Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of March 5th, 2010

We are going to have a new number one film at the box office this weekend, but how big will it open?

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton team up again for their take on Alice in Wonderland. This is the 7th collaboration between the star and the director, and they are hoping to repeat past successes. Everyone knows the story of Alice in Wonderland, so it will be interesting to see Burton and Depp’s take on a classic. For box office purposes, let’s see how their previous films did on the opening weekend:

2007 – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – $9.3 million opening weekend (Debuted in 1,249 theatres)

2005 – The Corpse Bride – $388,166 opening weekend (Debuted in 5 theatres)

2005 – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – $56.7 million opening weekend (Debuted in 3,770 theatres)

1999 – Sleepy Hollow – $30 million (Debuted in 3,064 theatres)

1994 – Ed Wood – $71,566 (Debuted in 2 theatres)

1990 – Edward Scissorhands – $159,622 (Debuted in 2 theatres)

It’s interesting to see how Burton and Depp films usually have small theatre counts when they start, and then expand. Also working in their favour is the fact that it is the first major release of March. This weekend traditionally has a big opening weekend from a new release. See below:

2009 – Watchmen – $55.2 million opening weekend // $107.5 million total domestic gross

2008 – 10,000 B.C. – $35.8 million opening weekend // $94.7 million total domestic gross

2007 – 300 – $70.8 million opening weekend // $210 million total domestic gross

Five of Tim Burton’s 13 films have grossed over $100 million, the highest of which is Batman back in 1989, which grossed $251 million. So I’ve thrown out a lot of numbers, but how will Alice in Wonderland do? Reviews have been mixed (but they do praise the inventive visuals), with Rotten Tomatoes currently listing the film at 56%. This should be a critic proof film, as it is the first true event film of 2010, so people will be excited to see it. I think it will debut closer to Watchmen’s opening weekend, as I think the buzz and marketing are strong. Opening in 3,728 theatres, I’m predicting a gross of $58 million for Alice in Wonderland, which will put it in first place at the box office.

Brooklyn’s Finest stars Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke and Wesley Snipes and follows them over the course of a week. Gere, Cheadle, and Hawke are all cops at various stages of their career. Their lives get transformed when a massive drug operation goes down. The film is directed by Antoine Fuqua, who directed Training Day, so he is revisiting a genre that was successful for him in the past. The cast is decent as all the actors are known, but don’t have box office appeal. The studio (Overture Films) does not have a lot of faith in the film, as it is releasing it in 1,936 theatres. Reviews have not been good with Rotten Tomatoes listing the film at 30%, so adult audiences will not be encouraged with that. It should not make a huge impact at the box office, but I’m predicting a number four opening and a gross of $9.4 million.

With Alice in Wonderland and Brooklyn’s Finest making the top five, two of last week’s films will be pushed out. Here’s how I think the remaining films will do:

Shutter Island held well in it’s 2nd weekend, and it should hold just as well this weekend, so I’m predicting a drop of 47% for a gross of $11.9 million, which will put it in 2nd place.

Avatar will have another small fall, as the Oscars are this weekend, and I think people will want to see it before Sunday, so I’m predicting a drop of 20% and a gross of $10.8 million, which will give it a 3rd place finish.

Cop Out has been doing all right during the week, so I’m predicting a drop of 53% for a gross of $8.5 million and a 5th place finish.

The Crazies will have a big drop, as it is a horror film and this genre does not usually hold up well in the 2nd weekend, as it will go down 61% for a gross of $6.24 million and finish in 6th place.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians will be well out of the top five.

So to recap, here are my predictions:

1) Alice in Wonderland – $58 million

2) Shutter Island – $11.9 million

3) Avatar – $10.8 million

4) Brooklyn’s Finest – $9.4 million

5) Cop Out – $8.5 million

Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!

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