They’re both very strange movies competing head-on the weekend of November 10th. But when it comes to early tracking, I’m told that Fox’s A Good Year starring Russell Crowe (who’s been off the screen for a while) isn’t firing. But Mandate/Sony’s Stranger Than Fiction, starring Will Ferrell (hot off Talladega Nights), is smokin’. (As one of my esteemed colleagues just emailed me when he read this post: “Hide all the telephones and tell all the hotel workers to strap on helmets.”) It’s too weird: here’s Russell, the great dramatic thesp, in what’s supposed to be a light-hearted romance, and Will, the great dumb guy actor, doing a dramedy. Don’t get me wrong; neither pic looks to be huge. That’s because both actors go against type, plus they’ll have a lotta competition coming from the screen expansions of holdovers Borat and Santa Clause 3. Oscar-platforming Babel also goes wider that week. So that weekend, it looks like a close race with all the pics in the mid-to-high teens with Stranger Than Fiction topping out with at least $15 million and maybe as much as $18 mil.
Of course, this weekend is all Lionsgate’s Saw III, in 3,167 theaters. As for the week of November 3rd, read my previous: UPDATED: Fox Trimming ‘Borat’ Screens and ‘Santa Clause 3’ Is Tracking BIGGER Than Hyped ‘Borat’. For the week of November 17th, read my previous: EXCLUSIVE: Bond vs Birds Will Be BIG; Early Tracking Shows ‘Casino Royale’ & ‘Happy Feet’ Running Neck-And-Neck