Three new films targeting very different demographics debut in theatres this weekend and they look to defeat The Town and become the box office champion. Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga’Hoole targets kids, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps goes after men and You Again goes after woman. The Town has a solid chance to repeat as well, so there are no easy picks this week. Here’s how I see the weekend breaking down:
Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga’Hoole is based on a popular children’s book and comes to the big screen courtesy of director Zack Snyder. The film follows an owl who dreams of becoming a great warrior and goes on a quest to find the Guardians, who will help him defeat an evil group of owls. Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga’Hoole is a tough film to predict because it is an animated film being released in September, which is not usually a good sign. It comes from a studio (Warner Bros.) that is not known for their animated films, and reviews are mixed, with Rotten Tomatoes listing the film at 50% positive. On the plus side, the film is getting the widest release out of any of the new releases with a theatre count of 3,575, and is is being released in 3-D and in IMAX 3-D, which will definitely help its bottom line. The consensus is that the visuals of the film are amazing, while the story slows the film down. Still, Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga’Hoole should have a strong debut, and I’m predicting a 1st place finish and a gross of $31 million this weekend.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a sequel to the 1987 film that continues the story of Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas. Gekko gets out of prison and quickly begins to work his way back to becoming a power player on Wall Street. He ends up meeting a young man, played by Shia LaBeouf, who is dating Gekko’s daughter, and begins mentoring him. The daughter has had a falling out with her dad and does not like him re-entering his life, as she knows when things end, they will only end badly. The film is once again directed by Oliver Stone and if I can promise you one thing about the film, it is that it will make more in its opening weekend then the original did back in 1987 (which was $4.1 million). Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is geared towards adults so reviews usually have to be good for them to spend their money, but unfortunately, the reviews for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps are mixed with Rotten Tomatoes listing the film at 56% positive. The film is receiving a very high theatre count of 3,565, and that should push it to 2nd place finish, and a gross of $19 million.
Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver and Betty White star in the comedy You Again. The film follows Kristen Bell’s character dealing with the fact that her brother is marrying her arch-rival from high school, which she cannot deal with. Things get even more complicated when the families meet, and Bell’s mother, played Jamie Lee Curtis, realizes that the mother of the bride is also her arch-rival from high school. Can everyone sort out their differences in time? I think we all know the answer, but the better question is whether or not the film is worth seeing? Critics say no, as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 18%. You Again is also not receiving a very high theatre count compared to the two other new releases this weekend as the film is being shown in 2,548 theatres. I’m predicting a 5th place finish, and a gross of $9 million.
With Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga’Hoole, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and You Again making the top five, I’m predicting that Devil, Resident Evil: Afterlife and Alpha and Omega will be knocked out of the top five. Here’s how I see rest of the top five unfolding:
The Town had a very strong debut in its first weekend, and Warner Bros. is hoping that strong word-of-mouth will make this the film that adults will want to see over Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps this weekend. The Town is looking to post a low decline this weekend, and if we use the films that I made my prediction with, it has a very good chance to post a strong hold. See below:
2003 – Mystic River – 25.4% second weekend drop in wide release
2007 – Gone Baby Gone – 30.6% second weekend drop in wide release
Average Second Weekend Drop – 28%
The Town will suffer a little higher drop than that, but it is still a very respectable hold. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps will have a higher gross this weekend, only because of the high theatre count it has over The Town (a difference of around 700 theatres). I’m predicting a drop of 38%, giving The Town a gross of $14.7 million and a 3rd place finish.
Easy A was a major surprise last weekend, and like The Town it is hoping strong word-of-mouth will make people continue to see it over its competition this weekend in You Again. I think the chances are very good that Easy A will have a strong hold as I’ll again use the films from last weekend that helped me make my prediction for Easy A and how much they dropped on their second weekend. They are:
1995 – Clueless – 33.8% second weekend drop
1999 – 10 Things I Hate About You – 39.4% second weekend drop
2004 – The Girl Next Door – 54.1% second weekend drop
2006 – She’s The Man – 32% second weekend drop
Average Second Weekend Drop – 39.8%
I’m predicting that Easy A will suffer a drop of 43% this weekend, giving it a gross of $10 million and a 4th place finish, which will place it higher than You Again.
Devil did not have a strong debut, and horror films tend to suffer big second weekend drops, so the question this weekend will be how big a drop will Devil suffer? I’m predicting that Devil drops 60% giving it a gross of $4.8 million and a 6th place finish.
Resident Evil: Afterlife looks to have a better hold this weekend than last, but history has shown that this franchise is front loaded and quickly loses its audience. Here is how the franchise has done on its third weekend:
2002 – Resident Evil – 56.2% third weekend drop
2004 – Resident Evil: Apocalypse – 53.4% third weekend drop
2007 – Resident Evil: Extinction – 43.7% third weekend drop
Average Third Weekend Drop – 51.1%
Resident Evil: Afterlife will probably have a higher drop than the average listed above as it is a sequel and it will be losing 3-D screens to Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga’Hoole. I’m predicting a 54% drop, which gives the film a gross of $4.6 million and a 7th place finish.
Alpha and Omega will be in big trouble this weekend as animation fans will want to see Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga’Hoole over the wolf film. I’m predicting a drop of 65%, which will give Alpha and Omega a gross of $3.1 million and an 8th place finish.
Opening in limited release, we have the following films:
The Virginity Hit – This mockumentary follows the adventures of a bunch of teenagers as one of them is trying to lose his virginity, while his buddy wants to record it for posterity. The film is being released in 700 theatres and has a 31% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Buried – This film stars Ryan Reynolds and is about a man being buried in a desert. The catch is that the film takes place in the coffin where the man is buried. Not for people who are claustrophobic. The film is being released in 11 theatres and has an 86% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Enter the Void – This film is from director Gaspar Noe and is a drama about clubs in Tokyo. The film is being released in 3 theatres and has a 73% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger – This film is directed by Woody Allen and is an ensemble comedy-drama about people getting into and out of relationships. This film will be released in 6 theatres and has a 46% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Howl – This film stars James Franco and is about beat writer Allen Ginsberg’s early life. This film will be released in 6 theatres and has a 45% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
“Waiting” for Superman – This documentary chronicles the problems of the American public school system. This film will be released in 4 theatres and has a 91% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga’Hoole – $31 million
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – $19 million
The Town – $14.7 million
Easy A – $10 million
You Again – $9 million
Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!