"The Warrior's Way" Opens for Quite Frame


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The weekend after Thanksgiving is typically one of the slowest of the year, and 2010 looks to be no exception. With moviegoers distracted by holiday events and shopping, studios refrain from opening big titles, thus allowing smaller award hopefuls to garner attention with thunderous platform bows. Relativity Media opens the martial arts adventure The Warrior’s Way as the sole wide release, while holdovers will see sales get sliced in half. It should be a pretty classic post-Turkey Day weekend.

New releases rarely due well the first weekend of December, but Relativity Media will give it a shot with the martial arts epic The Warrior’s Way. Rated PG-13, the Western-martial arts hybrid stars Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush and South Korean b.o. titan Dong-gun Jang. Hit films are extremely rare on this frame; in the last 15 years, only 2003’s The Last Samurai opened well with $24.3M, despite a massive East Coast snowstorm. The Warrior’s Way has no chance of reaching those heights, despite being “from the producer of Lord of the Rings.” With a weak marketing push, low theater count and lack of critics’ screenings, The Warrior’s Way may be close last year’s early December action film, Armored, which opened to $6.5M, before fading fast. Opening in a modest 1,500 theaters, The Warrior’s Way could kick up $8M this weekend.

Harry Potter and Tangled were in close competition last weekend, and will be again, although their positions may flip. Tangled may have the edge from sensational word-of-mouth and great reviews. In 2007, the Mouse House saw Enchanted fall 52% after Thanksgiving weekend, and Tangled may play out the same way. A 50% drop seems in order, giving Disney $24M for the weekend, and a terrific $99M in 12 days.       

Five years ago, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire tumbled 63% after Thanksgiving, and last year’s New Moon fell 64% after a large Thanksgiving weekend drop. Deathly Hallows could follow suit and fall another 60% to $20M. That would give Warner Bros. a smashing 17-day tall of $248M, making it the sixth biggest movie of 2010. Things will get very heated next weekend though, when Fox unleashes The Chronicles of Narnia: the Voyage of the Dawn Treader in Digital 3D.

While Hollywood’s major studios take a breather, two indie films hope to turn their buzz into amazing platform bows. Fox Searchlight opens the dark ballet drama Black Swan in 19 theaters. Directed by Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler), the film has been generating enormous Best Actress buzz for star Natalie Portman.

Meanwhile Roadside Attractions releases the dramedy I Love You Phillip Morris in six theaters. The film stars Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor in the story of a man attempting to reassess his life after a near-fatal car accident. Both films have been generating very good reviews.

Overall, the box office looks to edge past both 2009, when The Blind Side rose to the top with $20M, and 2008, when Four Christmases remained at number one with $16.7M.

"The Warrior's Way" Opens for Quite Frame