Box Office Briefs: Will Adam Sandler Trump Tiny Bieber? Fo Sho!

Box Office Briefs: Will Adam Sandler Trump Tiny Bieber? Fo Sho!

Feb 11, 2011

Never Say Never.

But if somebody tells you a Justin Bieber 3D concert movie will never beat an straight-ahead Adam Sandler comedy at the box office, just go with it.

This weekend, Sandler’s Just Go With It is expected to easily win the domestic box office, with the Sony PG-13-rated film expected to gross over $30 million.

It’s just what Sandler movies do when the comic-actor plays it straight-ahead for romantic-comedy laughs, instead of trying to get a terminal-illness heavy (a la Funny People).

Consider this: The last time Sandler opened a rom-com on a Valentine’s Day weekend was 2004, when 50 First Dates cleared an impressive $39.9 million.

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And Sandler’s last outing, last summer’s Grown Ups, opened to an impressive $40.5 million.

This time around, the comedian is co-starring alongside a Friend who is decidedly cold at the box office, Jennifer Aniston, but still, this movie should do just fine.

Paramount’s Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, meanwhile, will probably outperform the last teeny-bopper concert film that came into the market, 2009’s Jonas Brothers movie, which opened to a disappointing $12.5 million.

But it probably won’t usurp the boffo 2008 performance of Disney’s Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concert film, which opened to $31.5 million and sold advanced tickets on Fandango at a much brisker pace.

As for the weekend’s other openings, Disney is opening its lawn-gnome-themed Shakespeare adaptation Gnomeo & Juliet in 2,994 theaters, and could gross more than $20 million for the trouble, given the fact that there hasn’t been a kiddie film open at the box office since Warner’s Yogi Bear back in mid-December.

Focus Features, meanwhile, will debut the Roman Army-themed Channing Tatum film The Eagle in 2,296 theaters. Hardly anybody even knows this film is coming out and Focus – which spent only $25 million to produce it – has modest goals of only around $8 million for the weekend.

Also, among limited openings, Fox Searchlight will debut the Miguel Arteta ensemble comedy Cedar Rapids in 15 theaters. The R-rated comedy stars Ed Helms as a naive Midwestern insurance-sales-convention-goer who gets in adventures alongside Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver, Rob Corddry and John C. Reilly.

Here’s how we think the top 10 is going to shake out:

Just Go With It We say: $32.0M
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never We say: $17.0M
Gnomeo & Juliet We say: $16.5M
The Roommate We say: $7.0M
The Eagle We say: $6.5M
The King’s Speech We say: $6.2M
Sanctum We say: $5.5M
No Strings Attached We say: $5.0M
The Mechanic We say: $3.0M
The Green Hornet We say: $3.0M

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