Projection Booth: Will ‘Blades Of Glory’ Freeze Out ‘The Robinsons’?

Will Ferrell hopes to outdo Disney with a 'Talladega Nights'-size audience.

The last few weeks at the box office have been dominated by Spartan warriors and ninja turtles, so is it really going to be so odd if the next dominant group is a pair of male figure-skaters?

Not since “South Park” asked, “What would Brian Boitano do?” has male figure-skating figured so prominently at your local cinema (see “Rewind: How Does ’Blades Of Glory’ Figure Into Past Skating Flicks?” ). And it’s not even a Winter Olympics year. Of course, when you have Will Ferrell headlining your comedy, it doesn’t really matter if the subject matter is trendy or not. Certainly he and “Blades of Glory” co-star Jon Heder (still looking to find a “Napoleon Dynamite”-worthy role) are hoping for success more along the lines of “Talladega Nights” than “Kicking & Screaming,” though even the latter managed a $20 million opening (see “J. Lo Slaps ’Screaming’ Ferrell With A Box-Office Beating” ).

The other high-profile newcomer looks to be Disney’s “Meet the Robinsons,” which opens on 3,200 screens — even more than “Blades.” The family-friendly flick eschews the now-standard bizarre array of celebrity voices (really, did “Madagascar” need Ben Stiller and Cedric the Entertainer?!?) for a time-twisting plot and cool visuals. In fact, the flick is opening in 3-D in many theaters.

That 3-D card one-ups “300,” which still is performing quite well in IMAX theaters and on your good-old conventional screens across the nation (see ” ’300’ Trivia: Albino Giants, Sequel Chances — And Sienna Miller” ). Look for its cumulative numbers to approach the $200 million mark by the end of this weekend.

Don’t forget about those Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles either. They did lead their flick to #1 at the box office last weekend (see “Turtle Power! ’300’ Loses Box-Office Battle To ’TMNT’ “ ). Still, with two new releases playing strongly for the PG and PG-13 crowd, turtle power will no doubt be diminished in its second go-round.

Finally, opening in limited release is “The Lookout,” a film worth noting if for no other reason than it represents the next step in “3rd Rock From the Sun” alum Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s emergence as a serious leading man. Hey, don’t laugh. DiCaprio was on “Growing Pains,” lest you forgot.

The Predictions: It’s been less than a year since our celebrity guest in the Projection Booth was kicked in the face by Richard Dreyfuss and left for dead (am I the only one who saw “Poseidon”?). Considering that unfortunate series of events, actor Freddy Rodriguez is in good spirits. You would be too if you were starring in one of the most eagerly anticipated flicks of the year, “Grindhouse.” But that’s for next week’s Booth. For now, it’s all about Ferrell and family comedy.

What’s the #1 flick? How much will it make?

Larry Carroll, MTV News writer: “Blades of Glory” ($42 million)
” ’Talladega Nights’ opened with a massive $47 million weekend, and I see no reason why ’Blades of Glory’ wouldn’t be just as strong. That simple visual of Will Ferrell and Jon Heder in those goofy, effeminate ice-skating outfits is enough to make it a blockbuster. I’m going to predict a $42 million weekend, which should be enough to put the competition on ice.”

Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies editor: “Blades of Glory” ($30 million)
“I’ll admit it. ’Blades of Glory’ had me laughing throughout, and the promotional campaign seems to be working. How could it not with Ferrell and Heder in those outfits? But in terms of box office, this flick seems to me something more along the lines of ’Dodgeball’ than a blockbuster like ’Talladega Nights.’ ”

Freddy Rodriguez, star of “Grindhouse”: “Meet the Robinsons” ($50 million)
“I think ’Meet the Robinsons’ is going to win at the box office. Big Disney animation movies always do well, because it’s usually not two people buying tickets for those films, but four or five. Entire families will be going to see that movie. How much dough will it make? $50 million.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Blades of Glory,” “Meet the Robinsons” and “The Lookout.”

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