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

Three new films go into wide release this weekend, with the enormous challenge of dethroning the juggernaut that is Alice in Wonderland. Yes that is the exact same line that I used last week to describe my box office predictions, but it holds true this weekend. I think the result will be the same with Alice in Wonderland staying atop of the box office, and the three new releases will have no problem making the top five as the box office was dismal last weekend, outside of the Tim Burton//Johnny Depp juggernaut. Here are my predictions:

The highest profile new release of the week is the comedy The Bounty Hunter. The film stars Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston as a divorced couple, who as luck would have it, get reunited. Butler is a bounty hunter given the task of hunting down his ex-wife. Unfortunately, someone is after his wife, and the two have to team up to stay alive. Reviews have been scathing and are quite simply some of the worst of the year. Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 9% positive. Aniston is not a big draw at the box office. She is more an actress who has to be in the right kind of film for audiences to see her. Her last film Love Happens was too serious, and didn’t have a great opening with $8 million. Having said that, Love Happens opened in less than 2,000 theatres on its opening weekend. Aniston’s strength is comedies, and her previous comedies have done quite well. See below:

2009 – He’s Just Not That Into You – $27.7 million opening weekend
2008 – Marley and Me – $36.3 million opening weekend
2006 – The Break-Up – $39.1 million opening weekend.

Gerard Butler is also a decent draw at the box office, given the right film. Here are his last three films opening weekends:

2009 – Law Abiding Citizen – $21 million opening weekend
2009 – Gamer – $9.1 million opening weekend
2009 – The Ugly Truth – $27.6 million opening weekend

Butler’s highest opening weekend of the three was a romantic comedy, so I think the film has the potential to do well. Despite the bad reviews, I’m predicting an opening weekend gross of $24 million for The Bounty Hunter 3,074 theatres and a second place finish. It’s a little lower than you might think, but the reviews are going to hurt the film, and people will stay away because of that.

I might come off sounding really ignorant, but I had no idea until today that there was a film called Diary of a Wimpy Kid coming out in theatres and even more ignorant because I do not know the series of books that the film is based on. Not to sound like I am the all-knowing movie person in the universe, but I don’t think the majority of people know that this film is coming out today. It even has the widest theatre count of any film this weekend with 3,077 theatres. Reviews have been average as Rotten Tomatoes has the film at 48% positive. I just think that the marketing has been so poor, and that kids would still rather see Alice in Wonderland over this film, that it is going to be a major disappointment at the box office. I’m predicting a 3rd place finish and a gross of $9 million.

Repo Men stars Jude Law and Forest Whitaker who repossess people’s organs when they cannot make the payments on their body parts. It’s a gory concept, but similar to the plot of the film Repo: The Genetic Opera (there is nothing in common with the two films besides that plot point). I like Jude Law as an actor, but he suffers from the same thing that Clive Owen suffers from. They both do great movies, but they never have that mass appeal that can open a film. Repo Men reminds me of Clive Owen’s Shoot ‘Em Up (which I’m a big fan of) in that sense, because the trailers to both films presented an exciting story, but for Shoot ‘Em Up audiences never came, and I think Repo Men will have the same problem. Rotten Tomatoes has the film at 14% positive, which will not help attract adults to see the film. Opening in 2,522 theatres, I’m predicting Repo Men will gross $8 million, and finish in 4th place.

With The Bounty Hunter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Repo Men all making the top five, three of last week’s films will be pushed out. Here’s how I think the remaining films will do:

Alice in Wonderland will remain the number one film for the third weekend in a row. It should have another strong hold, as it really does not face a serious challenge (I don’t consider Diary of a Wimpy Kid a serious challenge). I think it will drop only 44% for a gross of $35.1 million to retain its first place ranking.

Green Zone will have the advantage of being the only serious adult movie in theatres right now, and it should post a decent hold. I’m predicting a drop of 48% for the weekend, which will put it into 5th place with a gross of $7.4 million.

There will be a battle for 6th place. She’s Out Of My League will face a challenge this weekend as the highest profile release of the weekend is a comedy, so a lot of the comedy audience will see The Bounty Hunter over She’s Out Of My League. I’m predicting a drop of 54% for a gross of $4.4 million for the Jay Baruchel comedy.

Shutter Island has been battling She’s Out Of My League for position during the week, with She’s Out Of My League slightly edging it at the box office Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Shutter Island has been posting very strong holds during its run and I’m predicting a drop of 43% for a gross of $4.6 million. This puts Shutter Island in 6th place and She’s Out Of My League in 7th place.

Remember Me has absolutely no hope of remaining in the top five in its second weekend.

Opening in limited release, we have the following films:

The Runaways is a biopic about the rise and fall of the band The Runaways. It has some star power with Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 66% positive, and the film is opening in 244 theatres.

Hubble 3D is a documentary shot in IMAX 3-D and gives audiences amazing images of distant galaxies. The film is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio. Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 70% positive, and the film is opening in 39 theatres.

Greenberg is the latest film from director Noah Baumbach, and it stars Ben Stiller as a man who is happy that he has done nothing with his life. Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 81% positive, and the film is opening in 3 theatres.

Vincere is a film about a secret in the life of Benito Mussolini, a wife and a son who were at once acknowledged by Mussolini, and then denied. Even in Mussolini’s official biography, there is no mention made of this. Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 100% positive from 19 reviews, and the film is opening in 2 theatres

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a thriller about an unsolved murder that happened on an island 40 years ago. A reporter and a hacker join forces to try and solve the case. It is based on the very popular novel, and Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 80% positive. The theatre count was unavailable as of this writing.

So to recap, here are my predictions:

1) Alice in Wonderland – $35.1 million
2) The Bounty Hunter – $24 million
3) Diary of a Wimpy Kid – $9 million
4) Repo Men – $8 million
5) Green Zone – $7.4 million

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

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