The new cinematic master of eldritch proceedings and the gotcha! ending, M. Night Shyamalan, constructed a spooky community located on the edge of an evil forest in The Village, hoping to captivate and satisfy an audience out for an intelligent discourse into the nature of the unknown and its effect on the human psyche. While everyone surely was intellectually salivating for the surprise waiting darkly at the end of the reel, Disney's (NYSE:DIS) studio division is hoping for another kind of conclusion... a highly profitable one.

After all, the Mouse's movie division needs a big hit. King Arthur? The gauntlet proved too much for it. Home on the Range? A bovine dud that didn't stand a chance in the era of Pixar (NASDAQ:PIXR) products. Hidalgo? Well, that didn't win the box-office race, either.

I suppose you could say that The Village technically broke Disney's slump in that it dominated the weekend and took in a very mesmerizing $50.7 million. Examining the dynamics of the weekend a little closer reveals information possibly pointing to an ultimate performance trajectory that may fall below expectations (depending on whom you talk to).

According to, the movie took in $20.4 million on Friday. Saturday's gross was $17.5 million, and Sunday's was $12.9 million (these are round numbers). This downward pattern scares me more than a bunch of ghoulish gremlins hiding out in tree forts (don't worry, I haven't seen the film yet, so I'm just being off-the-cuff metaphorical -- nothing was given away).

Word of mouth hasn't been exactly inspiring on this picture, and neither were many reviews. The movie should have no problem passing $100 million... but is $200 million feasible at this point? The rest of the week and the second weekend will tell. For now, I'm not counting on a cumulative gross in the neighborhood of Signs (which grossed $60 million in its first weekend), and as a Disney shareholder, I was hoping for that. I don't want Sony (NYSE:SNE), Marvel Enterprises (NYSE:MVL), Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), and DreamWorks to have all the summer fun with their respective movies (I'm talking about the sequels to Harry Potter, Spider-Man, and Shrek, of course). Disney has its own sequel in the second Princess Diaries film coming up as well; let's hope that film keeps up the current trend.

Pixar, Marvel, and Time Warner are all among David Gardner's Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. To learn more about the newsletter, subscribe risk-free today.

Fool contributor Steven Mallas hopes to see The Village this week so he can help out Disney, which he holds shares in.