Norm of the North Box Office Prediction

Lionsgate tries to get in on the animation action with Norm of the North, opening next Friday. The 3D computer animated pic features the voices of Rob Schneider, Heather Graham, and Ken Jeong (pulling double duty over the weekend with Ride Along 2).

On MLK weekend over the past couple of years, kiddie entertainment has performed quite nicely. Last year, Paddington debuted to $18.9 million and in 2013, The Nut Job opened with $19.4 million. This Arctic set tale seems be flying a bit more south of the radar. It could possibly benefit from a dearth of family entertainment now that Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip is winding down (though Star Wars is still out there), but I believe Norm may be lucky to reach double digits for its start.

Norm of the North opening weekend prediction: $9.3 million

For my Ride Along 2 prediction, click here:

For my 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi prediction, click here:

This Day in Movie History: January 29

15 years ago Today in Movie History – January 29 – She’s All That surprised box office prognosticators with a big #1 opening at $16 million on its way to a $56 million domestic haul. Starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachel Leigh Cook, the pic seemingly came out of nowhere but expertly appealed to its target audience and reaped the benefits. Costars included music stars Usher and Lil Kim, as well as Anna Paquin, Gabrielle Union, and the late Paul Walker.

As for birthdays, Oprah Winfrey is 60 today. Most of her fame comes from outside the silver screen, including having the most popular daytime talk show in history, starting her own network, and becoming a billionaire. However, she first rose to fame in Steven Spielberg’s commercial and critical hit drama The Color Purple, for which she earned a Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. Shortly after, her show would start and she wouldn’t venture into film for 13 years with Jonathan Demme’s commercially disappointing Beloved in 1998. It would be 15 more years for another Oprah appearance and her role as Forest Whitaker’s wife in last year’s Lee Daniels’ The Butler got her back into blockbuster territory. Many expected her to receive an Oscar nomination for her work in Butler, but it didn’t happen.

Heather Graham is 44 today. She first broke through in Gus Van Sant’s 1989 critical favorite Drugstore Cowboy. In 1997, she had a memorable role as “Roller Girl” in Boogie Nights and she’d go on to work with Mike Myers in his sequel Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Further box office success would follow years later with The Hangover. Other notable films: Scream 2, Two Girls and a Guy, Bowfinger, From Hell, and Anger Management.

As for Six Degrees of Separation between the actresses:

Oprah Winfrey was in The Color Purple with Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg was in Soapdish with Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. was in Two Girls and a Guy with Heather Graham

And that’s today – January 29 – in Movie History!