Both films are opening wide on November 17th. But Hollywood couldn’t be pitting two more different films against each other. I’m told the early tracking has just shown up for James Bond vs. The Birds — and they’re running neck-and-neck in their box office race. The good news for both pics is that .007 and the penguins have “the highest awareness of any movie this far out since the summer films,” one of my box office gurus told me this morning. The tracking shows that Sony/MGM’s Casino Royale has a huge male and teen advantage, while Warner Bros.’ Happy Feet has the big leg up with Moms and families. Like, duh. The kiddie flick will have a screen advantage: an estimated 3,700 theaters compared to an estimated 3,400 theaters for the spy. Then again, Casino Royale‘s adult tickets are full price. On the one hand, the Bond franchise has a built-in audience; on the other, there’s a new .007 (Daniel Craig) with a Bourne-like look that doesn’t depend on the gee-whiz gadgetry of yesteryear, and that may put off Bond fans. As for the flock, their CGI film clearly exploits the humongous success of Warner Independent’s Oscar-winning pick-up March of the Penguins; on the other hand, not every animated pic does well at the box office these days. (Remember that Warner’s summer bomb Ant Bully?) With Saw III coming out this weekend, and Santa Clause 3 looking to best both Borat and Flushed Away when the trio go head to head Nov. 3rd, and Russell Crowe’s A Good Year competing against Will Farrell’s Stranger Than Fiction Nov. 10th, all these movies better get out of the way for the big Bond vs Birds showdown. This is gonna get more and more interesting…
EXCLUSIVE: Bond vs Birds Will Be BIG; Early Tracking Shows 'Casino Royale' & 'Happy Feet' Running Neck-And-Neck
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