Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of June 5, 2009

It’s a battle of one of the stars of Old School against the director of Old School. Will Ferrell’s Land of the Lost opens against The Hangover. Who will come out on top? Here are my thoughts!

Will Ferrell returns to the screens with another summer offering – Land of the Lost. I will start off by saying that I’m a Will Ferrell fan. He makes me laugh. I will agree that his films are not critic friendly, but he has his fan base, and most of his films are geared toward them. Even though he’s had his occasional misfires [I’m looking at you, Semi-Pro], Will’s been pretty consistent. Take a look at these opening weekends:

Step Brothers – $30.9 million
Blades of Glory – $33 million
Talledega Nights – $47 million

Will can bring the audience in, but unfortunately I don’t think Land of the Lost will be one of his biggest hits. The marketing has been all right, but I just feel like “meh” when the conversation comes up if I should see the film. Also, the poster of Will Ferrell running from the dinosaur on a white background is one of the most boring in recent memory. The film is getting the widest release of any new release this weekend with 3,521 theatres and has a short running time of 1 hour and 33 minutes. I’m going to say that Land of the Lost opens on the lower end of Will Ferrell films with a gross of $35 million.

Todd Phillips directed a group of not very popular actors to much success with Old School, and he hopes to repeat the success he had with that film again with The Hangover. The trailer has been one of the funniest of the year, and I can say having seen the film that not all the funny parts of the film are in the trailer [it’s always nice when that happens]. The film is geared towards men, with the great premise of buddies going to Vegas to for a stag, having the stag, and then going on an adventure to find their missing buddy. I never heard of Zach Galifianakis going into this film, but he should become a star based on his performance in The Hangover. It reminded me a lot of Will Ferrell’s role in Old School, and how Will became the breakout star of that film. I think The Hangover will have a decent opening weekend, but it will become the word of mouth hit of the summer. It’s getting a wide release of 3,269 theatres; it also has a short running time of 1 hour and 36 minutes, so it will get a lot of screenings in a day. I’m predicting an opening of $28 million.

Nia Vardalos returns to the screen with My Life in Ruins. She’s going to a premise that her fans will like her in [a tour guide in Greece], and it will have some nice location shots that will make you want to travel to Greece. Unfortunately it is not getting a wide release [only 1,164 theatres], so it will not crack the Top 5.

That leaves the Up, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and Drag Me To Hell as the remaining films that should make the Top 5.

Up had a strong opening, but it will be interesting how it holds up in its second weekend. Here are the 2nd weekends of some recent Pixar films

2008 – Wall-E – $32.5 million – Down 48.5%
2007 – Ratatouille – $29 million – Down 38.3%
2006 – Cars – $33.7 million – Down 43.9%

I think Up will perform much like Ratatouille and I predict it will be off 39% for a total of $41.5 million, making it the #1 movie for a 2nd week in a row.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian should suffer another major drop. I’m predicting a drop of 52% for a total of $11.7 million.

Drag Me To Hell did not have a huge opening, but I think word of mouth and great reviews will draw some interest this weekend. Expect an uncharacteristically small drop off for a horror film of 42% for a gross of $9.1 million this weekend.

So to recap, here are my predictions:

1) Up – $41.5 million
2) Land of the Lost – $35 million
3) The Hangover – $28 million
4) Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian – $11.7 million
5) Drag Me To Hell – $9.1 million

Check back on Sunday to see how I did

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