Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of January 22nd, 2009


Three major new releases open this weekend with the goal of dethroning Avatar from the top of the box office.  Once again, I’m pretty confident in saying that this will not happen, but let’s look at the challengers.

Getting the widest release of any the new films this weekend is The Tooth Fairy starring Dwayne Johnson.  The film is about an arrogant hockey player who ends up becoming a tooth fairy.  Dwayne Johnson gets some help from some quality talent in the form of Julie Andrews and Billy Crystal.  The trailer does look awful, but it looks like a Disney film so it should do some business.  It looks like a film Disney would release, because Dwayne Johnson has also starred in the Disney family friendly films Race To Witch Mountain and The Game Plan.  Those films had opening weekends of $24.4 million and $22.9 million respectively.  Here’s the difference, The Tooth Fairy is actually being released by 20th Century Fox.  I think Disney always does a better job of marketing family films, so I’m predicting an opening weekend gross that is less than the films mentioned above.  It’s also worth noting that critics (not surprisingly) are tearing this film apart as it only has an 11% positive rating (from only 35 reviews) from Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.  Opening in 3,344 theatres, I’m predicting The Tooth Fairy will gross $17 million this weekend and debut in 2nd place.

Extraordinary Measures is a drama that stars Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser.  The film revolves around a father, played by Fraser, dealing with a debilitating disease that threatens to kill his children.  Desperate, he tries to find unconventional ways of curing their illness, and he finally comes across a researcher, played by Harrison Ford, who might be able to cure his children.  The trailer tugs at the heart strings, and should attract a strong female audience.  TV commercials would lead you to believe that the film is receiving strong reviews, but don’t be fooled, as Rotten Tomatoes currently lists the film at 23% positive (from only 36 reviews).  It also has a vibe, and I’m not the only one to think this or write this, as a made-for-TV movie, which is how I think most people will actually end up watching the film when it comes out on DVD.  Opening in 2,549 theatres, I’m predicting a gross of $12 million, and a 4th place finish.

Legion stars Paul Bettany as an archangel who tries to save humanity as god has given up on the human race, and sends angels to destroy them.  A cool premise indeed, and the trailer is a stand-out, mainly for the beginning of it with the old lady in the coffee shop (I won’t spoil what happens for those of you who have not seen it).  Unfortunately, I don’t think the film is going to do well.  Bettany is not a person who brings in an audience, and I’m sure the makers of the film are hoping it will do well on its premise alone.  I say that because the studio has embargoed all reviews on the film until after its release tomorrow.  This is never a good sign, especially for a film being released in January, which is already considered a dumping ground.  Opening in 2,476 theatres, I’m predicting a gross of $6 million, and a finish of 7th place.

I’m predicting two of the three new releases to stay in the top five, so that means two films from last weekend will drop out.  The two films to say good-bye will be Sherlock Holmes and Alvin and the Chipmunks:  The Squeakquel.  Here’s how I think the remaining films will do:

Avatar will hold strong dropping only 21% for a gross of $33.7 million to stay in the #1 spot.

The Book of Eli will drop 58% for a gross of $13.7 million, and finish in 3rd place.

The Lovely Bones will drop 48% for a gross of $8.8 million, and finish in 5th place.

In limited release, we have Creation starring Paul Bettany (weird that he’s in two films coming out the same week) and his wife Jennifer Connelly which is a biopic about Charles Darwin, The Girl on the Train which is a French film about a girl who lies about getting attacked by six young men on a train, and To Save A Life which is about a teenager who reexamines his life after a friend of his commits suicide.

So to recap, here are my predictions:

1) Avatar – $33.7 million

2) The Tooth Fairy – $17 million

3) The Book of Eli – $13.7 million

4) Extraordinary Measures – $12 million

5) The Lovely Bones – $8.8 million

Check back on Sunday to see how I did!

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