Three new films come out this weekend with the goal of dethroning Inception from the top of the box office. Dinner for Schmucks will be going after adults, Charlie St. Cloud targets teenagers, while kids have Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. Unfortunately for the new films, none of them have a hope of knocking Inception from the top of the box office and all three new releases will be in for a tough fight just to be the #2 film. Here’s how I think the box office will break down this weekend.
Steve Carell and Paul Rudd team up for the comedy Dinner for Schmucks. This is a remake of a popular French film, where high-powered businessmen hold a party where each person is responsible for bringing an idiot with them to watch the fireworks unfold over dinner. I like Carell and Rudd, but for the most part, their films are only moderate hits. Here are some of the films that I’m using to make my prediction for the film:
2010 – Date Night – $25.2 million opening weekend
2009 – I Love You, Man – $17.8 million opening weekend
2008 – Role Model – $19.1 million opening weekend
2007 – Evan Almighty – $31.1 million opening weekend
Average opening weekend – $23.3 million opening weekend
I think the average opening weekend is an excellent gauge in this case, as I would argue that Tina Fey has more star power than Paul Rudd, so I don’t think that Dinner for Schmucks will have an opening weekend as big as Date Night, but I do think the film should be able to gross more than $20 million. Grown Ups is the most popular comedy in theatres right now, but it was in 8th place last weekend, and is nearing the end of its run, so the timing of a new comedy is perfect. Rotten Tomatoes is giving Dinner for Schmucks mixed reviews, as the film is listed at 53% positive. Still I think people will turn out for the film as Carell and Rudd are actors that people like, and although the premise and ad campaigns for the film are not great, both actors have some buzz after their performance in “The Decision” at the ESPY Awards. Opening in 2,911 theatres, I’m predicting that Dinner for Schmucks will gross $24 million and finish in 2nd place.
Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore is unleashed on theatres this weekend, and this time the dogs and cats are working together to bring down a common enemy. It’s easy to dismiss this film, but it does have a couple of things going for it. First, it is a sequel, albeit of a film that came out in 2001, so there is a fan base. Second, it’s in 3-D, which increases the ticket price, which increases the final gross. Three, it’s getting an ultra-wide release of 3,705 theatres. Talking animal films can be extremely hit and miss, but when they hit, they hit big. See below:
2010 – Marmaduke – $11.5 million opening weekend
2010 – Furry Vengeance – $6.6 million opening weekend
2009 – G-Force – $31.7 million opening weekend
2008 – Beverly Hills Chihuahua – $29.3 million opening weekend
2007 – Underdog – $11.5 million opening weekend
2001 – Cats and Dogs – $21.7 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $18.7 million
The 3-D showings and the amount of theatres the film is being released in are big pluses for the film, but the fact is that this is a franchise that no one cares about, and waiting nine years to make a sequel is not usually a smart move (unless you’re Pixar). Reviews for the film have not been strong, as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 21% positive. Kids films are usually critic proof, but Despicable Me and Toy Story 3 are going to hold back Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore from making a lot of money. I’m predicting that Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore will finish in 4th place and gross $17 million.
The other new release this weekend is Zac Efron’s Charlie St. Cloud. The film deals with a teenager giving up on his dreams and not being able to cope with his younger brother’s death. Soon, a woman enters his life and seems to turn his it around, but should he start a life with her, or will he stay behind to grieve for his brother. There is a supernatural element to the film as Efron’s character keeps seeing his dead brother, and the film does have a decent supporting cast in Ray Liotta and Kim Basinger. Unfortunately, the film has two major things working against it:
1) Zac Efron does not have enough star power to bring in audiences outside of comedies. 17 Again proved he could do all right in the proper film (It had an opening weekend gross of $23.7 million), but Efron is doing a role that audiences are not used to seeing him in, and audiences usually like to see actors in roles they are used too.
2) The reviews are horrendous, and they play a big factor in dramas. Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 9% positive from 35 reviews.
Of the three new wide releases this weekend, Charlie St. Cloud is getting the smallest release as it is being shown in 2,720 theatres. I think the film will find a bigger audience on DVD than it will in theatres, and that is why I’m predicting a 6th place finish, and a gross of $8 million.
With Dinner for Schmucks and Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore making the top five, I’m predicting that The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Toy Story 3 will be knocked out of the top five. Here’s how I see rest of the top five unfolding:
Inception has really been the most talked about movie of the summer. Iron Man 2 and Toy Story 3 have made more money at this point, but Inception is the film that is the talk around water coolers, and has been dominating the media when it comes to the topic of movies. It’s been having no problem doing strong business during the week, so I’m predicting a 31% drop this weekend, giving Inception a gross of $29.5 million and a 1st place finish.
Salt had a very impressive debut last weekend, and has quickly asserted itself as the action film to see (I still don’t think anyone saw Salt outperforming Knight and Day and The A-Team). It’s been the number two film consistently during the week, and word-of-mouth is good on the film, so I’m not expecting a big drop. For comparison, here are the percentage drops that Knight and Day and The A-Team suffered on their second weekend:
2010 – Knight and Day – 48.1% second weekend drop
2010 – The A-Team – 43.9% second weekend drop
Average Second Weekend Drop – 46%
Considering Salt is doing better than the two film listed above, I think the drop will be smaller for Salt. I’m predicting a drop of 38% which will give Salt a gross of $22.3 million and a 3rd place finish.
Gru and his Minions will round out the top five as I’m predicting that Despicable Me will drop 34% giving it a gross of $15.6 million and a 5th place finish.
Toy Story 3 will be the number seven film, as I’m predicting a drop of 31% giving it a gross of $6.2 million.
Opening in limited release, we have the following films:
Get Low – This film stars Robert Duvall and Bill Murray and is about a man who stages his own funeral. The film does not have an official theatre count and has a 91% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Smash His Camera – This is a documentary about the life of Ron Galella, who was one of the first paparazzi. The film does not have an official theatre count and has an 86% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Enemies of the People – This film is a documentary that takes a look at the Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia. The film does not have an official theatre count and has an 83% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes
The Dry Land – This film stars Ryan O’Neal and America Ferrara and is about a war veteran dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This film is being released in 5 theatres and has a 57% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
The Concert – This film is a comedy about an orchestra getting together for one more concert. This film is being released in 2 theatres and has a 57% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel – The title says it all. It’s a documentary about the man behind Playboy magazine. This film does not have an official theatre count and has a 50% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
The Extra Man – Another film that stars Robert Duvall. This film is about a young man played by Paul Dano who rents a room from an old man (Duvall) and the relationship that forms because of it. This film does not have an official theatre count and has a 41% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Who Killed Nancy – This documentary follows the life and death of Sid Vicious’s girlfriend Nancy Spungen. This film does not have an official theatre count and has a 21% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Helen – This film stars Ashley Judd and follows her characters struggle with depression. This film does not have an official theatre count and has a 20% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
Inception – $29.5 million
Dinner for Schmucks – $24 million
Salt – $22.3 million
Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore – $17 million
Despicable Me – $15.6 million
Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!