No trouble with "Curve" at box office for new Eastwood movie

Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:51pm EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A month ago, "Trouble with the Curve" was just a low-key fall movie starring Clint Eastwood as a stubborn, aging baseball scout.

But after the Oscar-winner's headline-making "empty chair" speech at the Republican National Convention in August, the film could be set for a box office home run when it opens on Friday.

Eastwood, 82, used to performing multiple duties, handed the directing reigns to someone else for the first time in 20 years for "Trouble with the Curve." He plays a baseball scout with failing eyesight who has a fractured relationship with his strong-willed attorney daughter, played by Amy Adams.

The movie opens in U.S. theaters after weeks of public debate, and many jokes, over Eastwood's unscripted August 30 political speech that Hollywood box office watchers say has stirred interest in the movie and will likely boost ticket sales.

As of Wednesday, "Curve" was among the top five best-selling advance tickets for the upcoming weekend on movie-going destination website Fandango.

Based on social media buzz including Facebook and Twitter, predicted that "Curve," along with new horror movie release "House at the End of the Street" starring "Hunger Games" star Jennifer Lawrence, will be fighting it out for first place at the North American box office.

The tracking website predicted "Curve" will take in about $18.5 million with "House" closely behind at around $18 million.

"Clint has the ability to surprise," editor Phil Contrino told Reuters. "'Gran Torino,' the last film he starred in, shocked everyone with what it did at the box office. His audience is mostly conservative anyway so I don't think his chair speech at the RNC is going to hurt ticket sales. If anything it will help him because more people are talking about him."   Continued...

Actor Clint Eastwood addresses an empty chair and questions it as if it is U.S. President Obama, as he endorses Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the final session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 30, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer