"Rambo" leads crowd entering box-office fray
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - There just might be blood. The domestic boxoffice will feature a kind of midwinter mayhem this weekend, as strong holdover films are joined in a competitive fray by four wide-release debutants and Oscar-rejuvenated titles.
Paramount's monster film "Cloverfield" still holds considerable bite and should compete again for the top spot. But it will be interesting to see if its second-weekend drop exceeds 50 percent, a definite possibility amid the crush of film titles this weekend.
Fox's sophomore session with the wedding-themed romantic comedy "27 Dresses," a boxoffice bridesmaid last weekend, should considerably add to its earnings. Yet it remains to be seen if any males will show up for the film in subsequent outings; its maiden voyage skewed a whopping 75 percent female.
Last weekend's No. 3 -- Warner Bros.' Jack Nicholson-Morgan Freeman starrer, "The Bucket List" -- is showing surprisingly sturdy legs. Another strong session would give its septuagenarian topliners grounds for thumbing their noses at critics who predicted a dismal run for the now-$45 million grosser.
Also this weekend, Miramax expands Oscar magnet "No Country for Old Men" to 1,500 playdates.
Warners' "Michael Clayton" -- another Oscar best picture nominee, along with holdovers "Juno" from Fox Searchlight, "There Will be Blood" from Paramount Vantage and "Atonement" from Focus -- expands to about 1,000 engagements.
In the meantime, the hefty holdovers will be joined by a bevy of wide openers, and more than a couple of titles could get caught in the competitive frame.
Lionsgate's "Rambo" -- the first installment of the Sylvester Stallone action franchise in 20 years -- is set for about 2,800 theaters, while Fox bows "Meet the Spartans," a spoof of last year's "300" that's playing in about 2,600 locations. Sony also unspools serial-killer thriller "Untraceable" in about 2,300 sites, and Paramount Vantage trots out its urban step-dancing film "How She Move" in about 1,500 venues.
"Rambo" will draw heavily among older males. If it plays more broadly, it could challenge "Cloverfield" for the weekend crown.
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