at the domestic box office are David Ayer's Jake Gyllenhaal-Michael Pena cop drama End of Watch and Pete Travis' 3D comic book adaptation Dredd.
House at the End of the Street and Trouble with the Curve are expected to open in the mid-teens; some box office observers give House at the End of the Street a slight edge. End of Watch and Dredd are both angling for a debut in the $10 million range.
The wild card of the weekend is Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, which opened last weekend in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles to record numbers. Starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman -- along with Adams, who will be doing double duty at the box office -- The Master, from the Weinstein Co., will be playing in roughly 800 theaters as of Friday.
On Thursday, The Master was leading the other new films in terms of advance ticket sales, according to online ticketing service Fandango.
From Warner Bros., Trouble with the Curve is almost certain to draw an older audience. It also could do particularly well among conservative voters pleased with Eastwood's recent speech at the Republican National Convention (conversely, Eastwood's speech might have alienated liberals).
Trouble with the Curve, about an aging baseball scout who goes on one last trip with his daughter, is directed by Rob Lorenz, Eastwood's longtime producing partner. It's the first film that Eastwood has starred in, but not directed, since In the Line of Fire in 1993.
Eastwood's films tend to open on the modest side, but can have strong legs.
In House at the End of the Street, Lawrence stars opposite Elisabeth Shue and Max Thieriot. Relativity Media acquired rights to the horror pic, about a mother and daughter who move into the house of their dreams, for roughly $2.5 million. FilmNation and A Bigger Boat produced the film, directed by Mark Tonderai, for under $10 million.
Dredd, which Lionsgate is distributing for DNA Films and IM Global, stars Karl Urban as Judge Dredd, a law enforcer in the vast dystopian metropolis Mega-City One. The 3D pic, based on the comic strip Judge Dredd, was shot in South Africa and written by Alex Garland. Dredd also stars Olivia Thirlby, Wood Harris and Lena Headey.
Ayer's End of Watch, produced by Exclusive Media and distributed domestically by Open Road Films, stars Gyllenhaal and Pena as L.A.P.D. officers who battle a drug cartel. The film cost roughly $7 million to produce.
End of Watch and Dredd both played at the recent Toronto Film Festival and have received strong reviews.
New offerings at the specialty box office include The Perks of Being a Wallflower, starring Emma Watson and Logan Lerman. The film was directed by Stephen Chbosky, who also wrote the book upon which the film is based.