Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions for the weekend of Feb. 20, 2009.

“Is Madea the new Ernest?”

I got my Entertainment Weekly, and on the Bullseye page, they asked that very question. I got a good laugh from it, because it seems the Madea franchise has as many different adventures as the Ernest P. Worrell franchise. Both franchises now have titles with them going to jail. I will not sit here and bash the Ernest franchise. Ernest Goes to Camp was a classic to me as a kid, and holds a dear place in my youth. Tyler Perry films are interesting. You don’t hear much about them after they come out, but they make money. What’s impressive is that his films don’t get a huge wide release, but they have good to excellent per screen averages. Madea is in slightly over 2,000 screens this weekend, but should do well. His films have not had overpowering openings, but Madea Goes To Jail is the first time the character has been in the title since Madea’s Family Reunion. Tyler Perry has a passionate following, and they will help make this the #1 movie at the box office on the weekend.

The other film being released is the teenage sex comedy Fired Up. Unfortunately this film is PG-13, and no one wants to see a sex comedy with a PG-13 rating. To any future directors or writers who read this blog, remember this tip: if you’re making a teenage sex comedy, make sure your film is rated R. PG-13 = tame sex comedy. R = sex comedy with nudity. I’m sure Fired Up will do better on DVD in an unrated edition, but I don’t expect it to crack the top 5 this weekend.

Here’s my predictions for the weekend:

1) Madea Goes to Jail – $18 million
2) Taken – $16 million
3) Friday the 13th – $14 million
4) He’s Just Not That Into You – $10 million
5) Coraline – $8 million

Be on the lookout for my Oscar Predictions on Sunday afternoon.

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