Weekend Predictions (Dec. 12 to Dec. 14, 2008): 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'

Featured Stories - on December 11, 2008 by Phil Contrino

The Day the Earth Stood Still is set to perform well this weekend. Meanwhile, Oscar contenders will be tested.

After a comparatively slow first weekend of December, the second weekend is shaping up to be much stronger.

Four Christmases will most certainly see its run at #1 come to an end this weekend thanks to the emergence of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Considering that they've had an extremely disappointing year in 2008, Fox needs Earth to be a hit and the film's advertising campaign has been strong as a result.

Earth comes with a built-in audience thanks to the 1951 original which was recently re-released on DVD. Plus, audiences tend to trust Keanu Reeves in films with sci-fi themes such as The Matrix trilogy and Constantine. Look for The Day the Earth Stood Still to bring in around $42 million this weekend from 3,560 locations.

Overture is releasing Nothing Like the Holidays this weekend in the hopes of capitalizing on holiday sentiment. Holidays is opening at considerably less locations than Earth, 1,671 total, which means that it will have to settle for a more modest opening. Still, its PG-13 rating will make it appealing to family audiences and it could gross as much as $8 million during its opening frame.

Despite a practically non-existent advertising campaign, Freestyle Releasing is opening Delgo at a whopping 2,160 locations. The animated flick, which features the voices of Jennifer Love Hewitt, Val Kilmer, Freddie Prinze Jr., Eric Idle, Chris Kattan and Kelly Ripa, should land with a thud this weekend and it will be lucky to gross more than $3 million.

Two major Oscar contenders will start their theatrical runs on a handful of screens this weekend. Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino is opening at six locations and it should grab at least $30,000 from each one. Meanwhile, Doubt hits 15 locations and it should gross at least $20,000 from each one thanks to the drawing power of Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams.

The Reader, which stars Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes, opened on Wednesday and it should see a solid boost thanks to its Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture - Drama. Other Oscar contenders such as Milk, Frost/Nixon and Slumdog Millionaire will also be expanding this weekend as they build their audiences.

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