Just like last weekend, everyone knows what is going to be the #1 film in the land. That will be The Twilight Saga: New Moon. The question to be asked is how much will it gross? Two other films go into wide release this weekend (and will get slaughtered because of it), and Precious expands even wider. Let’s begin.
Twilight opened on this weekend last year to a staggering gross of $69.6 million and a final gross of $191.4 million. New Moon is going to open even bigger. The buzz for the film has grown, the star power of the actors is even bigger, and it has become the event film of the fall season. Females will be out in droves this weekend to see how the tale of Bella Swan continues to unfold on the big screen. The film has a new director in Chris Weitz, who last directed The Golden Compass, so the producers were hoping to improve on the first film from the critics point-of-view. Unfortunately, early reviews have been overwhelmingly negative as Rotten Tomatoes currently lists the film at 28% from 74 reviews, which is actually worse than the first film as Twilight had a rating of 49% from 193 reviews. I know that what the critics think about New Moon will have no impact on how it will do. This is going to be a juggernaut at the box office, and I am convinced that because of all the hype, the film will have an opening weekend that Is north of $100 million. In fact, I think it will have the 5th biggest opening weekend of all time. It is a bold prediction, but everything in my gut has me standing by it. Opening in 4,054 theatres, I’m predicting that New Moon will open with $119 million.
Sandra Bullock stars in a new film that she is hoping will land her an Oscar nomination. The Blind Side is the true story of a wealthy family who takes a down on his luck youth from the wrong side of the tracks off the street and into their home. In the process, they support the kid, and find out that he excels in football. I won’t say much more in case you don’t know the story, but on paper, the film looks like a sure-fire hit. Unfortunately, I think the trailer is just awful. It is so obviously going after Oscar buzz, and that will turn some potential viewers off. The early reviews have been good, but not great as the film currently is at 58% on Rotten Tomatoes from 32 reviews. It is a female driven film, and the females are going to be heading over to see New Moon, so I question the timing on Warner Bros. part in the release date they chose. Opening in around 3,100 theatres, I’m predicting The Blind Side to open with $8.5 million to open in the #5 spot.
The final major new release this weekend is Planet 51. The animated tale has an all right voice cast led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and is about an astronaut who is stranded on a planet filled with aliens, and he needs to get home. Planet 51 has so much going against it. It is not a Disney/Pixar, Dreamworks/PDI film, or 20th Century Fox/Blue Sky Studios film, so interest is not high. It chose an awful weekend to be released, as the younger audiences will be more interested in seeing New Moon or Disney’s A Christmas Carol, and the studio has no faith in the film because of the low theatre count. Reviews have been awful as Rotten Tomatoes is listing the film at 21% from only 14 reviews. Opening in approximately 2,600, I’m predicting Planet 51 to open outside the top five, and gross around $4.5 million.
The holdovers from last weekend will have some interesting stories.
2012 enters its second weekend, and the question is how well will the film hold up. It has major competition this weekend, so it will take a hit at the ticket counter. I have found buzz to be positive about the film, so I don’t think a massive drop will happen. The drop will be big, but I was surprised when I was coming up with my numbers by how well I think the film will do. Dropping 59%, I’m predicting 2012 to be the #2 film and it will gross $26.7 million.
Disney’s A Christmas Carol had an amazing hold last weekend, and I’m expecting the same again this weekend. Dropping only 29%, Disney’s A Christmas Carol will gross $15.8 million and be the #3 film in the land. Why will hold up well? People love Christmas themed movies. People wrote off The Polar Express when it first opened, but it was a very steady performer, and ended up doing quite well. Expect the same for this film.
Precious was the major story last weekend, as it made it into the top five despite being in only 174 theatres. This weekend, the film is expanding into 600 theatres. I do expect the per theatre average to drop because of the expansion, but it will still have a strong finish. I’m predicting that Precious will remain the #4 film and gross $10.8 million.
In limited release:
Nicholas Cage and Werner Herzog join forces to bring us Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. The film is based on the Abel Ferrara film Bad Lieutenant (released back in 1992), but at the same time is no way related to it (That’s really weird to type – trust me). It’s opening in 27 theatres.
Penelope Cruz and Pedro Almodovar release their latest film Broken Embraces, although Box Office Mojo has not listed how many theatres it will be playing in.
Finally, the big budget film Red Cliff which was directed by John Woo and was the first film he made in China since leaving Hollywood, opens this weekend. Box Office Mojo has not listed the theatre count for the film.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
1) Twilight – $119 million
2) 2012 – $26.7 million
3) Disney’s A Christmas Carol – $15.8 million
4) Precious – $10.8 million
5) The Blind Side – $8.5 million
Check back on Sunday to see how I did!