Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of July 17, 2009

Let’s be honest, this weekend will not hold a surprise about what film is going to open #1. The question is, how well will Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince do compared to its predecessors? This film arguably has the biggest plot twist happen at the end of any of the books, so there is some anticipation from that. To start, I’ll compare the opening weekends of the previous Harry Potter films:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – $90.2 million
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – $77.1 million
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – $102.6 million
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – $88.3 million
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – $93.6 million

So where do I think Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will fit in? On its first full day of release, the film grossed $58.2 million, making it the 4th highest opening day in film history. Here are the top 3 opening days:

1) The Dark Knight – $67.2 million
2) Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – $62 million
3) Spider-Man 3 – $59.8 million

The closest comparison I can make is with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. That film opened on a Wednesday as well, and it had a higher opening day gross then Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, while its opening weekend gross was $108.9 million. So if Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen had a stronger opening day, it would make sense to think that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince would not gross as much on its opening weekend. Reviews have been glowing, and as of this writing the film is at 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. The demand has been pent up because the film was pushed back from its originally scheduled Winter 2008 release. Taking all this into account, and the fact that the film is in 4,325 theatres, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will deliver the franchise’s 2nd biggest opening weekend with $98 million.

The only other new film being release this weekend is 500 Days of Summer, which was a big deal at the Sundance Film Festival. It is getting a limited release, and therefore will not be in the top 5.

The rest of the top 5 films should stay in the same order as last week.
Bruno does not seem to be getting as much love as Borat so I’m predicting a 70% drop for a final gross of $9.1 million.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs should take a huge hit as most of the audience will be seeing the boy wizard this weekend. Expect a drop of 55% for a final gross of $12.3 million.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen should also see a hit because of Harry Potter. I expect the film to fall 52% for a weekend gross of $11.6 million.

Public Enemies is not in competition with Harry Potter at all, but I don’t think this film has really found its audience, and this weekend will be no different. Dropping 57%, Public Enemies will gross $6 million.

So, here are my predictions:

1) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – $98 million
2) Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – $12.3 million
3) Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – $11.6 million
4) Bruno – $9.1 million
5) Public Enemies – $6 million

Check back on Sunday to see how I did!

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