Three new films open this weekend with the hopes of dethroning Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps from the top of the box office. Two films are actually going to battle each other while the other has its sights set on the champion. The three new films are the following: The Social Network which tells the story of how Facebook came to be; Let Me In which is a horror re-make about the friendship between a young boy and a young girl who is not quite like other girls (trust me, this is not a family film); and Case 39 which stars Renee Zellweger as a social worker who takes in a child that has a dark secret. Here’s how I see the weekend breaking down:
The Social Network has quite the pedigree. It is directed by David Fincher, it has a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin and stars Jesse Eisenberg. Eisenberg plays Mark Zuckerberg who creates a social networking site while in university. The site gains popularity but questions arise about whether Zuckerberg created it or stole the idea. The Social Network is getting the widest release of the week, as it is debuting in 2,771 theatres, but four other movies have a higher theatre count. Here’s hoping those theatres are packed as the critics are raving about the film as Rotten Tomatoes lists the film at 98% positive. When coming up for similar films, I decided to use the works of Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher. Here’s my list:
2008 – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – $26.8 million opening weekend
2007 – Charlie Wilson’s War – $9.6 million opening weekend
2007 – Zodiac – $13.3 million opening weekend
2002 – Panic Room – $30 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $19.9 million
I think the solid reviews will help the film get over $20 million, and even though Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was released last week, I think audiences are still in the mood for a drama, especially one about Facebook. I’m predicting that The Social Network will open in 1st place with $27 million.
Case 39 stars Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper and is a film that has been sitting on Paramount’s shelf for quite awhile. The premise follows Zellweger’s character taking in a troubled girl who was abused by her parents, but Zellweger soon discovers that things aren’t always what they appear to be. The film is getting terrible reviews as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 21% positive. The only comparison I could think of for the film was 2009’s Orphan which had an opening weekend gross of $12.8 million. There is absolutely no way that Case 39 hits double digits on its opening weekend. Debuting in 2,211 theatres (a sign that Paramount Vantage has no faith in the film with the low theatre count); I’m predicting that Case 39 opens with $7 million and finishes in 6th place.
Let Me In is directed by Matt Reeves of Cloverfield fame and the film is a remake of the Swedish film Let the Right One In. The film follows the friendship between a young boy and a young girl, except the girl is hiding a secret from the boy. I don’t want to spoil too much, as I don’t think many people know about this film unless they are fans of the Swedish version. Overture is releasing the picture but they are not giving it a big release, as it is only getting a release of 2,020 theatres. Reviews have been surprisingly positive (I say surprisingly because remakes usually are not the type of films that critics like) as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 84% positive. The low theatre count will hurt the film from being a big hit at the box office, but I’m predicting a gross of $9 million and a 4th place finish.
With The Social Network and Let Me In making the top five, I’m predicting that Easy A and You Again will be knocked out of the top five. Here’s how I see rest of the top five unfolding:
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps will not be repeating as box office champion and we’ll see how the word-of-mouth is on the film, because I don’t think it is very strong (remember – Fox moved this picture to September from the spring because the early buzz was negative). The story of how Facebook came to be is something that I think moviegoers would much prefer to see, even though Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a timely film dealing with the economy. The fact is that more people care about Facebook than the economy, at least that’s how I think most people feel. I’m predicting a drop of 55%, which will give Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps a gross of $8.55 million and a 5th place finish.
Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga’Hoole had a disappointing debut weekend, so it is hoping for better results this weekend. It is the only major release in 3-D (Resident Evil: Afterlife is nearing the end of its run already) so that has to help its chances, and it did not lose any theatres this weekend, so the chances for a small drop are strong. I’m predicting that Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga’Hoole will drop 33%, giving it a gross of $10.7 million and a 2nd place finish.
The Town had a very strong hold in its second weekend, but it is going to lose some of the adult audience to The Social Network this weekend. Still, for comparison purposes, let’s see how the films I used to make my prediction last week did in their third weekend:
2003 – Mystic River – 20% third weekend drop in wide release
2007 – Gone Baby Gone – 41.4% third weekend drop in wide release
Average Second Weekend Drop – 30.7%
The Town will suffer a little higher drop than that, but should post a hold below 40%. I’m predicting a drop of 37%, giving The Town a gross of $9.8 million and a 3rd place finish.
Easy A continues to be a major surprise at the box office and posted a strong hold last weekend. It also helps that the film is the only comedy that audiences are interested in right now. I think it will post another strong hold because of that, as I’m predicting a drop of 35%, giving Easy A a gross of $6.89 million and 7th place finish.
You Again will drop 54% giving it a gross of $3.8 million and an 8th place finish.
Devil will drop 57% giving it a gross of $2.8 million and a 9th place finish.
Resident Evil: Afterlife will round out the top ten, but for fun, here’s how the franchise did in its fourth weekend:
2002 – Resident Evil – 45.3% fourth weekend drop
2004 – Resident Evil: Apocalypse – 42.8% fourth weekend drop
2007 – Resident Evil: Extinction – 41.5% fourth weekend drop
Average Fourth Weekend Drop – 43.2%
I’m predicting that Resident Evil: Afterlife will drop 45% this weekend giving it a gross of $2.7 million.
Opening in limited release, we have the following films:
Nuremberg – This documentary is about the famous Nazi war crimes tribunal. This film does not have an official theatre count and has a 100% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Ip Man – This documentary is about the creator of a type of kung fu called “wing chun”. This film does not have an official theatre count and has an 82% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Leaving – This film stars Kristin Scott Thomas and is about a bored housewife who has an affair. The film is being released in 2 theatres and has a 79% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Freakonomics – This documentary is based on the acclaimed book by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. This film will be released in 20 theatres and has a 52% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Douchebag – This film is about a man going on a quest to find his 5th grade girlfriend. This film does not have an official theatre count and has a 45% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Barry Munday – This film stars Patrick Wilson and follows the comedic trials and tribulations of a would-be ladies man. This film will be released in 1 theatre and has a 29% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Hatchet II – A sequel to the cult-horror film continues were the first one left off (Hint – People die by way of hatchets). This film does not have an official theatre count and has a 24% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
The Social Network – $27 million
Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga’Hoole – $10.7 million
The Town – $9.8 million
Let Me In – $9 million
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – $8.55 million
Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!