There’s only one major new release this weekend, and that is Michael Jackson’s This Is It. No other film wanted to open against it, as the other studios thought that this film would be a juggernaut because of the popularity of Michael Jackson, and the fact that it is a limited 2 week engagement (although there is talk that it could be running longer than 2 weeks). The film opened on Wedneday, and topped the box office with $7.4 million. The number is good, although not spectacular, but then again, this is a concert film, and when was the last time you can remember a concert film grossing $7.4 million on its opening day? Reviews have been great with Rotten Tomatoes listing the film at 79% as of this writing, and Michael Jackson has definitely had a revival in popularity since his death. I read in a Billboard article this week that since Michael Jackson’s death, he has earned more than $72 million. That’s impressive, as I wish I could make that much money when I’m alive! I truthfully don’t know how well the film is going to do this weekend. A part of me thinks that the studios are overreacting by not releasing a major film against it. The film will do good, but not specatular business. Then the other part of my brain says that this film could be a phenomenon. Jackson has a very loyal and passionate fanbase so there maybe a lot of repeat viewings of the film. I’m predicting a balance between the two. Opening in 3,481 theatres, Michael Jackson’s This Is It will open at #1 with a gross of $35 million.
With no other major releases coming out this weekend, the box office should not show very much change. Paranormal Activity will be the #2 movie without a doubt. The fact that it is Halloween weekend will make people want to see it even more, but the better question is how well will Saw VI do? To compare, here is the second weekend percentage drops for the other Saw films:
Saw – 39.3%
Saw II – 46.9%
Saw III – 55.9%
Saw IV – 67.4%
Saw V – 67.6%
So this tells me that the series is going to have a drop of 70% this weekend, as the number has gone up with every installment of the franchise. The fans of the series rush out to see it on opening weekend, and then abandon the film. I believe that Saw VI will fall out of the Top 5, and I predict it will only gross $4.2 million.
Back to Paranormal Activity, I believe the film will see a slight increase in business because of the Halloween weekend, and it will gross $22 million for a 2nd place finish.
In 3rd place will be one of the surprise hits of the fall, Law Abiding Citizen. The film held up very well in week number two, and I think it will hold up well enough to overtake the film that it was released against it (Where The Wild Things Are). I believe the film will be down 45% for a gross of $6.82 million.
In 4th place will be Where The Wild Things Are. Although it is not a Halloween film by any stretch of the imagination, a story about monsters has to do all right on Halloween weekend. The film did have a big drop in its second weekend, and it is definitely not a film that is meant for kids, but I think it wil hold up better than last weekend, as it will be down 55% for a gross of $6.3 million.
Another big hit of the fall will hang around the top five for yet another week. Couples Retreat has overcome very bad reviews and become a decent sized hit, and once again proves that Vince Vaughn is a huge star. When he is the lead in movies, they do well. I predict it will be the #5 film with a drop of 48% for a gross of $5.51 million.
Opening in limited release are the following films:
The cult hit The Boondock Saints gets a sequel with The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. The film reteams the core talent involved with the original, and they hope to make another cult film hit. Its only being released in 68 theatres this weekend, and Apparition is releasing the film, so it will not be getting a major release by any stretch. Expect it to hit DVD shelves soon.
In time for Halloween is The House of the Devil. It has been on VOD this past month, and they are just cashing in on the Halloween weekend with its release. It is only opening in 3 theatres.
The final release of the weekend is Gentlemen Broncos from Fox Searchlight. The film is directed by Jared Hess, who was the director of Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre. The trailer is definitely quirky, and the release strategy is to start small and then hopefully it will gain some good word-of-mouth and go wider. We’ll see if that happens, although early reviews have not been that great. It is only opening in two theatres.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
1) Michael Jackson’s This Is It – $35 million
2) Paranormal Activity – $22 million
3) Law Abiding Citizen – $6.82 million
4) Where the Wild Things Are– $6.3 million
5) Couples Retreat – $5.51 Million
Check back on Sunday to see how I did.