'The Roommate' Poised to Win Box Office During Super Bowl Weekend


The Minka Kelly-Leighton Meester thriller is expected to surpass sales of James Cameron-produced "Sanctum 3D."

Cameron has been involved with Sanctum from the start, providing guidance, technical support and even marketing suggestions.

Cameron collaborator Andrew Wight, an underwater cave explorer and producer, penned the script for Sanctum based on a real-life experience. Cameron liked the idea and brought in Alister Grierson to direct.

Set on the Cold Goast of Queensland, Australia, Sanctum tells the story of a group of explorers who get trapped in a complex network of underwater caves when there's a hurricane. The film's budget was $30 million.

Sanctum is new territory for Wight, who has worked almost exclusively on documentaries, including Cameron's Ghosts of the Abyss and Aliens of the Deep.

Universal has heavily promoted Cameron's involvement in the project as well as the fact that Grierson used the same 3D camera system developed for Avatar, but overall awareness is soft, according to tracking. Males are the most interested.

Among similar films, The Descent opened to $8.9 million on its way to grossing $26 million domestically, and Open Water debuted to $11.4 million en route to $30.6 million.

The Super Bowl generally takes a hefty bite out of the box office across the board. Revenue can be down as much as 50 percent from Saturday, a much bigger drop than usual, although Saturday can be busier than usual on Super Bowl weekend.

The Roommate will be more immune to game fever than Sanctum and is showing strong interest among younger females, followed by older. The pic cost a modest $16 million to produce.

Directed by Christian E. Christiansen from a script by Sonny Mallhi, Roommate is about a college student assigned to share a room with a stranger. Things take a disturbing turn when the roommate becomes obsessed with the student.

Kelly stars in Sony's upcoming Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston comedy Just Go With It, while Meester is still in theaters with Country Strong. She'll also star in the summer Fox pic Monte Carlo.

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