Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of April 9th, 2010

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Steve Carell and Tina Fey team up in Date Night in the hopes of becoming the new box office champions and dethroning the current champ Clash of the Titans.  It has an excellent chance of doing that, because it is the only major new release of the weekend.  Here’s how I see the things breaking down:

Date Night arrives in theatres and hopes to capitalize on the teaming up of two of the biggest stars in comedy.  Carell and Fey are a couple who have settled for a life of domesticity, and they are looking to revive the fun in their life with a nice night out on the town.  Their plan starts off bad, as the reservations they make at a fancy restaurant are not honoured because they are late.  They end up deciding to steal the reservations of another couple and thus begins Carell and Fey’s date night from hell.   Comedies are tough to predict because they are not films that most people get excited for (those are reserved for big budget blockbusters).  Having said that, I think Date Night has a lot going for it.  First it has star power.  Carell can draw people at the box office, and even though Fey has only one major film to her credit (2008’s Baby Mama), she is a star, and has a fan base.  Secondly, people seem to like the premise of the film, which means there is interest.  Finally, the film is only 1h28m, so it will get lots of screenings on the weekend with the short run time, which equals big box office numbers.  Trying to find films to compare Date Night to was not easy, but for comparison, here is how Baby Mama did on its opening weekend, as well as Carell’s Get Smart which is the easiest film to compare Date Night with as it is also an action-comedy:

2008 – Get Smart – $38.6 million opening weekend

2008 – Baby Mama – $17.4 million opening weekend

I do think that Date Night will do better than Get Smart’s opening weekend total, but we’ll have to wait and see.  Reviews have been decent as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 60%.  Opening in 3,374 theatres, I’m predicting that Date Night will gross $45 million and finish as the #1 film at the box office.

With Date Night being the only new release of the weekend, one film from last weekend is going to get pushed out of the top five.  Here’s how I see the rest of the top five panning out:

Clash of the Titans had a very strong debut last weekend, but I think word-of-mouth is going to hurt this film and it should fall to 2nd place this weekend.  The big question is how big will the percentage drop be?  Clash of the Titans has been the #1 film on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but was facing some competition from How To Train Your Dragon.  I’m predicting a drop of 61% for a gross of $23.8 million.

How To Train Your Dragon should have a decent hold again this weekend, and will benefit by again being the only relevant family film in theatres.  It has also been the #2 film at the box office on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, after finishing in 3rd place last weekend.  It’s worth noting that the film was almost the #2 film, as it finished less than $300,000 behind the Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too when the final weekend box office numbers came out on Monday.  I’m predicting that How To Train Your Dragon will drop 33% for a gross of $19.4 million and a 3rd place finish.

Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too will do what most Tyler Perry films do, and suffer a major decline in its 2nd weekend.  Here’s a look at how other Tyler Perry films have done on their second weekend:

2009 – I Can Do Bad All By Myself – 57.9% second weekend drop

2009 – Madea Goes To Jail – 60.6% second weekend drop

2008 – The Family That Preys – 58.2% second weekend drop

2008 – Meet The Browns – 62.7% second weekend drop

2007 – Why Did I Get Married – 42.9% second weekend drop

2007 – Daddy’s Little Girls – 57% second weekend drop

2006 – Madea’s Family Reunion – 57.9% second weekend drop

It is interesting to note that the only film that did not suffer a major drop in that list was the original Why Did I Get Married.  I don’t think that the sequel will be as lucky, as sequels tend to suffer bigger declines than the originals.  Why Did I Get Married Too has been the #3 film on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and when this weekend finishes, it will be the #4 film, as I’m predicting it will have a decline of 59% for a gross of $11.9 million.

The Last Song will round out the top five, but it will be interesting to see how well the film holds this weekend, as Miley Cyrus is in a genre that audiences are not used to her being in.  I’m predicting a drop of 52% and a gross of $7.7 million.

Alice in Wonderland will drop to 6th place suffering a 55% fall from last weekend, giving it a gross of $3.7 million with Hot Tub Time Machine finishing in 7th with a gross of $3.6 million.

Opening in limited release, we have the following films:

Letters To God is a drama about a terminally ill boy writing letters to God, and a postman who decides to do something about it.  It is being released in 897 theatres and does not have a rating yet at Rotten Tomatoes.

After.Life is a thriller starring Christina Ricci and Liam Neeson.  Ricci’s character is caught in limbo, and she’s trying to come back to life, but is Neeson’s character trying to keep her dead?  It is being released in 41 theatres and has a 29% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

La Mission stars Benjamin Bratt and is a drama about life in the tough San Francisco neighbourhood district called The Mission.  It is being released in 15 theatres and it does not have a rating yet at Rotten Tomatoes.

The Square is a film-noir that follows a scheming couple whose plans go awry.  It is being released in 2 theatres and has a 96% positive at Rotten Tomatoes.

So to recap, here are my predictions:

1) Date Night – $45 million

2) Clash of the Titans – $23.8 million

3) How To Train Your Dragon– $19.4 million

4) Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too – $11.9 million

5) The Last Song – $7.7 million

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

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