Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of September 11, 2009


Four new releases battle for top spot at the box office this weekend, but which one will come out on top: 9, Sorority Row, Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself and Whiteout.  We’re in September, which is usually considered to be a dumping ground month, so the quality of films will not be high.  So let’s begin.

Opening in the most theatres this weekend with 2,745 is Whiteout.  Kate Beckinsale is the star and she is not a huge draw at the box office.  Granted, Underworld and Underworld: Evolution had strong opening weekends of over $20 million, but that had to do with the marketing and style of the film, rather than it starring Kate Beckinsale.  If early word-of-mouth is any indication, this film is bad (Just read Andy B’s review from Thursday).  22 reviews were up at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing, and only one was positive.  Not a good sign.  My prediction is that Whiteout will open with $8 million.

Sorority Row is up next and if you have seen the trailer, you know the plot.  A sorority prank goes awry when a girl is actually killed.  Then a killer starts going after the people who were involved.  It sounds very I Know What You Did Last Summer-esque to me.  The star power is minimal as the biggest names are Rumer Willis and Audrina Patridge, and it will be going after the same audience as The Final Destination.  While Sorority Row will have the advantage because The Final Destination is starting to wind down, the audience for this film is back in school, and it is yet another horror film to be released in the past few weeks, so fatigue has set in for this genre.  The marketing is what will lure people in to see it.  Opening on 2,665 screens, I predict Sorority Row will do all right with an opening of $12 million. 

Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself opens this weekend on 2,255 screens.  I have learned not to underestimate Tyler Perry films.  Let’s have a look at his films opening weekends to find out why:

2006 – Madea’s Family Reunion – $41 million

2007 – Daddy’s Little Girls – $17.3 million

2007 – Why Did I Get Married – $20 million

2008 – Meet The Browns – $21.3 million

2008 – The Family That Preys – $11.2 million

2009 – Madea Goes To Jail – $30 million

Tyler Perry has a very loyal fanbase, especially when the character of Madea appears, like she does in this film.  However, since the film is not centered around Madea, it will not reach the heights of the opening weekends when her character is the lead, but it will come close.  Madea’s presence in the trailer, as well as Tyler Perry’s name will draw audience to the film, so I’m predicting an opening of $28 million.

9 is the final new release of the weekend, and it is based on an Oscar-nominated short film directed by Shane Acker.  The film is not getting a major release, only being shown in 1,661 theatres.  It was the #1 movie in North America on Wednesday, its first day of release with a gross of $3.1 million.  It has a short running time of 1 hour and 19 minutes, but I don’t think it has a very strong appeal, even with Tim Burton getting a producer credit.  I’m predicting an opening of $7.5 million.

Among holdovers, I’m predicting The Final Destination will drop 60% for a gross of $4.9 million and Inglourious Basterds will drop 41% for a gross of $6.8 million.

So to recap, here are my predictions for the weekend:

1) Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself – $28 million

2) Sorority Row – $12 million

3) Whiteout – $8 million

4) 9 – $7.5 million

5) Inglourious Basterds – $6.8 million

Check back on Sunday to see how I did.

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