The Iraq War movie curse will be put to the test this weekend when Ridley Scott‘s Body of Lies opens on Friday. It cost a lot of money (I’ve heard $90 to $100 million) and most handicappers will be surprised if it makes more than $17 or $18 million by Sunday night. Even if God smiles down and it nabs $20 million (which won’t happen) it would probably top out in the vicinity of $60 or $70 million.
Today’s Body of Lies tracking is 78 general, 37 definite interest and 13 first choice, up from last Sunday’s tally of 70, 37 and 9. But it only has a 58% positive on Rotten Tomatoes.
Beverly Hills Chihuahua (Disney) will probably be a close second, maybe $15 million or a bit more. The Express (Universal), a good-enough football saga about Syracuse star and first-ever African-American Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis, is running at 64, 34 and 9, and should come in third with $13. 5 or $14 million. The R-rated Quarantine is running at 57, 29 and 8 and should come in with something close to $12 million, maybe a bit less.
Among next week’s openers, Max Payne is looking a bit stronger than The Secret Life of Bees with Oliver Stone‘s W. and Sex Drive following in that order.

  • The Playlist

    But it’s a CIA thriller with post-Iraq concerns. Not really an “Iraq War” film per se. The more people propagate the “Iraq War” angle, the less audiences are going to go see it and the damage is probably already done.
    I didn’t love it, but gotta be fair to what it really is.

  • BurmaShave

    Edelstein assures me Mark Strong is to be the new Andy Garcia? That’s the kind of insane opinion I can get behind.

  • The Playlist

    Mark Strong is definitely really good in it if that’s what he’s trying to say. I usually hate when actors play ethnicities that they’re not (a Brit, playing a Jordanian in this case), but he totally pulls it off.

  • scooterzz

    mark strong’s performance is the best thing about the movie….and he does bear a remarkable resemblance to andy garcia…..
    also — i don’t know how many theaters ‘quarantined’ is opening in but the ad campaign has been pretty strong…i think it could surprise…..

  • BurmaShave

    If by strong you mean has made all the geek movie sites unnavigable, then I agree. As for Strong, I’m not surprised, he was excellent in SYRIANA. Don’t really see ethnic movie star potential for him though. As for nationalities, he’s half Italian. Him playing an upper class Jordanian doesn’t entirely offend.

  • Josh Massey

    Body of Lies won’t disappoint because it’s viewed as an Iraq movie. It will disappoint because its ads have made it look so damn boring.

  • bildeaux

    SPOILERS for Quarantine !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I wonder if people that leave Quarantine will be pissed that the trailers are showing the very very end of the movie.

  • NotImpressedYet

    The beginning of A.O. Scott’s review: “Ridley Scott‚Äôs new movie, ‚ÄúBody of Lies,‚Äù raises a potentially disturbing question. If terrorism has become boring, does that mean the terrorists have won?”

  • huntermdaniels

    If the REC remake stays close to the source material it should do pretty well, the original was friggin terrifying.

  • MartinBlank

    I have no interest in Body of Lies, not because it’s an Iraq War movie but because it’s a Ridley Scott movie. The man has made three good movies; the rest is empty style over substance.

  • thatmovieguy

    MAX PAYNE — like QUARANTINE — is apparently not being screend for critics, which tells me exactly what to expect from that.

  • NotImpressedYet

    I just watched The Happening and God is Mark Wahlberg awful in it. He’s capable of really good stuff, but this was embarrassing.

  • scooterzz

    thatmovieguy– max payne is being screened tomorrow and saturday for critics and junket press….they’re not hiding anything….

  • Filthy Rich

    Apparently Martin Blank can’t count:
    Blade Runner
    Black Hawk Down
    Matchstick Men
    American Gangster
    That makes 6 good movies. If you said 3 GREAT films okay.
    And at least 3 or 4 more passably okay to pretty good movies.

  • D.Z.

    Even if it’s number 1, it ain’t gonna be huge. I’m not sure why WB thinks a $100 million espionage film with Leo will work, after Blood Diamond failed, but they don’t want to take a bigger chance on RockNRolla.

  • Rich S.

    One of the reasons these movies fail is that they can no longer count on the incomparable Anthony Quinn to play every olive-skinned ethnicity on Earth.
    When you have to rely on guys like Oded Fehr, you’ve got problems.

  • erniesouchak

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this one does well, actually. It looks like “24” writ large, and before that series went way, way down the shitter, it had a sizable following.

  • thatmovieguy

    Thank you, scooterzz: For some reason, my Fox rep is still insisting “no advance screenings” of MAX in my area. Typical Fox — they played the same game with THE HAPPENING in June; at the very last minute, they sent an invitation. They’ll probably set up MAX Monday at the same time as the W screening. If you see it, share your thoughts!

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