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Martin Grove’s Hollywood Report 08-15-11


 
“FRIGHT NIGHT” FN-243 Director Craig Gillespie gets ready for action on the set of DreamWorks Pictures’ “Fright Night,” a reimagining of the cult horror classic. “Fright Night” is produced by Michael De Luca and Alison Rosenzweig. Ph: John Bramley @copy;DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.

“FRIGHT NIGHT” FN-243 Director Craig Gillespie gets ready for action on the set of DreamWorks Pictures’ “Fright Night,” a reimagining of the cult horror classic. “Fright Night” is produced by Michael De Luca and Alison Rosenzweig. Ph: John Bramley @copy;DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.

“FRIGHT NIGHT” FN-024 Doris (Emily Montague) falls victim to Jerry (Collin Farrell), the seductive, bloodthirsty vampire terrorizing the neighborhood, in DreamWorks Pictures’ horror film “Fright Night.” Directed by Craig Gillespie, “Fright Night” is produced by Michael De Luca and Alison Rosenzweig. Ph: Lorey Sebastian @copy;DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.

“FRIGHT NIGHT” FN-024 Doris (Emily Montague) falls victim to Jerry (Collin Farrell), the seductive, bloodthirsty vampire terrorizing the neighborhood, in DreamWorks Pictures’ horror film “Fright Night.” Directed by Craig Gillespie, “Fright Night” is produced by Michael De Luca and Alison Rosenzweig. Ph: Lorey Sebastian @copy;DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.

“FRIGHT NIGHT” FN-118 Jerry (Collin Farrell), a vampire preying on a peaceful suburban neighborhood, attempts to chase down Charley (Anton Yelchin) in DreamWorks Pictures’ horror film “Fright Night.” Directed by Craig Gillespie, “Fright Night” is produced by Michael De Luca and Alison Rosenzweig. @copy;DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.

“FRIGHT NIGHT” FN-118 Jerry (Collin Farrell), a vampire preying on a peaceful suburban neighborhood, attempts to chase down Charley (Anton Yelchin) in DreamWorks Pictures’ horror film “Fright Night.” Directed by Craig Gillespie, “Fright Night” is produced by Michael De Luca and Alison Rosenzweig. @copy;DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.

“Conan’s” coming! The biggest barbarian at this weekend’s movie gates looks like “Conan.“

“Conan the Barbarian,” opening via Lionsgate at about 2,900 theatres, is a 3D reboot of the original stories behind John Milius’s 1982 epic starring a young Arnold Schwarzenegger in his breakthrough role.

This new “Conan’s” tracking better than the crowded weekend’s three other wide openings, but so far it’s not kicking up impressive first choice scores.

“Conan” will face hand-to-hand combat with two other prime weekend warriors — Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s hit “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which slid only about 50 percent in its second weekend and already has grossed over $104 million, and DreamWorks, Participant Media and Disney's “The Help,” which cleaned up last weekend with about $25.5 million and did over $35 million its first five days.

“Help” did way better than tracking projections suggested it would do, probably because over-25 males are starting to see it with their wives or girlfriends who read the best-seller it’s based on and were eager to go. It’s a great opening for a film whose budget was only around $25 million.

Starring Jason Momoa (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), the R rated film is adapted from the “Conan” stories Robert E. Howard first wrote in 1932 for the pulp fiction magazine Weird Tales.

”Conan’s” tracking best with over-25 males (low double digits) and next best (but not nearly as well) with under-25 males. It’s a very low first choice for women of all ages.

Considering that we last saw Conan in 1984’s “Conan the Destroyer,” also starring Schwarzenegger, you can’t help wondering if that title makes today’s fanboys think of Conan the Comedian (late night TV’s Conan O’Brien) rather than Conan the Barbarian.

Also competing for male moviegoers this weekend is DreamWorks and Disney’s R rated vampire horror comedy “Fright Night,” starring Anton Yelchin (Clumsy’s voice in “The Smurfs”) and Colin Farrell (“Horrible Bosses”).

“Fright,” which will go into about 2,900 theatres, is tracking about as well with under-25 males as it is with over-25 males — but it’s only been a low single digits first choice. Younger and older females really aren’t interested, which is interesting since teen girls are usually a big audience for horror films.

What under-25 females are focusing on is Focus Features’ PG-13 romantic drama “One Day,” directed by Lone Scherfig (“An Education”) and starring Anne Hathaway (“Alice in Wonderland”) and Jim Sturgess (Soren’s voice in “Legend of the Guardians,”) opening at about 1,600 theatres. But here, too, the overall first choice tracking scores are way low.

Rounding things out is The Weinstein Company and its Dimension Films label’s 3,000 theatre launch of the PG action comedy “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World,” written and directed by Robert Rodriguez (“Machete”) and starring Jessica Alba (“Little Fockers”) and Jeremy Piven (“RocknRolla”).

“Spy” hasn’t been tracking well with anybody, but like other family films it could wind up opening better than the tracking gurus think because little kids don’t get interviewed in shopping mall surveys.

Although “Spy’s” in 3D, it’s being marketed confusingly as a “4D” movie because moviegoers will receive AromaScope scratch-and-sniff cards to smell during the movie. That, of course, is like throwing raw meat to the wild pack of movie critics, some of whom are bound to make the most of it.

It doesn’t help that “Spy” is targeted to families and will have competition for that audience from Columbia and Sony Animation’s hit “The Smurfs.” The PG rated 3D animated comedy had a great hold last weekend, its third in theatres, dropping only about 35 percent. The cute little blue guys finished fourth with about $13.5 million and have already grossed over $101 million. They'll be bouncing around multiplexes for the rest of the summer.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema’s R rated 3D horror thriller “Final Destination 5” opened third with an underperforming $18.4 million. Whether the $45 million production is destined to have much of a boxoffice life remains to be seen.

Columbia’s R rated action comedy “30 Minutes or Less”> also disappointed, placing fifth with about $13 million. But “Less” only cost about $28 million and was bankrolled by Media Rights Capital, which is good news for Columbia.

Fox’s PG rated “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” had nothing to sing about, opening eleventh with about $5.7 million. Since “Glee” came in for just about $9 million, Fox shouldn’t lose money after its global revenue streams from video on demand, pay television and other TV sales, digital downloads, DVD, etc.

Bottom line: This weekend will see “Conan” battle “Apes,” as it fights to hold on to first place for a third weekend, and “Help,” as it tries to help itself to the top spot through good word of mouth.