Three new releases, all targeting different demographics, look to battle for the top spot this weekend, and we could see some excellent numbers from them all. Dear John will definitely not be #1 again, but what will? Here’s my weekend box office preview to help you out.
Opening in 3,665 Valentine’s Day opens just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend. The all-star cast of Julia Roberts, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway, Bradley Cooper, Topher Grace, George Lopez, and Patrick Dempsey star in this ensemble film that looks to capitalize on the success of He’s Just Not That Into You (in terms of ensemble films succeeding at the box office. It has nothing else to do with that film except that). He’s Just Not That Into You opened around this time last year, and had an excellent opening weekend gross of $27.7 million. I think the star power is a little higher this time around, so I’m predicting a much higher opening. Women will definitely want to see this film, and husbands and boyfriends will be unwillingly dragged to it to make their loved ones happy. Men should note that the film is receiving terrible reviews as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 12% as of this writing. This film will be as critic-proof as it gets this time of year, and it will be the #1 film with a gross of $42 million.
The Wolfman is hoping to bring in a wave of Universal horror movies to the screen, but first it must overcome the estrogen of Valentine’s Day. The film is geared toward men, and is hoping to be an alternative to the typical fare at this time of year. The Wolfman has an excellent cast in Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, and Emily Blunt, but this film has had a very rocky road to the silver screen. It has had numerous reshoots, and many date changes, which all add up to negative buzz. The word-of-mouth on the film seems justified as it only has a 34% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing. Still, I think it can have a decent opening weekend, and we’ll have to wait until Sunday to find out. Opening in 3,222 theatres, I’m predicting that The Wolfman will gross $27 million, and finish in 2nd place.
Chris Columbus got the Harry Potter franchise started as he directed the first two films of that series, and he’s hoping that his new film will also be the start of a very successful franchise. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lighting Thief opens in theatres this weekend, and it is going after the kid market. I don’t know much about the film, but it reminds me more of the His Dark Materials or Lemony Snicket series than the Harry Potter series as I just don’t think it has that much interest from kids. Children get a long weekend, so parents will want to keep them busy so chances are great that they will take them to see this film. Reviews have been the best of the three films this week, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it a 58% approval rating as of this writing. I think the film will open just below The Golden Compass, and will have some work to do if it wants to make back its budget. Opening in 3,356 theatres, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lighting Thief will gross $24 million and finish in 3rd place at the box office this weekend.
I’m predicting all three new releases will make the top five, so that means three films from last weekend will drop out. The three films to say good-bye will be From Paris With Love, Edge of Darkness and The Tooth Fairy (I really really mean it this time). Just in case I am wrong on my predictions, I will guess that From Paris With Love will be the #6 film, as it will drop 57%, for a gross of $3.4 million.
Here’s how I think the remaining films will do:
Dear John will fall from #1 to #4 by dropping 25% for a gross of $22.8 million
Avatar will continue to hold strong, dipping only 20% for a gross of $18.2 million to be the #5 film.
In limited release, we have the following film opening:
My Name is Khan – a drama about a Muslim man who has Asperger’s syndrome. He is detained by authorities because of his weird social behaviour, and tries to clear his name. It opens in 120 theatres.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
1) Valentine’s Day – $42 million
2) The Wolfman – $27 million
3) Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lighting Thief – $24 million
4) Dear John – $22.8 million
5) Avatar – $18.2 million
I think my predictions are very bold this weekend, as the top five films are projected to gross $134 million. Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!