Scotty G’s Weekend Box Office Predictions – Weekend of May 1, 2009

The summer box office finally begins with the launch of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This time of year is always hard for people who make predictions, because summer movies are the most hyped, so it’s always a battle to gauge how they will do on their opening weekend.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was not the most anticipated film this summer. I would argue that Star Trek and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen are the big event films this summer. The trailers were good, not great. People also want to see a better X-Men film after X-Men: The Last Stand was not well received by fans and critics alike. Oddly enough, X3 was the highest grossing of the franchise grossing $232 million. Each of the series opening weekends, has been bigger than the last. X-Men grossed $54 million, X2 grossed $85 million, and X3 grossed $102 million. Wolverine will reverse this trend. It will not gross as low as the first X-Men, but it will not achieve the levels of X2: X-Men United. Getting an ultra-wide release in almost 4,100 theatres, I predict Wolverine will open with $75 million.

The only other major release that has a hope of landing in the top 5 is Ghosts of Girlfriends Past with Matthew McConaughey. This is direct counter-programming, hoping to lure in the female audience who are not interested in Hugh Jackman at all. Say what you want about McConaughey, but he does decent box office. Have a look at his romantic comedy track record on opening weekend. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days opened with $23.8 million, Failure to Launch opened with $24.4 million, and Fool’s Gold opened with $21.6 million. It’s got the friendly PG-13 rating, and I think the film will open in the middle of all these films and gross $22 million.

Among holdovers, I’m predicting Obsessed will drop 55% to $12.9 million, 17 Again will drop 60% to $4.6 million, and Fighting will drop 65% to $3.85 million. Monsters vs. Aliens might sneak back in the top 5 by dropping only 40% to $5.1 million.

So here are my predictions:

1) X-Men Origins: Wolverine – $75 million
2) Ghost of Girlfriends Past – $22 million
3) Obsessed – $12.9 million
4) Monsters vs. Aliens – $5.1 million
5) 17 Again – $4.6 million

Check back on Sunday to see how I do!

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