Brendan Fraser and the long-awaited return of The Mummy franchise will likely unseat mega-hit The Dark Knight (Warner Bros) this weekend. Industry tracking points to a massive opening for the F/X-laden family-friendly action-adventure movie, and I am targeting $50M-$55M. That would be stronger than 1999’s original The Mummy, which grabbed $43.36M, but shy of the $68.13M start for The Mummy Returns in 2001. For Brendan Fraser, this would mark his all-time second-best opening.
ALL-TIME TOP FIVE BRENDAN FRASER OPENINGS
1. The Mummy Returns — $68.13 million
2. The Mummy — $43.36 million
3. George of the Jungle — $16.54 million
4. Bedazzled — $13.1 million
5. Encino Man — $9.86 million
Director Rob Cohen (xXx, The Fast and the Furious) has added worldwide superstar Jet Li (The Forbidden Kingdom, Lethal Weapon 4), which will pump overseas grosses. Domestically, this film should have no problem reaching $140M-$150M without breaking much of a sweat.
Meanwhile, The Dark Knight should continue its roll for a very strong No. 2 finish with something in the $39M-$44M range. This points out why it is virtually impossible for any film to ever unseat 1997’s Titanic ($600M domestic). The James Cameron-directed Best Picture winner held the No. 1 spot at the box office for 15 consecutive weekends, while The Dark Knight’s reign will have lasted just two weeks. Still, the The Dark Knight has an outside shot at topping the $400M mark by Monday morning.
Kevin Costner’s Swing Vote (Disney) is scoring negligible numbers in industry tracking, and it will have a tough time exceeding $10M. The Oscar winner, who took home the Best Director statue for Dances With Wolves, has a lot riding on this movie. He stars, produces and put up $20M of his own money to make this little movie. Realistically though, Costner has never been a huge box office sensation.
ALL-TIME TOP FIVE KEVIN COSTNER OPENINGS
1. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves – $25.62M
2. Waterworld – $21.17M
3. The Guardian – $18M
4. Message in a Bottle – $16.75M
5. The Bodyguard – $16.6M
I have always been a fan of Costner, and he is especially good when he plays the flawed, reluctant hero as he did in films like Bull Durham and Tin Cup. This seems to be right up his alley. I am calling for $7M-$10M this weekend, but the 25 Plus demos, never Early Attenders, may give Swing Vote decent legs in coming weeks.
FINAL PREDICTIONS FOR WEEKEND OF AUGUST 1
1. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Universal) – $55M
2. The Dark Knight (Warner Bros)- $41.75M
3. Step Brothers (Sony) – $16M
4. Mamma Mia (Universal) – $11.75M
5. Swing Vote (Disney) – $8.8M
6. Journey To the Center of the Earth (Warner Bros) – $6.5M
7. Hancock (Sony) – $4.7M
8. X Files: I Want To Believe (Fox) – $4.5M
9. WALL-E (Disney) – $4.2M
10. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Universal) – $2.65M