Nicolas Cage's 'Season of the Witch' Poised for Modest Box-Office Opening

Relativity Media

Relativity Media's actioner goes up against "Country Strong" -- and box-office champs "True Grit" and "Little Fockers."

Relativity Media's foray into domestic distribution officially gets under way Friday as it releases its first in-house production, the Nicolas Cage starrer Season of the Witch.

But how big of a spell the medieval actioner can cast remains to be seen.

It's looking like a sluggish weekend at the box office, with tracking soft for both Season of the Witch and Screen Gems' Gwyneth Paltrow topliner Country Strong, which makes a modest nationwide expansion after an awards-qualifying run.

Indeed, holdovers True Grit and Little Fockers are poised to take the top spots on the box-office chart unless Season of the Witch overperforms. Holdover Tron: Legacy also could best Season.

The first weekend of January can be one of the slowest frames of the year at the multiplex. This time could be especially tough in comparison to 2010, when Avatar broke the mold and did big business throughout the month.

Most box-office pundits believe Season, playing in roughly 2,816 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, will gross in the $10 million-$12 million range.

Relativity says that would be a win, since the movie cost $40 million to make, with much of the budget financed by foreign presales.
Season was produced by Chuck Roven and Alex Gartner's Atlas Entertainment.

Directed by Dominic Sena and also starring Ron Perlman, the movie features Cage and Perlman as medieval knights who return from fighting in the Crusades to find their homeland devastated by the Plague.

The action kicks in when they are asked to transport a young girl who is a accused of being a witch and infesting a monastery with the Plague.

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