Flop Level Midnight: Will ‘Heist’ and ‘Kumar’ Pass the Flop Threshold?

The Projector

Welcome back to Flop Level Midnight, where we take a look at each of the new wide releases every week and mark what dollar amount in domestic gross they need to hit to avoid the dreaded "flop" moniker. Remember: Much of this is contingent upon a film's budget: The rule of thumb is that 40 percent of a movie's domestic gross comes its opening weekend, so, depending on the cost, there could be a lot of ground to make up, quick. High stakes! This week's contestants are "Tower Heist" and "A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas." Let's do it.

Last Week: "Puss In Boots" actually just missed its $35 million flop threshold, at $34.1 million, which is probably close enough. "In Time" didn't reach its $16 million number, falling $4 million short, and "The Rum Diary" was way off, only making $5.1 million with a flop threshold of $14 million. So, three flops, or at least 2.8 flops.

Tower Heist. (The Projector Grade: C.) For a film that not only exists solely to make money but subliminally flashes "buybuyconsumeconsume" every 36th frame, it's a little surprising how low projections have been for this. It's PG-13, it has Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, its ads are seriously everywhere. We're putting the threshold at $28 million, and if it can't fly past that, then why is Brett Ratner here, anyway? (Seriously, why is he here?)

A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas. (The Projector Grade: C+.) The last one made $14.9 million its opening weekend, but it didn't have 3-D and it didn't have Christmas. (We remain baffled that that movie was about Guantanamo Bay. We think it has to hit that, around $15 million, at least. Laxer drug laws can't hurt!