Weekend Preview: 'Green Zone,' 'She's Out of My League,' 'Remember Me,' 'Our Family Wedding'
by Ray Subers
Matt Damon in Green Zone
March 11, 2010
Despite four new nationwide releases this weekend, Alice in Wonderland is poised to spend its second weekend atop the box office. After a record-breaking $116.1 million opening weekend, the movie could tumble precipitously and still deliver one of the highest-grossing second weekends ever. During the week, it has maintained decent momentum, though it was off nearly 25 percent from Monday to Wednesday. Recent 3D family movies have fared well in their second weekends, with last year's crop falling from 12 to 45 percent, and Alice should be on the higher end of that range, due to the sheer size of its opening rush as well as unimpressive word of mouth (Box Office Mojo users gave the movie a decent-but-not-great "B").
Striking over 3,400 screens at 3,003 sites, Green Zone has been positioned as the most promising new release. The Iraq War thriller reunites director Paul Greengrass and actor Matt Damon, the team behind the smash hits The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. Distributor Universal Pictures' marketing has strongly played up the Bourne connection, and the action-packed, conspiracy-laden trailers and commercials combined with Mr. Damon's presence make Green Zone almost look like another Bourne movie. Green Zone's subject matter, though, may be a deterrent. Middle East war-related movies haven't exactly lit up the box office lately (The Hurt Locker, Body of Lies, Stop-Loss, etc.). Action-oriented The Kingdom may be the best comparison, and it only mustered $17.1 million in its debut (ultimately closing with $47.8 million). Based on its relentless marketing efforts, Green Zone appears to be aiming higher.
Remember Me opens at 2,212 sites and features teen heartthrob Robert Pattinson in his first nationwide release where he's neither a vampire nor a wizard. As he only played a minor role in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and the Twilight movies have been sold more on the strength of their brand than on his shoulders, Pattinson is relatively untested at the box office. Remember Me's generically-advertised premise of two wayward twenty-somethings (Pattinson and Emilie DeRavin from ABC's Lost) falling in love in New York City doesn't exactly scream "must-see," but it does play into Pattinson's Twilight persona. Zac Efron played up on his High School Musical persona to some success with 17 Again last year, but that picture had a more commercial premise. Dear John also had a stronger, more clearly defined storyline not to mention a more significant female lead, and it opened to $30.5 million last month. Remember Me's success has been hinged squarely on Pattinson, which suggests that its debut could be more down to earth.
She's Out of My League, featuring Jay Baruchel from Tropic Thunder and Knocked Up, hits approximately 3,300 screens at 2,956 sites this weekend. The comedy is the start of a big year for Baruchel, who also voices the main character in How to Train Your Dragon and stars opposite Nicholas Cage in Disney's The Sorcerer's Apprentice this summer. She's Out of My League has been marketed as if it were in the Judd Apatow milieu, balancing romantic and raunchy comedy; its poster was designed like Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin with a close-up of Baruchel's face, posing the question of how a "10" could go for a "5." Lately, though, commercials have skewed more towards the male comedic end and have failed to show why audiences should be interested in the characters, suggesting that She's Out of My League will likely struggle to make its mark this weekend.