Drag Me to Hell, baby!!

“Up” up and away at the weekend box office
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) ñ Things are looking “Up” at the weekend box office where Disney is rolling out its latest Pixar cartoon to predictably rave reviews.
Boasting a notably unflashy voice cast headlined by Ed Asner and newcomer child actor Jordan Nagai, “Up” tells the story of an old man traveling the globe in a balloon-hoisted house with an 8-year-old stowaway.
The 3-D adventure toon was directed by Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”) and Bob Peterson, a first-time fimmaker who penned the original screenplay.
The most recent Disney/Pixar release, “WALL-E,” opened with $63 million in June and grossed $224 million domestically. Those represent sensible targets for “Up,” though studio executives said they would be happy with an opening anywhere north of $50 million.
“I’m very bullish,” said Chuck Viane, president of Disney’s domestic theatrical distribution. “The reviews have been nothing but spectacular, and it could be our time.”, which tracks critical reaction to upcoming releases, had “Up” attracting 97% positive reviews ( late Thursday. Even the oft-tough crowd of Cannes cineastes responded enthusiastically when the film opened the festival this month.
“Up” will play in 3,766 theaters, with at least 1,530 3-D auditoriums set for its first weekend. That’s the biggest number of extra-dimensional screens for any release as the industry scrambles to roll out 3-D systems amid burgeoning public interest in such films.
The stiffest competition for “Up” is likely to come from Fox’s holdover family comedy “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.” The No. 1 grosser last weekend, the Ben Stiller sequel opened with $70 million over the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend, and a 50% drop from its Friday-Sunday tally would see “Smithsonian” fetch $28 million during its second session.
But there is another wide opener Friday: the Universal horror picture “Drag Me to Hell” also had a well-received Cannes screening and has drawn overwhelmingly positive early reviews.
Toting a PG-13 rating, “Hell” normally would be expected to skew female. Yet with “Spider-Man” director Sam Raimi guiding the frightfest, Raimi’s more male-skewing fan base could round out opening audiences and help the Alison Lohman-Justin Long vehicle reach the upper teen millions through Sunday.