Adam Sandler brings us his annual summer offering by re-teaming with Kevin James as well as some of his old Saturday Night Live buddies to bring us Grown Ups. The trailer sums up the plot very nicely as a bunch of old friends re-unite for their high school basketball coach’s funeral. They all decide to spend a long weekend together with their families for some summer fun. Sandler’s films are usually despised by critics, and this one is no exception. As of this writing Grown Ups has an 8% positive rating from Rotten Tomatoes. The thing with Sandler films is that they are critic proof. Audiences love him, and his films consistently perform well, whether you like it or not. When coming up with my prediction, I took most of Sandler’s films (mainly ones where he is not in a dramatic role) and the Kevin James’ hit Paul Blart: Mall Cop to come up with my prediction. Here are the opening weekends for the selected films:
2009 – Paul Blart: Mall Cop – $31.8 million opening weekend
2008 – Bedtime Stories – $27.4 million opening weekend
2008 – You Don’t Mess with the Zohan – $38.5 million opening weekend
2007 – I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry – $34.2 million opening weekend
2006 – Click – $40 million opening weekend
2005 – The Longest Yard – $47.6 million opening weekend
2004 – 50 First Dates – $39.8 million opening weekend
2003 – Anger Management – $42.2 million opening weekend
2002 – Mr. Deeds – $37.1 million opening weekend
2000 – Little Nicky – $16 million opening weekend
1999 – Big Daddy – $41.5 million opening weekend
1998 – The Waterboy – $39.4 million opening weekend
1998 – The Wedding Singer – $18.8 million opening weekend
Average opening weekend – $34.7 million
I think this is a very accurate reflection of how Grown Ups will do this weekend. The premise is appealing, and every time I see the trailer, audiences always laugh at the part of Kevin James going on the Tarzan rope. Laughter is always a good sign for a film that is a comedy. Sandler and to some extent James are the draw cards here, and they are nicely supported by Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider and Salma Hayek. There’s really not much you can argue against this film. It’s going to have a solid opening weekend whether you like it or not. I’m predicting that Grown Ups will have an opening that is slightly higher than the average listed above. Opening in 3,534 theatres, I’m predicting that Grown Ups will be the #2 film with a gross of $36 million.
Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz team up in the action/comedy Knight and Day but they have a rough road ahead of them. The film opened very poorly on Wednesday, grossing $3.8 million (for comparison – Toy Story 3 grossed $13.4 million on Wednesday). The film follows Cruise as an agent who has gone rogue and his bosses are trying to bring him in. Diaz gets mixed up with Cruise in a chance encounter, and the more she’s with him, the more she believes he was setup. The film is reminiscent of The A-Team in that it is a film where you leave your brain at the door and let the good times roll. When I was coming up with my prediction, I decided to look at select Tom Cruise movies to see how they fared on their opening weekend. Here’s the list I came up with
2008 – Valkyrie – $21 million opening weekend
2006 – Mission: Impossible III – $47.7 million opening weekend
2005 – War of the Worlds – $64.8 million opening weekend
2004 – Collateral – $24.7 million opening weekend
2003 – The Last Samurai – $24.2 million opening weekend
2002 – Minority Report – $35.6 million opening weekend
1999 – Eyes Wide Shut – $21.7 million opening weekend
Average opening weekend – $34.2 million
What’s interesting is when I take away the films Mission: Impossible III and War of the Worlds, the average opening weekend is $25.4 million, which is more in line with what I think the Knight and Day will gross. The A-Team grossed $25.6 million and while The A-Team does not possess the star power of a Cruise or Diaz, I think that the number is pretty close to where Knight and Day will end up. Critics are not loving this movie, but at the same time, not hating it. Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 51% positive, and the consensus is that it’s a good summer popcorn flick that you will forget about the moment you walk out the door. Knight and Day is opening in 3,098 theatres, and I’m predicting that it will be the #3 film with a gross of $26 million.
With Grown Ups and Knight and Day making the top five, I’m predicting that Get Him to the Greek and Shrek Forever After will be knocked out of the top five. Here’s how I see rest of the top five unfolding:
Pixar struck gold last weekend with the $110 million debut of Toy Story 3. It destroyed the previous record for an opening weekend by Pixar (the previous record was held by The Incredibles which grossed $70.4 million) so it’s hard to come up with a number on how it will do this weekend. Here’s the list I used last weekend, and how those films did on their second weekend:
1995 – Toy Story – $20.1 million second weekend // 30.8% drop
2009 – Up – $44.1 million second weekend // 35.2% drop
Average percentage drop on the 2nd weekend of Pixar films – 35.7%
I’m going with the law of averages here, as Pixar’s track record speaks for itself, and even though Toy Story 3 had a monstrous opening weekend, I truly believe that it can have a drop of only 35%, because the word of mouth is so strong, and it is the rare film that has exceeded the audiences and critics expectations. It still has the highest theatre count of any film in release at 4,028, so it’s going to win the weekend easily. I’m predicting that Toy Story 3 will be the #1 film for the 2nd weekend in a row with a gross of $71.2 million, which is a drop of 35% from its opening weekend.
The Karate Kid is still doing well at the box office and should post a decent hold this weekend. It might lose some of its adult audience to Grown Ups and Knight and Day but its younger audience will still go see it. I’m predicting a drop of 40% making The Karate Kid the #4 film with a gross of $17.9 million.
The A-Team posted a decent second weekend, as it was only down 43.9 % from its opening weekend, and I think this weekend it will post a slightly higher drop because of the increased competition from Knight and Day. The good news is that there are really not a lot of good films in theatres right now, so that should lessen the impact of Knight and Day. I’m predicting that The A-Team drops 45% making it the #5 film with a gross of $7.9 million.
I’d be really shocked if Shrek Forever After or Get Him to the Greek somehow made it to the top five this weekend, but here are my predictions for the bottom half of the top ten:
Get Him to the Greek should drop 42% this weekend giving it a gross of $3.5 million and a 6th place finish.
Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time posted a ridiculous hold last week, dropping only 14.2%. I have to think with Grown Ups and Knight and Day opening this weekend, that it will have a much bigger drop this weekend. I’m predicting a drop of 39%, which will give the film a gross of $3.4 million, making it the 7th place film.
Killers will face some competition as Knight and Day is definitely a direct competitor to it this weekend. I’m predicting a drop of 47%, which will give Killers a gross of $2.7 million and a 8th place finish.
Shrek Forever After should suffer another large drop, as I’m predicting it will be off 59% from last weekend, giving it a gross of $2.3 million and a 9th place finish.
Jonah Hex is going to take a big hit this weekend, as I’m predicting a 65% drop and a gross of $1.9 million giving it the 10th spot at the box office. There is an outside chance that Iron Man 2 will round out the top ten, and have Jonah Hex be out of the top ten in only its second weekend. We’ll have to wait and see if that happens.
Opening in limited release, we have the following films:
Restrepo – This film takes a look at some U.S. soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. This film does not have a theatre count and has a 94% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Dogtooth – This film is a dark-comedy about teens that rebel against their parents. This film does not have a theatre count and has an 89% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes
Wild Grass – This film is a comedy that is about the French New Wave and a lost wallet (strange bedfellows I know). This film does not have a theatre count and has a 76% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes
South of the Border – This film is from Oliver Stone and takes a look at the different movements (political and social) going on in South America. This film does not have a theatre count and has a 67% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
Toy Story 3 – $71.2 million – 35%
Grown Ups – $36 million
Knight and Day – $26 million
The Karate Kid – $17.9 million – 40%
The A-Team – $7.9 million – 45%