Scotty G’s Weekend Box Office Predictions – Weekend of May 15th, 2009

The summer season continues with Ron Howard and Tom Hanks’ latest – Angels and Demons. The film is a sequel to the hit film The DaVinci Code [yet in the Dan Brown books, it is considered to be a prequel]. Tom Hanks returns as Robert Langdon, and his mission is to stop the Illuminati. For those who do not know what the Illuminati are, just “google” the word, and you will get a lot of websites dedicated to the topic.

If you’ve read this blog, you know how big I am on marketing, and quite frankly, I haven’t been very impressed with the marketing of Angels and Demons. Summer is such an important season for films, because the biggest budgeted films traditionally get released in the May-August period. I’m sure you will find exceptions to the rule [Titanic for example], but good marketing leads to buzz. Buzz leads to hype and excitement. Hype and excitement lead to seeing the movie, and if the movie is any good, then the word-of-mouth marketing campaign starts. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is much to be excited about. I’m a big fan of Tom Hanks, as he is a consistently entertaining actor, and Ron Howard is a solid movie director who has very few blips in his directing career. Unfortunately, I’m not very interested in the film. The DaVinci Code had a lot going for it. The gap between the novel being released, and the film being released was small; therefore it could capitalize on the hype of the book. The film and book angered the religious right with its storyline about the bloodline of Jesus Christ, so we had protests to help market the film. There was also the “X Factor” of “Why is Tom Hanks’ hair like that?” Unfortunately, Angels and Demons has none of that. The reviews are suggesting that the film is not very good, which is too bad, because although The DaVinci Code had its flaws, I’m still a fan. Angels and Demons will have a lower opening The DaVinci Code’s opening of $77.1 million. I’m going to guess it opens with $46 million.

No new films go into wide release this weekend, so the top 4 movies will be sliding down a spot each.

Star Trek held up well during the week, and the word-of-mouth campaign has started, so expect non-fans of the franchise to check out the film to see what all the fuss is about. Most blockbuster films have sizeable weekend-to-weekend drops [usually above 60%], but I’m going to buck the trend and say Star Trek drop 48% to $39.1 million. I would be surprised if the film dropped anymore than 55%, but I’m taking a risk that it stays below 50%.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine should not drop as hard as it did last week, but a 60% drop is still in order. Expect a gross of $10.5 million. Interesting note, of the three films mentioned so far, guess which one is playing in the most theatres with a count of 3,892 [according to boxofficemojo.com]? That’s right, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is still the highest.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past continues to be solid counter-programming to the male dominated films in the market place. I would expect another small drop this weekend. I’ll say it is off by 35% for a total of $6.6 million.

Obsessed will round out the top 5 [and most likely this will make its last appearance in the top 5], falling another 40% to $3.9 million.

So to recap, here are my predictions:

1) Angels and Demons – $46 million
2) Star Trek – $39.1 million
3) X-Men Origins: Wolverine – $10.5 million
4) Ghosts of Girlfriends Past – $6.6 million
5) Obsessed – $3.9 million

Check back Sunday to see how I do!

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