Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of February 11th, 2011

Four new films come out this weekend and one of them will definitely be the new number one movie in the land, dethroning the current box office champion The Roommate. The new films are the Adam Sandler//Jennifer Aniston comedy Just Go With It, the animated adventure Gnomeo and Juliet, the Channing Tatum//Jamie Bell adventure epic The Eagle and the Justin Bieber documentary//concert film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. Nothing major comes out in limited release, but hopefully the major new releases will awaken a slumping box office. Here’s how I see the weekend breaking down:

Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston team up for the first time in the film Just Go With It. The plot surrounds Sandler and Aniston playing co-workers who have to act like they are about to become a divorced couple, so Sandler can be with his new girlfriend. The premise sounds a little lame, but don’t underestimate Sandler. He has conquered the Valentine’s weekend before (The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates) and he’s in line to do it again. Sandler is a box office machine, and Aniston, when put in the proper film, can also be a strong performer at the box office. See below:

1998 – The Wedding Singer – $18.8 million opening weekend
1998 – The Waterboy – $39.4 million opening weekend
1999 – Big Daddy – $41.5 million opening weekend
2000 – Little Nicky – $16 million opening weekend
2002 – Mr. Deeds – $37.1 million opening weekend
2003 – Anger Management – $42.2 million opening weekend
2004 – Along Came Polly – $27.7 million opening weekend
2004 – 50 First Dates – $39.8 million opening weekend
2005 – The Longest Yard – $47.6 million opening weekend
2006 – The Break-Up – $39.1 million opening weekend
2006 – Click – $40 million opening weekend
2007 – I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry – $34.2 million opening weekend
2008 – You Don’t Mess with the Zohan – $38.5 million opening weekend
2008 – Bedtime Stories – $27.4 million opening weekend
2009 – Funny People – $22.6 million opening weekend
2010 – The Bounty Hunter – $20.6 million opening weekend
2010 – Grown Ups – $40.5 million opening weekend

Average Opening Weekend – $33.7 million

I think that Just Go With It will open a little higher than the average, only because of the perfect timing of the Valentine’s Day weekend. Audiences will not care about what critics have to say on the film, and that’s a good thing because Rotten Tomatoes has it listed at 23% positive as of this writing. Opening in 3,548 theatres, I’m predicting that Just Go With It will gross $39 million and finish in 1st place.
Young girls will have “Bieber Fever” this weekend as the documentary//concert film

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never opens in 3,105 theatres. The film follows the rise of Bieber from a small-town boy in Stratford, Ontario, who got discovered on YouTube and is now a pop music phenomenon. The film reminds me of some recent films by pop singers, so I decided to use those when coming up with my comparison. The films are:

2008 – Hannah Montana//Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour – $31.1 million opening weekend
2009 – Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience – $12.5 million opening weekend
2009 – Michael Jackson’s This Is It – $23.2 million opening weekend

Average Opening Weekend – $22.3 million

I think the average is a good indicator of how Justin Bieber: Never Say Never will open. The one thing that might throw off my prediction is that two of the three films listed above have the power of Disney behind them, and that makes a huge difference when it comes to marketing (Paramount is releasing Justin Bieber: Never Say Never). I’m predicting that Justin Bieber: Never Say Never will finish in 2nd place with a gross of $27 million.

Gnomeo and Juliet is an animated take of Shakespeare’s classic featuring battling garden gnomes that have children who are in love with each other (I’m also going to assume the ending has been changed as I can’t see a “G” rated animated film based on the famous play ending tragically). The film is not supported by a major player in the animation world and is being released in 2,994 theatres by Touchstone Pictures. I decided to look at recent animated films that were not released by the major players in animation, and here are the films I came up with when making my prediction:

2005 – Hoodwinked – $12.5 million opening weekend
2007 – Happily N’Ever After – $6.6 million opening weekend
2008 – Space Chimps – $7.1 million opening weekend
2010 – Alpha and Omega – $9.1 million opening weekend

Average Opening Weekend – $8.8 million

Not a strong debut at all. Gnomeo and Juliet will debut in some 3-D screens, but as Sanctum proved last weekend, that doesn’t mean a thing when it comes to audiences anymore. Reviews have been mixed with Rotten Tomatoes listing the film at 53% positive as of this writing. Therefore, I’m predicting that Gnomeo and Juliet will gross $8.8 million (the exact average of my four films used in my predictions) and finish in 3rd place.

The Eagle is the final new release of the weekend and it is an action film that stars Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell. Set in Roman-ruled Britain, the plot follows Tatum’s character trying to redeem his family’s name by going on a quest with his slave to find the missing Eagle of the Ninth. If he can find it, he will restore honor to everyone in his family. Focus Features is releasing the film, but it doesn’t look like they have much faith in it as they are only releasing it in 2,296 theatres. It was hard to come up with low budget period films to help make my predictions, but I found a few. Here are the films I used to come up with my prediction:

2007 – Pathfinder – $5 million opening weekend
2011 – Season of the Witch – $10.6 million opening weekend

Average Opening Weekend – $7.8 million

The two films listed above have a supernatural element to them that The Eagle does not, so they are not the best comparison films in the world. Rotten Tomatoes has The Eagle listed at 36% positive as of this writing, so critics are not supporting the film. I’m assuming The Eagle is getting released as counter-programming to the Valentine’s Day films, but I think it is a bad move as men won’t have much of a say in what they want to see this weekend (Hey – It’s Valentine’s Day, so we know that, if they know what’s good for them, men will listen to their girlfriends and wives when it comes to movie selection this weekend). I’m predicting that The Eagle will gross $5.6 million and finish in 7th place.

With Just Go With It, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and Gnomeo and Juliet entering the top five, I’m predicting that Sanctum, No Strings Attached and The Green Hornet will be leaving the top five. Here is how I see the rest of the films breaking down:

The King’s Speech will continue to play well with adults this weekend and it does make a good Valentine’s Day film for couples to see. The acclaimed film (and some might say Oscar front runner over The Social Network) will drop 17% from last weekend, giving the film a gross of $6.4 million and a 4th place finish.

The Roommate will follow the pattern of most horror films and suffer a big drop this weekend. The Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly film should drop 61% (the fact that a horror film goes into its second weekend on Valentine’s Day does not help matters at all) and give the film a gross of $5.85 million and finish in 5th place.

No Strings Attached should do all right, with it being a romantic-comedy that is in theatres during the Valentine’s Day weekend. I’m predicting a drop of 27%, giving No Strings Attached a gross of $5.8 million and a 6th place finish.

Sanctum will drop a steep 55% giving the film a gross of $4.2 million and an 8th place finish.

The Green Hornet will drop 42%, giving the film a gross of $3.4 million and a 9th place finish.

True Grit should round out the top ten as I’m predicting a drop of 35% giving the film a gross of $2.9 million.

In limited release:

2011 Oscar Shorts – This is a compilation of all the films that are nominated in the following categories: Best Documentary Short, Best Animated Short, Best Live Action Short. It is being released in 95 theatres and they do not have a rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

– This film is about a personal injury lawyer and a doctor who begin to strike up a relationship, but his past threatens their relationship as well as the way he does business. Carancho is being released in 2 theatres and has a 73% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

Cedar Rapids – This film stars Ed Helms, Anne Heche and John C. Reilly and is about an insurance salesman who is representing his company at a convention and lets loose for the first time in his life. Cedar Rapids is being released in 15 theatres and has an 87% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

Orgasm Inc. – This is a documentary about the female orgasm and about how drug companies are trying to create a new drug to treat Female Sexual Dysfunction. It is soon discovered that the pharmaceutical companies may not have people’s health as their primary interest, and it may be about making a large amount of money. The pharmaceutical companies are all in a big race to get the first FDA approved Female Sexual Dysfunction cure on shelves. Orgasm Inc. is being released in 2 theatres and has an 89% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

The Sky Turns (El Cielo Gira) – This documentary is about the end of a village, as only 14 people live in a tiny town and soon they will all die off and the village will be no more. The Sky Turns (El Cielo Gira) is being released in 1 theatre and has a 100% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

So to recap, here are my predictions:

Just Go With It – $39 million
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never – $27 million
Gnomeo and Juliet – $8.8 million
The King’s Speech – $6.4 million
The Roommate – $5.85 million

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

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