Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of November 13, 2009

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Two new movies invade the box office this weekend, but only one will make the top five.

2012 is the latest disaster flick from director Roland Emmerich.  It feels more like a summer film, with the big budget special effects that are shown in the trailer.  The plot is simple.  The Mayan calendar ends in 2012, so people predict that the end of the world will happen.  It happens in this film in the form of tsunami’s and earthquakes that obliterate Earth.  The trailers for the film look incredible, and have a roller-coaster vibe to it (especially the escape in a plane from Los Angeles).  The film stars John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Woody Harrelson but in a film like this, it is not so much who is in the film, its more about the actual film itself.  Roland Emmerich is no stranger to big-budget blockbuster films, so his track record might be a better guideline to go by to predict the opening weekend of 2012:

1996 – Independence Day – $50.2 million opening weekend

1998 – Godzilla – $44 million opening weekend

2000 – The Patriot – $22.4 million opening weekend

2004 – The Day After Tomorrow – $68.7 million opening weekend

2008 – 10,000 B.C. – $35.8 million opening weekend

So his films open well, but I think 2012 would actually have a better opening if it were a summer release.  Reviews (not that they matter for this type of film) have been negative, with Rotten Tomatoes listing the film at 36%.  The film also has a 2.5 hour running time, which will cut into the amount of screenings the film will get in the weekend.  Having said that, I believe there is enough hype and interest in the film that it will be the #1 film without incident.  Opening in 3,404, I’m predicting that 2012 will gross $50 million.

Pirate Radio (or if you’re a hardcore fan The Boat That Rocked) gets its North American release this weekend.  The film is directed Richard Curtis and this is his 2nd film.  His first one was 2003’s Love Actually.  The film is essentially about a rogue group of DJ’s led by Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Bill Nighy who play the music that people want to hear in Britain in the 1960’s.  The government does not like this music being on the airwaves, and like it even less that it is being broadcast on a boat, making it hard to for the government to shut down.  Reviews are important for a film like this, as its geared towards adults, and adults don’t want to pay to see just anything.  Unfortunately reviews have been average at best with Rotten Tomatoes listing the film at 56%.  Opening in 882 theatres, Pirate Radio will not make the top five because of how low the theatre count is.

There will not be too much change to the top 5, as I’m predicting that every film will just move down one spot from last weekend. (also because they have been the 1,2,3, and 4 films consistently throughout the week)  The #2 film will be Disney’s A Christmas Carol.  I looked at how the previous Robert Zemeckis’ motion capture films did on their second weekend, and here were the results:

2004 – The Polar Express – Down 32.8% in its second weekend

2007 – Beowulf – Down 39.9% in its second weekend

I’m predicting that Disney’s A Christmas Carol will fall somewhere in the middle of that.  It is in the most theatres of any film this weekend with 3,683, and it only has a 90 minute running time, so it gets more screenings per day.  Falling 35%, I’m predicting Disney’s A Christmas Carol will gross $19.5 million.

The #3 film will be Michael Jackson’s This Is It.  The film has been performing well throughout its run, and there is no reason to think that this weekend will be any different.  I’m predicting a drop of 43% for a gross of $7.4 million.

The #4 film will be The Men Who Stare At Goats.  The all-star cast overcame some average reviews, and had a decent opening weekend.  Reality will set in this weekend, and I’m predicting a drop of 52% for a gross of $6 million.

The #5 film will be The Fourth Kind.  Horror and thrillers do not hold up well  in their second weekend’s unless they have excellent word of mouth.  This film does not have great word of mouth, so expect a large drop of 62% this weekend for a gross of $4.7 million.

Here’s what’s happening In limited release this weekend:

The Fantastic Mr. Fox debuts in 4 theatres this weekend.  The animated film by Wes Anderson has received glowing reviews, as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 91%.  With good word-of-mouth, the film is hoping to build some buzz as it expands over the coming weeks.

Uncertainty stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lynn Collins and follows the formula of films like Sliding Doors, as it is about what happens when a change to one moment can lead to different outcomes.  This film is not a romantic comedy like Sliding Doors.  It is opening in one theatre.

The last new release is Women In Trouble which is an ensemble film with Carla Gugino and Elizabeth Berkley that follows the lives of many different women.  It is opening in 3 theatres.

Expanding is the film that was the big winner last weekend – Precious:  Based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire.  The film is expanding to 174 theatres this weekend, and look for it to make the top ten this weekend.

So, here are my predictions for the weekend:

1)     2012 – $50 million

2)     Disney’s A Christmas Carol – $19.5 million

3)     Michael Jackson’s This Is It – $7.4 million

4)     The Men Who Stare At Goats – $6 million

5)     The Fourth Kind – $4.7 million

Check back on Sunday to see how I did

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