BOX OFFICE: “Knock at the Cabin” and “80 for Brady” dethrone “Avatar” in a Weekend Race that May Go to the Wire is seeing the box office race this first of Feb. weekend as too close to call, as of Sat. AM.

And for the first time since Christmas, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” won’t swim away as the winner.

M. Night Shyamalan’s latest cryptic horror mystery, “Knock at the Cabin,” is winning the nights, and discounted matinees — arranged by Paramount on Tom Brady’s behalf — are luring in the older viewers during the day.

Both films are heading towards a $13-17 million opening, $15 being the their likely landing spot. That often means premature claims of victory in a close-close race.

As Paramount is already cheating, a bit, to rack up volume sales, I absolutely expect that.

Funny how no sports reporters made the connection between #12’s announcement of his retirement this week to the fact that a movie he’s producing opened Thursday night. Hey, it wouldn’t be Tom Brady if there weren’t allegations of cheating, right?

As “Knock” will benefit from up charged tickets on IMAX and premium experience showings, that’s probably a wash. It should edge out the win, probably in the $15 range, with “Brady” staying with it thanks to undercounted Sunday matinees.

We won’t know for sure until Monday.

Neither “Knock” nor “80 for Brady” is all that as a movie, but it’s good to see studios making an effort to reach beyond the franchise business model for a change.

“Avatar” should enjoy one last three day weekend over $10 million. “Puss in Boots” is on track to clear the $150 million mark, which might help its Oscar chances.

A couple of big screen “events” that aren’t really movies, “Chosen” and a BTS “comes to cinemas” concert doc, also crack the top ten this weekend.

I’ll update this as new data becomes available.


About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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