Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of December 31st, 2010

No new films are coming out in wide release this weekend, so it is going to be a battle of two holdovers – True Grit and Little Fockers. In fact, there should not be much change in the box office overall as many people treat this weekend as a long weekend with New Year’s Day falling on a Saturday. Expect to see slightly higher intakes or small declines from last weekend. Two smaller films get released this weekend and both are hoping to be around come Oscar time. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are receiving great reviews for their performances in Blue Valentine while Mike Leigh brings us his latest effort Another Year. Here’s how I see the weekend breaking down:

True Grit finished in 2nd place last weekend, but I think it should be the #1 film this weekend. The strong reviews are a great sign for adult audiences and True Grit is such an appealing film with its cast of Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin and direction by the Coen Brothers that it is just begging for audiences to make it #1. Last weekend gave the Coen Brothers their highest grossing opening weekend ever with $24.8 million and if True Grit posts a strong enough hold, it could give the Coen Brothers their best second weekend ever. I’m predicting that True Grit drops 5% from last weekend, giving it a gross of $23.6 million and a 1st place finish.

Little Fockers debuted at #1 last weekend, but looks to drop to 2nd place this weekend. The comedy sequel has not been receiving great reviews and I think fans of the franchise went out and saw it on its opening weekend. There is a lot going against my prediction this weekend. Little Fockers has been the #1 film throughout the week, and True Grit and Tron: Legacy have not really been that close to it throughout the week. With Christmas over, and with family get-togethers being one of the plot devices used in Little Fockers, I just feel that people don’t want to see films that will make them laugh this weekend, and instead go and see the more “serious” choices that are out there. There is still hope for Little Fockers as the franchise history on the second weekend is very strong. See below:

2000 – Meet the Parents – $21.1 million second weekend / 26% second week drop
2004 – Meet the Fockers – $41.7 million second weekend / 9.5% second week drop

Average Second Weekend – $31.4 million
Average Second Weekend Percentage Drop – 17.75%

Meet the Fockers was released in December 2004 on the same weekend that Little Fockers was released this year, so I’ll be using Meet the Fockers as my benchmark. I think the drop will be around 25% for Little Fockers, which gives it a gross of $23.1 million, which gives it a 2nd place finish.

Tron: Legacy is definitely not the hit that Disney and for that matter, most audiences, hoped it would be so I’m predicting a drop of 15% and a gross $16.2 million giving Tron: Legacy a 3rd place finish.

I’m predicting that The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader will be one of the few films to show an uptick in business this weekend as I’m guessing a rise in gross of 9%, which will give The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader a gross of $10.25 million and a 4th place finish.

The Fighter will continue to benefit from strong word-of-mouth and tons of acclaim from many film critics (especially for Christian Bale’s performance), as I expect the film to improve 12% from its gross last weekend giving it a total of $8.5 million and a 5th place finish.

Yogi Bear is a film that I fear is going to screw up my predictions, and it will probably do better than I think it will. Kids will be a captive audience this weekend and it has been holding its own during the week, but I think the masses just don’t want to see the film. Therefore, I’m predicting that Yogi Bear will drop 5%, giving the film a gross of $7.4 million, and a 6th place finish.

Black Swan is a film that is still receiving a lot of buzz, especially with the news that Natalie Portman is pregnant and engaged to a man she met on Black Swan. This can only help its publicity. I think the film will do slightly more business than it did last weekend as I’m predicting Black Swan will see its gross go up 12% from last weekend, giving it a gross of $6.9 million and a 7th place finish.

Gulliver’s Travels is definitely one of, if the not “the”, biggest disappointments of the holiday season (How Do You Know could also lay claim to fame of that title). The film was an absolute misfire at the box office last weekend, but I will cut the film some slack since it really was only a two-day gross as Gulliver’s Travels opened on Saturday last weekend. I think audiences want this film out of theatres, and because of the fact that the film was only a two day gross last weekend, I think this weekend’s gross will be pretty similar. I’m predicting a drop of 2% giving Gulliver’s Travels a gross of $6.1 million and an 8th place finish.

Tangled is definitely a film that will be on a down slide soon, but for one more weekend it should be competitive as a middle of the pack film. What makes me rank Tangled so low is that it has been out for quite awhile and I doubt kids want to see the same film in the theatres again, and would prefer to see Yogi Bear instead. Therefore, I’m predicting a 9% drop for Tangled giving the film a gross of $5.8 million and a 9th place finish.

The King’s Speech should make its debut in the top ten this weekend by being the 10th place film. I’m predicting that the highly acclaimed film about King George VI of England overcoming his speech impediment that stars Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter will gross $4.8 million and finish in 10th place finish.

In limited release:

Blue Valentine – This film stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams and chronicles the course of a couples’ relationship over the years. Gosling and Williams might be receiving Oscar nominations for their work, so audiences will want to see what all the buzz is about. Blue Valentine is being released in 4 theatres and has a 94% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

Another Year – Mike Leigh’s latest film starts Jim Broadbent and is about another year in the life of an elderly couple. They are happy and content with their lives, but throughout the year the film takes place, some of their friends and family all seem to be having a bad year in some way. Mike Leigh films are always expected to generate interest from the critics and the early buzz on Another Year suggests we might see it get a nomination or two at this year’s Academy Awards. Another Year is being released in 6 theatres and has an 89% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

So to recap, here are my predictions:

True Grit – $23.6 million
Little Fockers – $23.1 million
Tron: Legacy – $16.2 million
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – $10.25 million
The Fighter – $8.5 million

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

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