Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of November 12th, 2010

Three new films open this weekend with the hopes of dethroning Megamind from the top spot. I’m sure the new releases would be happy to even finish ahead of Due Date as I expect a tight battle between these films in the quest to be crowned box office champion. The new films are the dramedy Morning Glory, the sci-fi adventure Skyline and the runaway train film Unstoppable. Here is how I see the weekend breaking down:

Unstoppable is the highest profile release of the week and it once again re-teams actor Denzel Washington with director Tony Scott. Continuing on their theme of railroads (their last film was the remake of The Taking of Pelham 123), Denzel teams up with Chris Pine to try and stop a runaway train from tearing up the track and killing an entire neighbourhood. Washington and Scott films are pretty solid performers at the box office, and here’s how they have done on their opening weekend:
2009 – The Taking of Pelham 123 – Opening Weekend – $23.3 million
2006 – Déjà Vu – Opening Weekend – $20.5 million
2004 – Man of Fire – Opening Weekend – $22.7 million

1995 – Crimson Tide – Opening Weekend – $18.6 million

Average Opening Weekend – $21.2 million opening weekend

Reviews have been positive as Rotten Tomatoes is listing the film at 90% positive and I think the marketing has been strong enough to get people into the theatres. Opening in 3,207 theatres, I’m predicting that Unstoppable will have a bigger debut than the average that is listed above. I believe that Unstoppable will gross $31 million, and finish in 1st place.

Skyline is a sci-fi adventure about an alien invasion on Earth. What intrigues me is that it is a low-budget sci-fi film with a no-name cast (which in a way reminds me of Cloverfield) and is about aliens who invade Earth (which in a way reminds me of a low budget version of Independence Day, mainly because of the alien space craft hovering over cities). The directors of the film are the Strause brothers, whose only other credit is directing 2007’s Alien vs. Predator: Requiem. That film had an opening weekend gross of $10 million. I think Skyline will have a better opening weekend as the marketing has been strong, even if the reviews have not been as Rotten Tomatoes lists Skyline at 33% positive (from only 6 reviews as of this writing). Opening in 2,880 theatres, I’m predicting that Skyline will gross $18 million and finish in 4th place.
Morning Glory is the final new release of the weekend (technically it opened on Wednesday). This film stars Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton and is about a young TV producer who tries to bring a dated morning show back to the top of the ratings. The cast is strong and so is the pedigree of the people behind the scenes. Roger Michell is the director (he directed Notting Hill), Aline Brosh McKenna wrote the script (he wrote the screenplay for The Devil Wears Prada) and J.J. Abrams is a producer. McAdams is being tested on her leading actress box office draw with this film, so we’ll see if it performs better or worse than some of her other films on their opening weekend:

2009 – The Time Traveler’s Wife – $18.6 million opening weekend
2005 – The Family Stone – $12.5 million opening weekend
2005 – Red Eye – $16.1 million opening weekend
2004 – The Notebook – $13.4 million opening weekend

Average Opening Weekend – $15.15 million

When it opened on Wednesday, it finished in 3rd place for the day with a gross of $1.067 million, so I don’t think it’s going to set the box office on fire, and my gut tells me it will open below the average above. Critics think the film is all right with Rotten Tomatoes listing the film at 56% positive, but I don’t think the marketing has been all that strong for the film. Opening in 2,518 theatres, I’m predicting that Morning Glory will gross $12 million and finish in 5th place.

With Unstoppable, Skyline and Morning Glory making the top five, I’m predicting that Red, Saw 3-D and For Colored Girls will be knocked out of the top five. Here’s how I see rest of the top five unfolding:

Megamind looks to repeat as box office champion, and it will be in a battle with Unstoppable. I don’t know what the legs for Megamind will be like because Due Date actually beat it at the box office on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week. Having said that, children usually come out in droves on the weekends with their parents to see animated films, so I think it will hold up pretty well in its second weekend, but not well enough to repeat as box office champion. For fun, here’s a look at Dreamworks Animation’s non-Shrek films and how they performed on their second weekend:

2010 – How to Train Your Dragon – 33.7% second weekend drop
2009 – Monsters vs. Aliens – 45% second weekend drop
2008 – Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – 44.5% second weekend drop
2008 – Kung-Fu Panda – 44.2% second weekend drop
2007 – Bee Movie – 32.8% second weekend drop
2006 – Over The Hedge – 29.6% second weekend drop
2005 – Madagascar – 40.5% second weekend drop
2004 – Shark Tale – 34.2% second weekend drop

Average Second Weekend Drop – 34.3%

Megamind will probably have a higher drop than the average listed above, as I’m predicting a drop of 43% giving Megamind a gross of $26.2 million and a 2nd place finish.

Due Date had a very strong debut last weekend, and has been the #1 film over the course of the week, which is good news for the R-Rated comedy. I think word of mouth is strong on the film, which should give it a solid hold this weekend, as I’m predicting a drop of 33%, giving Due Date a gross of $21.8 million and a 3rd place finish.

For Colored Girls had a solid Tyler Perry debut in that it had a high per theatre average and delivered a box office result that has come to be expected for a Tyler Perry directed film. The question now is how well will For Colored Girls hold this weekend now that Perry’s audience has been served? If history tells us anything, it is that a big drop is about to happen for the film. See below:

2010 – Why Did I Get Married Too? – 62.4% second weekend drop
2009 – I Can Do Bad All by Myself – 57.9% second weekend drop
2009 – Madea Goes to Jail – 60.6% second weekend drop
2008 – The Family That Preys – 58.2% second weekend drop
2008 – Meet the Browns – 62.7% second weekend drop
2007 – Why Did I Get Married? – 42.9% second weekend drop
2007 – Daddy’s Little Girls – 57% second weekend drop
2006 – Madea’s Family Reunion – 57.9% second weekend drop

Average Second Weekend Drop – 57.45%

I think that average is exactly around where For Colored Girls will end up as I’m predicting a drop of 58% , giving For Colored Girls a gross of $8.1 million and a 6th place finish.

Red has really been a major surprise this fall in how well it has been holding up each weekend. This weekend, I’m predicting that Red will drop 31%, giving it a gross of $5.9 million and a 7th place finish.

Paranormal Activity 2 should have another big drop this weekend as the interest in horror films is gone now until the new year. I’m predicting a drop of 55%, giving Paranormal Activity 2 a gross of $3.15 million and a 8th place finish.

Saw 3-D will also suffer a large drop this weekend for the same reason listed above with Paranormal Activity 2, in that audiences don’t want to see horror films until the New Year. Dramatic fair and blockbusters are the films to see between now and Christmas. I’m predicting a drop of 61%, giving Saw 3-D a gross of $3 million and a 9th place finish.

10th place will be quite the battle as three films are all looking to stay in the top ten, and I’m picking a little bit of an underdog to make the cut. The three films are Jackass 3-D, Hereafter and Secretariat. Here’s how I think the three films will do:

I’m predicting a 31% drop for Hereafter giving it a gross of $2.76 million and a 10th place finish.

I’m predicting a 45% drop for Jackass 3-D giving it a gross of $2.69 million and an 11th place finish.

I’m predicting a 31% drop for Secretariat giving it a gross of $2.64 million and a 12th place finish.

There are no major films opening in limited release this weekend:

So to recap, here are my predictions:

Unstoppable – $31 million
Megamind – $26.2 million
Due Date – $21.8 million
Skyline – $18 million
Morning Glory – $12 million

Remember to check back on Sunday to see how I did!

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