‘Rango’ Set to Lead Weekend Box Office

067622H1.jpgParamount’s animated feature Rango is set for a stellar debut that will land it at the top of the box office chart with an expected weekend in the mid $30 million or even the $40 million range.  Boasting an all-star voice cast led by Johnny Depp, the film is the first animated feature for special effects company Industrial Light & Magic, the company founded by George Lucas in 1975.  Families will flock to movie theatres to see the adventures of Rango, the chameleon hero sheriff of a lawless Wild West town.  Paramount’s recent animated releases How To Train Your Dragon and Megamind both posted solid debuts with $43.7 million and $46 million respectively and Rango has the potential to match that level of success.

Universal has a solid debut awaiting their Matt Damon mind-bending romance thriller The Adjustment Bureau co-starring Emily Blunt and loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story, ‘Adjustment Team.’  With a terrific trailer and marketing campaign, look for an opening weekend gross in the mid to high teens followed by a solid hold in the marketplace.  Notably first time director George Nolfi wrote the screenplay for The Bourne Ultimatum and Ocean’s 12 both of which starred Damon.

Disney’s consistent performer Gnomeo and Juliet is anticipating another solid weekend even though its enjoyment of being the only family film game in town is now coming to an end.  A likely third place finish in its fourth weekend of release with a gross of around $10 million will bring the film’s total domestic gross to the $85 million mark.

Last weekend’s number one film, the buddy comedy Hall Pass from Warner Bros. will go up against the debut of the totally radical R-rated ‘80’s comedy Take Me Home Tonight from Relativity Media starring Topher Grace, the scene-stealing Dan Fogler and gorgeous newcomer Teresa Palmer.  Expect both films to generate somewhere in the $7 million to $8 million range as they chase decidedly different comedy seeking audiences.

Finally, CBS Films will bring a modern day spin to Beauty and the Beast with the young female demographic clearly in their sights with the debut of Beastly.  The film stars I Am Number Four’s Alex Pettyfer as the beast and High School Musical alum Vanessa Hudgens as the beauty in this update of the classic tale.  Opening with around $5 million, the film should wind up being profitable since it has already covered most of its $17 million budget in foreign pre-sales.

The down-trending box office will continue with year ago comparisons handing us a real zinger with Alice in Wonderland and its absolutely massive $116.1 million 3-D fortified record-breaking March debut.