BULLSEYE, Feb. 18: 'Number Four,' 'Rango,' 'Mommas,' 'Bureau,' 'Unknown,' More
See where audience interest is leading into the weekend.
This is a big weekend for DreamWorks. The youth-skewing sci-fi film I Am Number Four represents the studio's first output since severing ties with Paramount in 2008, and everyone is watching to see if Stacey Snider and Steven Spielberg -- as well as their production heads Mark Sourian and Holly Bario -- are making good choices for the resurgent studio's slate.
The Bullseye is indicating a resounding yes.
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Opening against Four are the Warner Bros. thriller Unknown and the Fox comedy threequel Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son. All three are looking strong, with Four and Unknown -- which stars Liam Neeson in a genre workout similar to that of the $145 million-grossing Taken -- about to compete for the guys' attention. Commitment to see Unknown is intense, especially among older men, but overall activity around Four is much bigger and closer to the bullseye. When the dust clears, Four should come out ahead at the weekend box office, clearing $30 million.
Martin Lawrence in Momma's is always a good bet: The first two movies opened above $25 million, and while the light blue bubble indicates a softer landing, it's likely to be not much softer than that. (A cameo by Tyler Perry as Madea would put this franchise through the roof -- she first appeared on screen just a month after the last Momma's House opened.)
Adam Sandler's Just Go With It is the only holdover that should have real legs, but not enough to compete with the new openers. Though Justin Bieber: Never Say Never saw little traffic during the week (the kids have homework to do), they could come out again this weekend. He's once again a wild card (and his film has scored 67% on the Tomatometer -- the best of last week).
Next week's openers Drive Angry (Nic Cage kicking ass in 3D!!) and Hall Pass both have healthy builds at the moment. Take Me Home Tonight, Beastly and Rango are teed up for March 4, with the Johnny Depp-voiced animated adventure squatting right on the center of the grid. The Paramount family film could be huge.
Here's Pamela McClintock's box-office preview for the weekend for added analysis.