'Gamer,' 'Steve' vie for box office bucks

Category: Gamer News | Posted by: maryp
Article Date: September 3, 2009 | Publication: Variety.com | Author: PAMELA MCCLINTOCK
Publication/Article Link:Variety.com

Labor Day weekend pits geeks against gals as Lionsgate opens Gerard Butler actioner "Gamer" in 2,502 theaters and 20th Century Fox goes out with Sandra Bullock-Bradley Cooper comedy "All About Steve" in 2,251.

The third new wide entry is Miramax's Mike Judge comedy "Extract," starring Jason Bateman and Ben Affleck. Laffer opens in 1,611 runs.

Meanwhile, Paramount's "Star Trek" is making a comeback as a re-release in 93 Imax locations and 175 select theaters.

Horror pic "Carriers," a leftover title from Paramount Vantage, also opens in 100 runs.

National Geographic Films opens "Amreeka," about a refugee from the West Bank who comes to the U.S., in four runs in New York and Los Angeles.

Warner Bros./New Line holdover "The Final Destination," buoyed by 3-D grosses, could make trouble for the new entries. Horror pic opened to $27.4 million the previous weekend, tops for the franchise.

Through Wednesday, domestic cume on the movie was $33.5 million.

Most box office observers expect the top crop of pics to land in the teens for the four days.

"Gamer" is looking strongest among males under 25.

But Judge's fanbase is also comprised of younger men, giving "Gamer" some competition. Of the new openers, "Extract" faces the biggest challenge, according to tracking.

"All About Steve" will try to play off two summer hits, Bullock-Ryan Reynolds romantic comedy "The Proposal" and "The Hangover," starring Cooper. "Steve," also starring Thomas Haden Church, was produced by Bullock.

Women over 25 are the strongest quadrant for "Steve," according to tracking.

Box office observers aren't quite sure how the weekend will play out in terms of overall traffic. Labor Day weekend isn't usually a big box office draw, and this year many kids are already back in school.