Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of July 24, 2009

Three new films make their debut this weekend, and all 3 have a chance to land in the top 5, but the big story this weekend will is “How will Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hold up in its second week?”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince had a big opening, but not huge compared to other films in the franchise so I’m having a hard time predicting how it will do. For fun, here is how the franchise has done its second weekend:

Harry Potter/The Philosopher’s Stone – $57.4 million / Down 36.3%
Harry Potter/The Chamber of Secrets – $42.2 million / Down 52.2%
Harry Potter/The Prisoner of Azkaban – $34.9 million / Down 62.7%
Harry Potter/The Goblet of Fire – $54.7 million / Down 46.7%
Harry Potter/Order of the Phoenix – $32.5 million / Down 57.8%

So on average, the Harry Potter films drop 51.4%. The last three films have dropped 55.7% and I think that is a more accurate gauge because of the first Harry Potter having such a low weekend drop. Films never go by averages, so I’d be foolish to think it will drop 55.7%, and I think Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will have a little bit higher drop and fall 58% for a gross of $32.6 million.

G-Force opens today, and this is the most unappealing movie of the summer to me. It is obviously geared towards kids [unless I’m way off, but talking guinea pigs tend to make me think it’s not for adults]. Rotten Tomatoes is listing the film at 18%, so critics have not been kind, but that is not surprising. To find a film that’s comparable, I looked up Beverly Hills Chihuahua. That film grossed $29.3 million its opening weekend, and in its widest release, it was playing in 3,239 theatres. G-Force is getting a wider launch [3,697 theatres], but it is going to be in direct competition with Harry Potter, and it will still have Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs to deal with. I’m guessing a gross of $22 million for G-Force.

The Ugly Truth stars Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl as duelling co-workers. He is a chauvinistic pig, she still believes in true love. As with most romantic comedies, I think we can guess how the films ends. The film reminds me of The Proposal. You have two likeable leads [although in this case, I would say they are not as big stars as Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds], and the trailer seems appealing enough to bring in the date crowd. The Proposal has been out long enough for a new romantic comedy to take its place. Although I would say that The Ugly Truth has not had a strong marketing campaign, and that it will not hit the height of The Proposal’s opening weekend, which was $33.6 million. Reviews have been terrible, as the The Ugly Truth has 13% on Rotten Tomatoes. Debuting in 2,882 theatres, I think The Ugly Truth will gross $16 million.

Orphan is the third new wide release of the week, and it has been awhile since a horror film has been in theatres. Unfortunately, I never find the middle of summer to be a good time to launch a horror. Orphan does not have any big names attached to it, so it is hoping to draw people in from its marketing and trailer. Reviews have been the best of the new releases this week, but it is only at 48% on Rotten Tomatoes. Launching in 2,750 theatres, I’m predicting Orphan grosses $8 million.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs has shown strong holds after what I thought to be a lackluster opening weekend. It will still remain in the top 5, but it will now have to battle G-Force, as well as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It dropped 36.4% last weekend, and I’m predicting a 42% drop this weekend for a gross of $10.1 million.

So to recap, here are my predictions:

1) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – $32.6 million
2) G-Force – $22 million
3) The Ugly Truth – $18 million
4) Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – $10.1 million
5) Orphan – $8 million

Check back on Sunday to see how I did!

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