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Big names may bring film slump to a close

first_imgIt’s a good thing I was able to take in both “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” and “Michael Clayton” this week because the multiplexes are positively jammed with new releases starring the likes of George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix and Tyler Perry. This slate of high-profile films, as well as reigning champ “The Game Plan,” will try to stop a three-week box-office slide. If not reversed, the growing slump could derail the movie industry’s hope of setting an all-time record for revenue to go along with its record summer at the box office. With such a crowded field, it’s unlikely that any of the movies will completely dominate although several should have at least $10 million-plus openings. KING GEORGE: The Clooney-headlined “Clayton” has enjoyed stellar reviews and strong business in limited release. As it expands to more than 2,000 theaters today, the film should manage to hold its own with a weekend take of $12-15 million. THE OUTLOOK: Year-to-date revenue is still 6.73 percent ahead of 2006 but the first $10 billion year in Hollywood history could be in serious jeopardy if some of the films in this week’s crop don’t flourish. [email protected] (818)713-3758160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.QUEEN CATE: Queen Elizabeth I may have reigned over the British empire, but “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” probably won’t have enough power to upstage “Clayton” and some of the other films. Blanchett reprises her Oscar-nominated role from 1998’s “Elizabeth” and should be a shoo-in for another nod from the Academy for her performance in this film. But that won’t be enough to propel it past a $10 million debut. SEEKING OWNERSHIP: The crime-thriller “We Own the Night” also has a cast with a tremendous acting pedigree, including Oscar nominees Wahlberg and Phoenix as well as Oscar winner Robert Duvall. This is the only real action-packed flick among the newcomers so it should at least match or possibly exceed the debut of “Clayton.” Either way, these two flicks should finish close. WEDDING BELLS: With a string of strong opening weekends for Tyler Perry films like “Madea’s Family Reunion” and “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” I figure “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?” will have a decent slice of the box office wedding cake. Opening today in about 2,000 theaters, “Married” should gross more than $10 million. I’d predict a lot higher if the movie was opening in February like “Diary” and “Madea” did. STILL IN GAME: Despite the glut of films, Disney’s “The Game Plan” remains the only family film in the market so it could emerge in first place for the third weekend in a row after grossing $16.6 million last weekend. But it will have to enjoy just a slight drop in business in order to reign again. THE LIMITED: If you’re interested in seeing Owen Wilson’s latest film “The Darjeeling Limited,” it gets easier starting today with the film expanding to 95 locations. The unique Ryan Gosling film, “Lars and the Real Girl” is in seven theaters before its wide release next weekend while the remake of “Sleuth” bows in nine venues. The foreign film, “Lust Caution,” expands to 77 spots and the musical “Across the Universe” is now wide in 954 theaters. last_img read more