The only thing more interesting than talking box office numbers? Talking politics! And today we get the rare overlap of the two with a fictional film. Clint Eastwood stars in (he didn’t direct it though, that was Robert Lorenz, who’s been Eastwood’s Assistant Director for a while now) Trouble with the Curve. Will his speech at the RNC mean there’s trouble at the box office?

Ultimately no. But also, this is a September release, which means that the studio isn’t exactly thinking they’ve got a runaway hit, nor do they think they’ve got much of an awards contender. Right now the reviews are mostly positive, but when you have Roger Ebert leading his pull quote for Rotten Tomatoes with “Any Eastwood film is notable above all for its professionalism” suggests that the film might be getting the soft pass, aka “Meh, it’s not bad.”

Are some people going to avoid it because of the Republican National Convention? Audience-wise, no. Eastwood’s audience doesn’t care that he leans right, and many of his films (as an actor) portray him as either conservative, or pro-military/force/police, etc. If Eastwood hurt himself, it was more likely with studio heads who would rather he not politicize himself on such a large stage or see him now as a doddering old man. Perhaps if this film was in any way political or meant as awards bait, it might have been hurt, but no.  Still, it’s not going to be a huge opening, so it’s all about word of mouth.

This week also sees Dredd and House at the End of the Street. Both should do around the same business. Which is odd. House is being terribly reviewed, while Dredd has courted the geek audience and done well with that. But both should do around the same numbers. Such is life. End of Watch is also coming out… eh.

The Master expands after doing boffo business on limited screens. I live in in Los Angeles, and know a couple of people who’ve already seen it multiple times, but unless it becomes the Oscar front runner of doom, it won’t be able to hang on to those records. It’s not the sort of film that proves inviting to mainstream audiences.

Anyway, here’s your weekend:

  1. Trouble with the Curve – $18.5 Million
  2. Dredd – $14 Million
  3. House at the End of the Street – $11.5 Million
  4. End of Watch $9.5
  5. Resident Evil: Whatever – $7.3 Million

#hates – as the studio likes selling it – could surge because of Jennifer Lawrence, even if she’s actively embarrassed by the film. People like Dredd, so I don’t know if that will make a difference by Saturday or Sunday. The numbers could go a lot of directions. There doesn’t seem to be any animus or active support of Eastwood that might skew Curve‘s box office. But as always, I’ll probably be wrong in ways I didn’t expect.

What are you going to see this weekend?