Box Office Barometer 8-11-11: Saving Private Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds is like 3D: he had box office success in the past, which led to multiple projects utilizing his talent, but now he’s out of vogue and the projects he already signed on to are in trouble.  With The Change-Up‘s $13.5 million failure.  Instead of analyzing those movies’ prospects, we’re determining if  those projects can save him, or if he will cross into the Nic Cage Zone.

Project: Safe House

Premise: When a CIA-operated safe house is targeted by a group of bad guys, the facility’s house-sitter is tasked with the dangerous job of moving the criminal who is being hidden there to another secure location.

Prospect: Every young actor wanted this role for the chance to star opposite Denzel.  The premise is similar to 16 Blocks, only the age of the cop and the criminal are reversed (but of course, the cop is still White and the criminal is still Black).  Denzel brings his $167 million Unstoppable and his $157 million Book of Eli worldwide earners to the table, so Reynolds will not be credited with the box office success.  At least we’ll get a reprise of Reynodls’ Smokin’ Aces renegade police officer.

Project: The Croods

Premise: A comedy adventure that takes us back to the beginning – to a previously undiscovered era known as the Croodacious – a time when Mother Nature was still experimenting and the flora and fauna we know today hasn’t evolved yet.

Prospect: An interesting idea, but it seems like a movie of the same caliber of $64 million-earning Space Chimps.  It also starts the voice of Nic Cage, who anchored the $39.8 million Astro Boy.  Regardless, voice actors are never blamed for the result of a movie, so either way Reynolds’ reputation will not change.

Project: Turbo

Premise: A garden snail with dreams of becoming the fastest snail in the world experiences a freak accident that might just allow him to realize his goal.

Prospect: What’s the precursor here?  It just sounds like a rip-off of Bolt, but this didn’t have the same cache as Miley Cyrus for the kids, John Travolta for the parents, and Disney’s brand for everybody.  With things in flux over at Dreamworks, perhaps Jeffrey Katzenberg is taking a cue from his former studio and current distributor.  Either way, Ryan, two animated movies?  Looks like you’re cashing in…

Project: R.I.P.D.

Premise: A recently slain cop joins a team of undead police officers working for the Rest in Peace Department and tries to find the man who murdered him. Based on the comic by Peter M. Lenkov.

Prospect:  All right, now we’re talking.  This could be a cool movie, and with co-stars Jeff Bridges, and possibly Kevin Bacon and Jodie Foster, this is something to look out for.  In terms of Reynolds career, he will be the star among Bridges with two previous and consecutive $100+ million movies, and Kevin Bacon’s $100+ million X-Men: First Class.  This could help Reynolds break out of his slump, but it might also be too high-concept for a broad audience.

Project: Deadpool

Premise: There is no script yet, but Deadpool is “a smart-mouthed mercenary with terminal cancer who undergoes military experiments in an attempt to replicate Wolverine’s mutant healing factor. He comes away with the ability to heal quickly, but for the price of being indestructible he is rendered severely scarred. His acerbic attitude remains, though, earning him the nickname ‘The Merc with a Mouth.’”

Prospect:  This is the one to watch.  Reynolds first debuted as Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was a heavily anticipated movie that was critically eviscerated.  Reynolds was set to star in the Deadpool spin-off, but he took Green Lantern ahead of it. Rumors ran wild regarding the director of this movie (with people trying to will Robert Rodriguez to direct it), but ultimately it landed with VFX artist Tim Miller.  While not the splashiest name, producer Lauren Shuler Donner insisting that this Deadpool will be different than the one in Wolverine.  So while it seems that Deadpool is doing what almost every other comic book movie is doing and becoming “gritty,” hopefully this means that expectations will also be tempered for its returns.  As Marvel branches out to its less noticeable characters, they are also fostering them in environments to try and prevent failure.  Hopefully for Ryan Reynolds, their strategy with Deadpool will also garner him success.

Box Office Results [from Deadline]

1. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (Fox) NEW [3,648 Theaters]
Friday $19.7M, Saturday $19.4M, Weekend $54M

2. The Smurfs – 3D (Sony) Week 2 [3,395 Theaters]
Friday $6M, Saturday $8.2M, Weekend $21M (-41%), Cume $76.2M

3. Cowboys & Aliens (DreamWorks/Universal) Week 2 [3,754 Theaters]
Friday $4.7M, Saturday $6.4M, Weekend $15.7M (-57%), Cume $67.3M

4. The Change-Up (Universal) NEW [2,913 Theaters]
Friday $4.7M, Saturday $5M, Weekend $13.5M

5. Captain America – 3D (Marvel/Disney/Paramount) Week 3 [3,620 Theaters]
Friday $3.7M, Saturday $5.5M, Weekend $13M, Cume $143.1M

6. Harry Potter/Hallows Pt 2 – 3D (Warner Bros) Week 4 [3,175 Theaters]
Friday $3.3M, Saturday $5.1M, Weekend $12.1M, Cume $342.8M

7. Crazy, Stupid, Love (Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,020 Theaters]
Friday $3.7M, Saturday $4.9M, Weekend $12.1M (-37%), Cume $42.1M

8. Friends With Benefits (Sony) Week 3 [2,398 Theaters]
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $1.9M, Weekend $4.7M, Cume $48.5M

9. Horrible Bosses (New Line/Warner Bros) Week 5 [2,025 Theaters]
Friday $1.3M, Saturday $1.9M, Weekend $4.6M, Cume $105.1M

10. Transformers 3 – 3D (Paramount) Week 6 [1,854 Theaters]
Friday $850K, Saturday $1.3M, Weekend $3M, Cume $344.1M


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