SUNDAY AM: I just got off the phone with Harvey Weinstein whose Weinstein Co is co-distributing Rambo with Lionsgate, and he’s remarkably bullish on Sly Stallone’s prospects especially overseas. Harv estimated that Rambo, which took in $18.1 mil from 2,751 theaters its opening weekend, “will end up doing $50 mil here and $100M to $150M foreign. That’s what usually happens since this franchise is really big overseas.” I bet the pic doesn’t even see $45 mil domestic and drops with a thud next weekend. Of course, this is just idle chatter from Harv because he doesn’t own Rambo: Avi Lerner and his company, Nu Image, do and produced the film. They licensed domestic rights to Lionsgate and LGF partnered with TWC. Nu Image controls the international rights and neither TWC nor LGF have any dibs
on the foreign revenue. So it’s great to say that there’s a ton of international potential on the film but it does not benefit LGF nor TWC one bit. But that doesn’t stop Harv who is already talking sequel and even has a plot in mind “bringing the character back to the United States”. Rambo in a wheelchair, I asked? (Given that Sly at age 61 is ridiculously old to still be an action hero.) Harvey laughed and said, “I like the idea of an older guy kicking ass. Maybe it’s because I’m older, too.” (Weinstein turns 56 this March.)
Granted, Rambo‘s “Hard R” rating, complete with disgustingly violent TV ads, couldn’t best Fox’s No. 1 Meet The Spartans send-up which was only PG-13 rated. Both pics were aimed at the same audiences — young males — and both did better than expected during this box office weekend before the Super Bowl when guys go through playoff withdrawal. The send-up of 300 made $18.7 mil from 2,605 venues, helping Fox boast a total four movies in this weekend’s Top 10. And this weekend Fox 2000 had its first $200 million movie and Fox Searchlight its first $100 million movie. Is Fox studios kickin’ ass or what?
Not only did Fox’s 27 Dresses again prove great counter-programming its 2nd weekend out for third place (another $13.6 mil from 3,074 runs for a new cume of $45.3 mil), but do did Fox Searchlight’s Juno for the very same reason. Even after 8 weekend in release, the 6th place newly Oscar-nominated teen dramedy added another $10.3 mil from 2,436 plays to cross the all-important $100 mil mark (for a cume of $100.1 mil, to be exact). Meanwhile, Fox 2000’s Alvin And the Chipmunks family blockbuster smashed the $200 mil mark this weekend ($204.1 mil cume) after finishing either 10th or 11th, depending on whose weekend numbers you believe, with $4.5 mil from 2,430 sites.
Paramount couldn’t have been pleased with its JJ Abrams hit horror pic Cloverfield dropping a surprisingly big 68% to only 4th place already its 2nd weekend out — making $12.7 mil from 3,411 venues for a new cume of $64.2 mil. But Paramount Vantage’s There Will Be Blood benefitted greatly from its multi Oscar nominations by earning $4.8 mil from just 885 runs to land in 8th place with a new cume of $14.7 mil.