Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of Friday September 4th, 2009

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Labour Day Weekend – the worst weekend in all of film in my opinion.  Summer is ending, and people’s priorities and movie going habits seem to change.  Last year Bangkok Dangerous opened at #1 with $7.8 million.  Think of that – a film opening at #1 that grossed less than $10 million!  Will history repeat itself?  Let me tell you what I think will happen this weekend.

We have three new releases.  The first one is Gamer starring Gerard Butler.  I’ll be honest, I’m always sceptical of films being released on this weekend, as I consider it to be a dumping ground for bad movies.  The film is directed by Neveldine and Taylor, who brought us Crank and Crank:  High Voltage.  I loved the first film, but didn’t care for the second.  The premise of being able to control a human being in a video game is interesting (a variation on The Running Man is a comparison I’ve heard a bit).  The target audience is young men, but they are busy getting back to school, so I think this is a film that will find an audience on DVD, not in theatres.  Gamer is being released in 2,502 theatres, and I predict it will open with $8 million, and land in 4th place.

Sandra Bullock returns to the screen with another romantic comedy, All About Steve. The film also stars Bradley Cooper and Thomas Haden Church and is about Sandra Bullock finding what she thinks is the man of her dreams, and following him around to convince him that they should be together. Do not look for this film to do the same business as The Proposal.  This one is obviously aimed at females, but I don’t think they will be all that interested in it.  Opening in 2,251 theatres, I predict with Sandra Bullock’s star power that All About Steve will gross $8.5 million and a #3 finish at the box office.  It would gross a lot less if she was not in it.

The other major new release this weekend is Extract.  Directed by Mike Judge, the film is about a manager dealing with all the personal and professional issues of his staff at an Extract plant.  Like most Mike Judge films, there is not strong support from the studio in terms of a marketing campaign, and in the number of theatres that are showing it in.  In fact, it is only being released in 1,611 theatres, which virtually guarantees it finishing outside the Top 5.  Because of the low theatre count, and the minimal star power, I predict that Extract will gross $4.5 million.

Among holdovers:

The Final Destination will take a hit with its core audience who are getting ready to go back to school.  Expect a 58% drop for a gross of $11.9 million making it the #1 movie in the land for the weekend.

Inglourious Basterds will continue to hold up well and should only suffer a drop of 44% for a gross of $11.2 million, to make it the #2 movie in North America.

Rounding out the Top 5, District 9 will continue to play well, and should suffer the smallest decline in the Top 5, dropping only 38% for a gross of $6.6 million.

The final note I will say is that these estimates are for Friday-Sunday only.

So to recap, here are my predictions:

1) The Final Destination – $11.9 million

2) Inglourious Basterds – $11.2 million

3) All About Steve – $8 million

4) Gamer – $8 million

5) District 9 – $6.6 million

Check back on Sunday to see how I did!

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