It’s the U.S. Thanksgiving, so expect big boosts to some existing films, and some good openings from the new releases. Let’s begin.
I’m not going to start by talking about a specific film, but instead, I’m going to talk about the Wednesday and Thursday box office, as two new films went into wide release that day. The top five are as follows:
Wednesday November 25th
- New Moon – $14.3 million
- The Blind Side – $7.9 million
- 2012 – $3.6 million
- Ninja Assassin – $3.3 million
- Old Dogs – $3.1 million
Thursday November 26th
- The Blind Side – $9.4 million
- New Moon – $9.2 million
- Ninja Assassin – $4.5 million
- Old Dogs – $4.2 million
- 2012 – $4 million
Two things to note: 1) The same five films were in the top 5 both days, in a different order each day. 2) The Blind Side beat New Moon at the box office on Thursday. Does that mean that The Blind Side will be the #1 film this weekend? Before I start on the existing films, here is my take on the new films.
John Travolta and Robin Williams star in the Disney comedy Old Dogs. It is from the director of Wild Hogs, and is being sold heavily on the star power of Travolta and Williams. It looks like a safe family comedy that will appeal to the broadest demographic. Unfortunately with the film being played safe, the critics have torn it apart. It currently has a 9% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I think the makers of the film did not care about what the critics had to say about the film when they were making it. So the star power of Travolta and Williams is being put to the test, and they are no longer at the peak of their careers. I think the film will have a decent, but not spectacular opening. Launching in 3,389 theatres, I expect Old Dogs to gross $18 million and be the #3 film.
The Wachowski Brothers return as producers along and their V for Vendetta director friend James McTeigue team up to bring us Ninja Assassin. The film is a revenge tail of a ninja seeking retribution on his own clan, as they killed his best friend. Ninja Assassin is going to live and die on its marketing campaign. Were the trailers stylized and exciting enough to bring men into the theatres? I thought the trailers were good, but not great, and I think more people are going to see this on DVD rather then theatres. Rotten Tomatoes only has a 28% positive rating, so critics are not supporting the film. Opening in 2,503 theatres, I think Ninja Assassin will be the #6 film with $14 million.
So the new releases have been taken care of, and now onto the existing films. New Moon had a monster opening weekend, but will it hold up over this weekend? I think it will have a big drop this weekend, and I can use the first film Twilight as an example, as that film had its second weekend over the same holiday period as well last year. Twilight dropped 62.2% in its second weekend, and as sequels have a larger up front demand, I think that New Moon will suffer a 68% drop this weekend and gross $45.6 million, which will still make it the #1 film.
The Blind Side was a big surprise to me last weekend; because I did not think that it would do well. It has surprised me again in being the #1 film in the land on Thursday. I think that the film is going to surprise people this weekend, as it is going to have a slight bounce because of the holiday weekend. I think the film will go up by 5% this weekend for a gross of $35.8 million and it will be the #2 film.
2012 is holding up well, and I think this weekend will be a weekend where people who have not seen the film will go out and check it out. Holidays are big and loud and overtop, and those adjectives can describe 2012 as well. I’m predicting a 40% drop for a gross of $15.8 million and that it will be the #4 film.
To round out the top five and I’m going with an underdog pick with Disney’s A Christmas Carol. The reason is simply that I’m comparing this film to The Polar Express. 5 years ago when that film was released, it had a boost of 23.8% on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Disney’s A Christmas Carol is the same style of film, is also about Christmas, and should have the same result. I’m predicting that the film will see a 25% boost and gross $15.2 million to be the #5 film.
Here’s what’s opening in limited release this weekend:
The Road which stars Viggo Mortensen and is based on the Cormac McCarthy novel. This is a very dark film, as it has a post-apocalyptic storyline, so it is not going to get audiences in right away. This is a word-of-mouth film, that critics are going to have to support, and people are going to have to talk about with their friends. From the critics standpoint, so far so good. Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at a 70% positive rating. It’s only being release in around 100 theatres, so we will see how its per theatre average is
Disney returns to hand drawn animation with The Princess and The Frog. It is only being released in 2 theatres but early word on the film is great. Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 88%. It will build some buzz in limited release, and then go into wide release.
Zac Efron tries something different as he stars along with Claire Danes in the film Me and Orson Welles. Popular indie director Richard Linklater takes on the film which is about a young actor joining Orson Welles theatre company and the making of Welles landmark version of Julius Caesar. Rotten Tomatoes has the film at 79%, and it is only in 4 theatres this weekend.
Be on the lookout for Precious to have a strong weekend, and make a charge to be in the top five. Although I did not predict it to finish in the top five, I wouldn’t be shocked to see that it ends up being the #5 film.
So my predictions are as follows:
- The Twilight Saga: New Moon – $45.6 million
- The Blind Side – $35.8 million
- Old Dogs – $18 million
- 2012 – $15.8 million
- Disney’s A Christmas Carol – $15.2 million
Check back on Sunday to see how I did!