Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of January 15th, 2009


Two new major releases debut this weekend, while a film that was hoping to cash in on some Oscar buzz (that never ended up happening) also goes into wide release.  Let’s get to it!

Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman star in The Book of Eli, a post-apocalyptic adventure where Denzel is in charge of protecting a book.  Denzel Washington is as reliable an actor when it comes to opening weekend grosses.  You’re guaranteed a gross north of $20 million when he’s headlining a film in wide release.  Here’s the proof:

The Taking of Pelham 123 – $23.3 million opening weekend

American Gangster – $43.5 million opening weekend

Déjà vu – $20.5 million opening weekend

Inside Man – $28.9 million opening weekend

The Manchurian Candidate – $20 million opening weekend

Man on Fire – $22.7 million opening weekend

In fact, 9 out of his last 10 films to open in wide release of more than 2,000 theatres have had an opening weekend gross north of $20 million.  Expect the trend to continue this weekend.  Reviews have been on the negative side with Rotten Tomatoes listing the film at 46% as of this writing.  Denzel is critic-proof though, so expect an opening weekend of $22 million from 3,111 theatres.

The other new wide release this weekend is The Spy Next Door with Jackie Chan.  He plays a spy who might have to face his toughest assignment ever (Think The Pacifier if you want to know what that might be).  If this film had been under the Disney brand, I would expect it to do better.  It’s not, and it will bomb.  It is getting absolutely terrible reviews, as Rotten Tomatoes is listing the film a 7% positive.  I’m predicting a gross of $7 million from 2,924 theatres.

The only other film that could make a dent is Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, which is the story of a murdered girl watching life go on without her from heaven.  The film was supposed to be riding on a wave of great buzz by the time it went into wide release, but unfortunately, reviews have been negative.  Rotten Tomatoes lists the film at 37% positive, and unfortunately, this film will not be in the top five either.  I’m predicting a gross of $7.2 million from 2,563 theatres.

In limited release, Fish Tank opens.  It is receiving the best reviews of any film this week with Rotten Tomatoes listing the film at 87%, and it is only being released in two theatres.  This film is hoping to capitalize on the buzz it earned at the Cannes film festival.

Among holdovers, expect to see 3 of 5 films return.  My predictions are as follows:

Avatar will drop 25% for a gross of $37.7 million, which will keep it as the #1 film.

Sherlock Holmes will drop 51% for a gross of $8 million, and it will be the #3 film

Alvin and the Chipmunks:  The Squeakquel will drop 52% for a gross of $7.9 million.

It’s Complicated and Daybreakers will fall out of the top five

1) Avatar – $37.7 million

2) The Book of Eli – $22 million

3) Sherlock Holmes – $8 million

4) Alvin and the Chipmunks:  The Squeakquel – $7.9 million

5) The Lovely Bones – $7.2 million

Check back on Sunday to see how I did!

Leave a Reply