Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of February 19th, 2010


Only one major new release comes out today, and it is a very safe bet that it will be the #1 film at the box office this weekend.  Here’s how I think the box office will unfold.

Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio team up for the 4th time to bring us Shutter Island.  This film has DiCaprio as well as Mark Ruffalo sent to an island, to investigate the disappearance of a woman from an island for the criminally insane.  It’s hard to predict Scorsese films, as it has not been until recently that Scorsese has had mainstream success with his films.  Here are the opening weekend and final box office numbers of the previous three DiCaprio//Scorsese films.

2002 – Gangs of New York – $9.4 million from 1,504 theatres // $77.8 million final gross

2004 – The Aviator – $8.6 million from 1,796 theatres (This was Aviator’s second weekend.  The first weekend was in limited release). // $102.6 million final gross

2006 – The Departed – $26.8 million from 3,017 theatres // $132.3 million final gross

In fact, The Aviator was the first Scorsese film to gross more than $100 million at the domestic box office.  Shutter Island should be able to reach that mark as well, but it won’t be easy.  The film has been delayed from a fall 2009 release, and it’s being released in February, which is a month that is not known for producing $100 million dollar films.  I think the film has enough buzz and star power (the trailer is intriguing to me, and makes me want to see it), that it should finish as the #1 film.  Early reviews have been positive as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 64% positive.  Opening in 2,991 theatres, I’m predicting Shutter Island will gross $33 million to finish in the top spot.

With Shutter Island in the top five, one of last week’s films will be pushed out of the top five.  Here’s how I think the remaining films will do:

Last week’s #1 film Valentine’s Day is going to have a big drop, as poor reviews and lack of interest now that Valentine’s Day is over will have a major impact.  Dropping 63% this weekend, I’m predicting Valentine’s Day to gross $20.7 million and finish in 2nd place.

Last week’s #2 film (it ended up being that when the final numbers came in) The Wolfman will drop 52% for a gross of $15.1 million and a 5th place finish.  I’m predicting this as horror films tend to have tremendous up front demand, and fall off rapidly.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians:  The Lightning Thief was the big surprise to me last weekend, and I think it will hold up well this weekend.  Staying in 3rd place for the 2nd weekend in a row, I’m predicting a drop of 35% for a gross of $20.3 million (notice how close my prediction of this film and Valentine’s Day are).

Avatar is the film that keeps on chugging along, and it should have another small drop this weekend.  Down 27%, I’m predicting a gross of $17.2 million which will keep it in 4th place for the 2nd weekend in a row.

Dear John will fall out of the top five with a 52% drop and end up as the #6 film with a gross of $7.7 million.

In limited release, we have the following films opening:

The Ghost Writer – This is a thriller that stars Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan, and is directed by Roman Polanski.  It is about a ghost writer who is writing the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister.  The writer finds out something and his life is put in danger.  It opens in 4 theatres, and has an 82% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

The Good Guy – A romantic comedy-drama about a girl who lives in New York, and wants to have the perfect job as well as the perfect guy.  Alexis Bledel is the star of this film.  It opens in 9 theatres, and has a 38% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

Happy Tears – Demi Moore and Parker Posey star as sister’s who take care of their father, played by Rip Torn.  It opens in 15 theatres, and has a 37% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes. 

So to recap, here are my predictions:

1) Shutter Island – $33 million

2) Valentine’s Day – $20.7 million

3) Percy Jackson and the Olympians:  The Lighting Thief – $20.3 million

4) Avatar – $17.2 million

5) The Wolfman – $15.1 million

I think my predictions are once again very bold, as the top five films are projected to gross just above $115 million.  Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!

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