It’s a battle of the 80’s this weekend as two new releases come to movie theatres that were inspired by hits from the past. I’m predicting that these two new films – The Karate Kid and The A-Team- will both be able to defeat the three time box office champion Shrek Forever After, but the question is what film will open at #1 one? Here is how I see the weekend breaking down:
The 1980’s classic The Karate Kid gets remade this weekend with stars Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. I think the marketing has been great for the film. Sony Pictures has done a great job promoting the film, letting audiences know it’s in theatres this weekend, and that the film looks good. I give the trailer credit for playing the classic montage song “You’re the Best Around” from the original film in the background at the very end of the trailer. It was a nice little touch for fans. The casting of Jackie Chan in the Mr. Miyagi role is absolutely inspired (in this version the Miyagi character is called Mr. Han). The casting gives the film that much more credibility in the classic story of a teacher training a student. Chan is getting good notices for his work in the film as well. The producers have tried to throw some new life into the film and make it a little different from the original by setting the film in China. It was very hard to compare other films to The Karate Kid because this is Jaden Smith’s first headlining movie, and people are not paying $12 to come see him. Jackie Chan does have a fan base, but people want to see this film because of the story and because of 80’s nostalgia. I really only looked at Jackie Chan films when coming up with my predictions, and here’s how they did on their opening weekends:
2008 – The Forbidden Kingdom – $21.4 million opening weekend
2007 – Rush Hour 3 – $49 million opening weekend
2001 – Rush Hour 2 – $67.4 million opening weekend
1998 – Rush Hour – $33 million opening weekend
Average opening weekend – $42.7 million
The critical response has been decent, with Rotten Tomatoes listing The Karate Kid at 55% positive. The same criticism keeps popping up in the reviews that I have read and that is that the film sticks a little too close to the original’s plot instead of trying to be its own film. I think this might bother fans of the original, but the young kids who have never even seen the 1980 classic will not mind this fact one bit. The combination of great marketing by Sony, great casting with Jackie Chan, and a story that audiences want to see make me believe that The Karate Kid will open at #1 with a gross of $45 million from 3,663 theatres.
The other new release of the weekend is also based on a 1980’s hit. This time the inspiration comes from television and we get the big-screen adventures of The A-Team. The film had been in development for years, with many big stars attached to it at certain points in time. This incarnation of The A-Team stars Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley and Quintin “Rampage” Jackson as the famous foursome, and Jessica Biel in a supporting role. The plot sticks close to the premise of the series, with the commando unit being sent to a maximum security prison for a crime they didn’t commit. They escape and go on the hunt for the people responsible for putting them in prison, and blow up a lot of stuff along the way. I haven’t seen too many posters are TV ads for The A-Team which is too bad, because I think the film has a lot going for it. First off, it stars Liam Neeson, whose action credibility has gone way up since Taken. Secondly, the 80’s nostalgia factor will come into play as this show was quite popular back in the day. Finally, I love the trailer and I think audiences do too. The fact that it shows a tank falling from a plane, and while the tank is falling, the A-Team is using the tank’s gun to shoot at another plane is just an inspired action sequence! When coming up with my prediction, I used a mixed bag of picks and how they did on their opening weekend. The films I used to compare The A-Team with are:
2009 – G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra – $54.7 million opening weekend
2009 – The Hangover – $44.9 million opening weekend
2009 – Taken – $24.7 million opening weekend
2008 – Wanted – $50.9 million opening weekend
2006 – Miami Vice – $25.7 million opening weekend
Average opening weekend – $40.18 million
The weird film in there is The Hangover as it’s a comedy, but that film was released just over a year ago, and was a about a group of guys and it also starred Bradley Cooper, so I thought it would be a good comparison. Reviews for The A-Team are about the same as The Karate Kid with critics liking the film but not loving it. Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 53% positive. I think the family audience will have a little more pull at the box office this weekend, as I think The Karate Kid appeals to more people, so I’m predicting that The A-Team will open in 2nd place with a gross of $41 million from 2,534 theatres.
With The Karate Kid and The A-Team making the top five, I’m predicting that Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time will be knocked out of the top five, but it is going to be a very close battle. Here’s how I see rest of the top five unfolding:
Shrek Forever After will lose its title as the #1 film in North America this weekend after a three week reign at the top of the box office. That’s tied for the second longest reign at the top of the box office this year with Alice in Wonderland. First place is Avatar as that film was #1 for six weekends in a row at the start of 2010. Shrek Forever After should post a decent number at the box office this weekend, as despite the negative reviews, audiences still want to see the story of the green ogre unfold. My prediction is that Shrek Forever After will drop 42% from last weekend, giving it a gross of $14.7 million this weekend and a 3rd place finish.
Get Him to the Greek had a solid debut last weekend, and it hopes to display the staying power that Forgetting Sarah Marshall had during its run. Get Him to the Greek has a lot going for it as it got good reviews, it had a decent opening, and it is still the only comedy that is worth seeing in theatres this weekend. Forgetting Sarah Marshall had a 37.8% drop in its second weekend when it was released, and I’m predicting that Get Him to the Greek will have a slightly higher drop-off this weekend. I’m predicting that Get Him to the Greek will drop 39%, which will give it a gross of $10.8 million and a 4th place finish.
Killers had a better than expected debut last weekend, and is still going strong in theatres during the course of the week. It was the #3 movie on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, slightly edging out Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time. I think that trend will continue this weekend, as I’m predicting that Killers will give the date crowd something to see. I’m predicting that Killers will drop 47% from last weekend, giving it a gross of $8.4 million and a 5th place finish.
Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time will be in trouble this weekend as the action-adventure audience is going to want to see The A-Team over a film that is entering its third weekend. I’m predicting a drop of 59% for Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time which would give it a gross of $5.7 million and a 6th place finish.
Sex and the City 2 should continue its rapid descent this weekend. The original had a 53.9% drop in its third weekend, and I’m predicting that Sex and the City 2 will drop 55% this weekend for a gross of $5.5 million and a 7th place finish.
Marmaduke had a terrible opening weekend, and I don’t think the second weekend will be any better. I’m predicting that Marmaduke will drop 54% this weekend, giving it a gross of $5.3 million and an 8th place finish.
Opening in limited release, we have the following films:
Winter’s Bone – This film is about a teenage boy who is in search of his father. This film is being released in 4 theatres and has a 100% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work – This documentary focuses on the life of Joan Rivers. This film is being released in 7 theatres and has an 89% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Reel Injun – This documentary chronicles the portrayal of Native Americans on film. It does not have a theatre count and has an 83% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky – This is a film about the affair between the two people in the title. It does not have a theatre count and has a 56% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema – This film is a South African crime story. It’s been compared to City of God, so if you liked that film, you’ll like this film. The film is being released in 4 theatres and there are no reviews published on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Lottery – This is a documentary that chronicles the lives of four families as they try and get their children into a prestigious New York Academy. The film is being released in 1 theatre and there are no reviews published on Rotten Tomatoes.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
- The Karate Kid – $45 million
- The A-Team – $41 million
- Shrek Forever After – $14.7 million
- Get Him To The Greek – $10.8 million
- Killers – $8.4 million
Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!