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Worries over the sluggish domestic box office continue as Veteran’s Day weekend gets underway, bringing three high-profile films — Adam Sandler‘s Thanksgiving family comedy Jack and Jill, Henry Cavill fantasy action-epic Immortals and Clint Eastwood‘s Leonardo DiCaprio starrer J. Edgar.
Tracking suggests that Relativity Media’s Immortals and Sony’s Jack and Jill will gross in the low $20 million to $25 million range, give or take, for a potentially close contest. With the unpredictable marketplace, either could overperform — or come in below expectations. And don’t rule out DreamWorks Animation and Paramount’s Puss in Boots, which should gross in the low $20 million range.
PHOTOS: ‘Immortals’ Premiere Red Carpet
Puss in Boots came in No. 1 for the past two weekends, and saw the lowest second-weekend drop of all time for a non-holiday title, grossing $33 million last weekend after opening to $34.1 million. The 3D toon has grossed $80.9 million domestically through Wednesday, and should cross $100 million sometime over the weekend.
Jack and Jill and Puss in Boots — both rated PG — should benefit on Friday from kids being out school because of Veteran’s Day.
PHOTOS: ‘J. Edgar’ Premiere Red Carpet
Stil, Jack and Jill is expected to come in lower than many of Sandler’s comedies, with Sony citing the general downturn in moviegoing. Most of the actor’s films are rated PG-13, while his last PG film was Bedtime Stories (that pic opened just north of $27 million). In Jack and Jill, Sandler plays both a brother and his twin sister who are reunited over Thanksgiving.
Jack and Jill cost $80 million to produce, and Sony is counting on Sandler’s track record for lasting legs at the box office. The film is showing strong interest among younger females and males.
COVER STORY: The Making of ‘J. Edgar’
Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity, which fully financed and produced Immortals, is counting on fanboys to buoy the violence-laced R-rated film, a fantasy adventure along the same lines as box office hit 300. Immortals, a key test for Relativity, cost $75 million to produce after tax rebates.
Immortals scored high marks in test screenings, and also stars Stephen Dorff, Isabel Lucas, Kellan Lutz, Freida Pinto and Luke Evans. The pic opens day and date in a number of key territories, including China (through Relativity’s co-venture with Skyland), Germany, Italy, the U.K., South Korea, Japan and South Korea.
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Relativity insiders say Immortals only has to open to $25 million for the company to be on sound financial footing, since so much of the budget was financed through foreign presales.
Warner Bros. is projecting a $10 million to $12 million opening forJ. Edgar, which is in the wheelhouse for Eastwood’s films. The biopic of the legendary F.B.I. chief also stars Armie Hammer, and opened to good numbers Wednesday as it debuted in seven theaters in five cities in advance of Friday’s nationwide opening. The move is designed to spark word of mouth and trigger reviews, which have been mixed.
Overseas, in addition to Immortals, Sony opens Arthur Christmas in the U.K. this weekend in advance of the movie’s domestic debut Thanksgiving week.
At the domestic box office, Magnolia opens Lars Von Trier‘s Kristin Dunst-led Melancholia, while IFC opens Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley crime drama London Boulevard in select theaters.
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