Three films targeting three different demographics look to dethrone The Other Guys from the top of the box office. Females will be supporting Julia Roberts in the drama Eat Pray Love, men will be going to see Sylvester Stallone’s all-star action film The Expendables, while teenagers will be going to see Michael Cera’s new film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Here’s how I see the weekend breaking down:
The Expendables is being hyped as the most testosterone fueled movie of the summer. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke and Dolph Lundgren among others; the film is about a group of mercenaries who are hired to take out a ruthless dictator (just like in the good old days of 80’s action films). You don’t go and see films like this for the plot, you go to see films like this to see stuff blow up. Men are pumped to see this movie, but I think it has a lot going against it. For starters, none of the actors in the film are A-List stars who can generate a strong opening weekend at the box office. This summer has seen its fair share of box office flops from action films (The A-Team and Knight and Day spring to mind). Reviews are not going to draw anyone in as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 43% positive. When coming up with my prediction for the film, I took a look at the most recent films that had a strong male cast and the last two Sylvester Stallone films. Here’s how those films did on their opening weekend:
2010 – The A-Team – $25.6 million opening weekend
2010 – The Losers – $9.4 million opening weekend
2008 – Rambo – $18.2 million opening weekend
2006 – Rocky Balboa – $12.1 million opening weekend
Average opening weekend – $16.3 million
Nostalgia will play a big part this weekend as adults will want to relive their youth by seeing some of these action stars in one film together. For that reason, I think The Expendables will have a higher opening weekend than the average that is listed above. Debuting in 3,270 theatres (the highest of the three new releases this weekend); I’m predicting that The Expendables will open with $22 million for a 1st place finish.
Julia Roberts stars in the adaptation of the popular novel Eat Pray Love. The story follows Roberts’ character on a search of enlightenment after she going through a divorce. Her quest leads her to do some globe-trotting, learning about many cultures, eating different foods and of course falling in love. It will be very interesting to see how this film does this weekend because Julia Roberts does not have the star power that she once had. The last time when she was the main lead of a film was 2003’s Mona Lisa Smile and even though Javier Bardem is in Eat Pray Love, this film is a Julia Roberts film. To help draw in audiences, the ads are noting that the director is Ryan Murphy, who is responsible for the hit TV show Glee. Here are the films that I used in coming up with my prediction:
2009 – The Time Traveler’s Wife – $18.6 million opening weekend
2009 – Duplicity – $13.9 million opening weekend
2003 – Mona Lisa Smile – $11.5 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $14.6 million
The average is exactly where I think the film will finish. I say that because reviews have been negative with Rotten Tomatoes listing the film at 38% positive (who would have thought that The Expendables would have better reviews than Eat Pray Love?) and that will not attract new audiences. Fans of the book and Julia Roberts will come, but I don’t think this will be the comeback film Roberts was hoping for. Opening in 3,082 theatres, I’m predicting that Eat Pray Love will open with $16 million and finish in 3rd place.
The final major new release of the weekend is Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The film is based on the popular comics and it scores major geek cred with the casting of Michael Cera and the fact that Edgar Wright is directing the film (he of Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame). The plot follows Scott Pilgrim on his quest to win the heart of Ramona Flowers by defeating her seven evil ex-boyfriends. The film is fast and furious with tons of visual flare and action, and many many pop culture references. Here are the films that I used to come up with my prediction at the box office this weekend:
2010 – Kick-Ass – $19.8 million opening weekend
2010 – Youth in Revolt – $6.8 million opening weekend
2009 – Zombieland – $24.7 million opening weekend
2009 – Year One – $19.6 million opening weekend
2008 – Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – $11.3 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $16.4 million
Edgar Wright films are not big hits at the box office and tend to find a bigger audience on DVD. Michael Cera has also shown that he is not an actor that can open a film and his films also find a bigger audience on DVD. Logic tells me that I should expect Scott Pilgrim vs. the World to follow this pattern. Reviews have been great as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 78% positive, but I think the ad campaign is so strongly geared towards teens and young adults, that anyone over 30, unless they are a fan of Cera or Wright, will be turned off. Debuting in 2,818 theatres, I’m predicting that Scott Pilgrim vs. the World will gross $15 million giving it a 4th place finish.
With The Expendables, Eat Pray Love and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World making the top five, I’m predicting that Salt, Step Up 3-D and Dinner for Schmucks will be knocked out of the top five. Here’s how I see rest of the top five unfolding:
After the successful debut last weekend, can the Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg action-comedy The Other Guys show enough staying power to remain in 1st place? Here are the films that I used last weekend, and how big a drop they suffered on their second weekend:
2009 – Land of the Lost – 52.3% second weekend drop
2008 – Step Brothers – 46.7% second weekend drop
2008 – Semi-Pro – 61.6% second weekend drop
2008 – Max Payne – 55.8% second weekend drop
2007 – Blades of Glory – 31.8% second weekend drop
2007 – Shooter – 42.4% second weekend drop
2006 – Invincible – 28.7% second weekend drop
2006 – Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby – 53% second weekend drop
2005 – Four Brothers – 41% second weekend drop
2004 – Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy – 51.3% second weekend drop
2003 – The Italian Job – 32.4% second weekend drop
Average Second Weekend Drop – 45.1%
I think the strong reviews will help The Other Guys and that is why I think the percentage drop is right around where a comedy with good notices will be. I’m predicting that The Other Guys will drop 43%, giving it a gross of $20.2 million and a 2nd place finish.
Inception should be able to post another strong hold as it is the only thriller that is still relevant to movie-goers. I’m predicting a drop of 37%, giving Inception a gross of $11.6 million and a 5th place finish at the box office this weekend.
The dance film Step Up 3-D will suffer a sizeable drop this weekend, falling 53%, giving it a gross of $7.4 million and a 6th place finish.
Salt will finish in 7th place, as I’m predicting a drop of 47%, giving it a gross of $5.7 million.
Gru and his Minions will drop 45% giving Despicable Me a gross of $5 million and an 8th place finish.
Dinner for Schmucks will finish in 9th place, as I’m predicting a drop of 53%, giving it a gross of $4.7 million.
Cats and Dogs: the Revenge of Kitty Galore will finish in 10th place, as I’m predicting a drop of 46%, giving it a gross of $3.7 million.
Opening in limited release, we have the following films:
Animal Kingdom – Guy Pearce stars in this crime-drama about the Australian underworld. The film does not have an official theatre count and has a 93% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
The People I’ve Slept With – This film is a comedy about a promiscuous woman who gets pregnant and has to try and figure out who the daddy is. The film des not have an official theatre count and has yet to be reviewed at Rotten Tomatoes.
Tales From Earthsea – This animated film from filmmaker Goro Miyazaki (son of famous animator Hayao Miyazaki) follows the adventures of a wizard trying to find out the reason behind a disturbance in his magical world. The film will be released in 5 theatres and has a 48% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Neshoba – This documentary is about the murders of civil right activists in 1964. This film does not have a theatre count and has an 88% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Peepli Live – This film is a satire about Indian politics. This film does not have an official theatre count and has a 75% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Salt of the Sea – This film is about an American woman who goes on a journey to find more about her Palestinian roots. This film does not have an official theatre count and has a 33% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
La Soga – This film is about a hit man who loses his confidence. This film does not have an official theatre count and has a 25% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
The Expendables – $22 million
The Other Guys – $20.2 million
Eat Pray Love – $16 million
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – $15 million
Inception – $11.6 million
Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!