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

Three new releases enter theatres this weekend and all of them should be able to finish in the top five, but the question is will any of them dethrone Rango from the top spot at the box office? The three new films are the sci-fi action film Battle: Los Angeles, the Amanda Seyfried thriller Red Riding Hood and the animated sci-fi adventure Mars Needs Moms. In limited release, quite a few new films open up, but I only expect only one or two of those films to really interest audiences. Here is how I see the weekend breaking down:

Battle: Los Angeles stars Aaron Eckhart and Michelle Rodriguez and is about aliens who attack Earth, with the film focusing on the battle between humans and aliens that is taking place in Los Angeles. The premise is not original, but the ad campaign has been strong and is intriguing because not a lot of the plot is revealed. You know there is an invasion and you see the army fighting the aliens but it’s hard to make out anymore of the plot other than that. The film is rated PG-13, so it does have mass appeal for audiences, which can only help the film at the box office. I looked at other sci-fi films that were not summer tent pole pictures to come up with my prediction for this weekend, and here’s what I came up with:

<b1997 – Starship Troopers – $22 million opening weekend
2003 – The Core – $12 million opening weekend
2004 – Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow – $15.5 million opening weekend
2008 – Cloverfield – $40 million opening weekend
2008 – The Day the Earth Stood Still – $30.4 million opening weekend
2009 – District 9 – $37.3 million opening weekend

Average Opening Weekend – $26.2 million

I think the films above represent a good mix of sci-fi, so I’m going to make my prediction close to the above average. Battle: Los Angeles does not have a cast that will make you come out to see their performance and critics do no like the film as it has a 37% positive rating as of this writing. Still, the premise is intriguing enough that it should do well at the box office this weekend. Opening in 3,417 (the highest theatre count of the three new releases) I’m predicting that Battle: Los Angeles will open in 1st place with a gross of $31 million.

Red Riding Hood is a new twist on the classic tale that stars Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman and is directed by Catherine Hardwicke (who directed Twilight). The film follows Seyfried’s character who is torn between two men, one she loves, the other her parents have arranged for her to marry. She wants to runaway, but a werewolf is roaming the woods and killing people in the village. When the villagers realize that the werewolf could be anyone of them, Seyfried fears that it could end up being one of the men in her life. When I was thinking of films to use to come up with my prediction, I decided to pick films that were not A-List franchises (I know that Red Riding Hood will not even come close to what The Twilight Saga grosses on its opening weekend), so I decided to pick a film franchise that features werewolves and as well as a modern day fairy tale. Here are those films:

2003 – Underworld – $21.7 million opening weekend
2006 – Underworld: Evolution – $26.8 million opening weekend
2006 – Lady in the Water – $18 million opening weekend
2000 – Underworld: Rise of the Lycans – $20.8 million opening weekend

Average Opening Weekend – $21.8 million

My gut tells me that the average above is too high for what I think Red Riding Hood will gross, but I was very shocked by how well Beastly did last weekend, and I think teenage girls will come out to support this film as well. Critics will not be recommending this film to audiences as it is receiving some of the worst reviews of 2011 (which says a lot considering how many bad films we’ve had to start off the year – Season of the Witch being the standout), as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 6% positive as of this writing. I do think this film will be critic proof to the target audience of young girls. Opening in 3,030 theatres, I’m predicting that Red Riding Hood will open with a gross of $17 million and finish in 3rd place.

The final new release of the weekend is the animated tale Mars Needs Moms which is about the moms of Earth being kidnapped by aliens, so they can raise their alien children. The children of Earth don’t like this and one nine-year old boy will do anything to get his mom back. The film is definitely in for a lot of trouble this weekend as it will be facing direct competition with Rango and my gut tells me audiences would rather see Rango over Mars Needs Moms because the former is geared towards all audiences while the latter is geared towards kids. I took a look at some animated sci-fi films when coming up with my prediction and here is what I came up with:

2000 – Titan A.E. – $9.3 million opening weekend
2007 – Meet the Robinsons – $25.1 million opening weekend
2008 – Space Chimps – $7.1 million opening weekend
2008 – Star Wars: The Clone Wars – $14.6 million opening weekend
2009 – Planet 51 – $12.2 million opening weekend

Average Opening Weekend – $13.7 million

I don’t think that Mars Needs Moms is going to strike a chord with audiences as it just skews to young. Critics are not in love with the film either as it only has a 40% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes. I think Mars Needs Moms will be a disappointment at the box office, even though it does have the Disney name attached to it. Opening in 3,117 theatres, I’m predicting Mars Needs Moms will gross $11 million and finish in 5th place.

With Battle: Los Angeles, Red Riding Hood and Mars Needs Moms entering the top five, I’m predicting that Beastly, Hall Pass and Gnomeo and Juliet will be leaving the top five. Here is how I see the rest of the films breaking down:

Rango had an excellent debut last weekend with a gross of $38 million, which is the best opening weekend gross by any film in 2011, but the question is how well will it hold? I’m torn on this because it definitely surprised me by how well it did on its opening weekend and it is getting a lot of critical support, but the film is battling two other animated features that are in release in Mars Needs Moms and Gnomeo and Juliet, and those films should cut into its target audience. Still I’m going to give the film a conservative drop, so I’m predicting that Rango will fall 40% from last weekend, giving the film a gross of $23.4 million and a 2nd place finish.

The Adjustment Bureau had a strong start last weekend and I think the star power of Matt Damon will continue to bring in audiences. The film received mixed reviews, but that’s better than a lot of the films currently in release. I’m predicting that The Adjustment Bureau drops 42% giving the film a gross of $12.2 million and a 4th place finish.

Hall Pass should hold up well this weekend as there are no new comedies in release, making this the funny film of choice for theatergoers. I’m predicting a drop of 37%, giving Hall Pass a gross of $5.5 million and a 6th place finish.

Beastly had a surprising top five debut last weekend, but that will all come to an end this weekend as the poor reviews and new competition from Red Riding Hood will send this film crashing down near the bottom of the box office. I’m predicting that Beastly will suffer the largest weekend to weekend decline of the films in the top ten with a drop of 56% giving Beastly a gross of $4.3 million and a 7th place finish.

The King’s Speech should post a bigger decline than usual as the awards season are now over, interest in the movie will begin to subside. I’m predicting that The King’s Speech will drop 34% from last weekend, giving the film a gross of $4.092 million and an 8th place finish.

Gnomeo and Juliet will face even more competition this weekend with the release of Mars Needs Moms so I’m predicting a drop of 44%, giving the film a gross of $4.032 million and a 9th place finish.

Just Go With It will round out the top ten as I’m predicting a drop of 41%, giving Just Go With It a gross of $3.8 million and a 10th place finish.

In limited release:

Clash (Bay Rong) – This film is about a mercenary who has to commit crimes to get back his kidnapped daughter. Clash (Bay Rong) is being released in 9 theatres and does not have a rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

Certified Copy – This film stars Juliette Binoche and is about a man and a woman who meet one day at a lecture and are mistaken as a married couple. They keep up the pretense for the day, but is it just for fun or are do they both feel something for one another? Binoche won Best Actress at Cannes for her performance. Certified Copy is being released in 5 theatres and has an 86% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing

Kill The Irishman – Ray Stevenson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Linda Cardellini, Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken star in this film that is based on a true story about a turf war in Cleveland between the Irish and the Italians. Kill The Irishman is being released in 5 theatres and has a 64% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

Jane Eyre – Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender star in this adaptation of the famous Charlotte Bronte novel. Jane Eyre is being released in 4 theatres and has a 92% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

Bonnie vs. Clyde vs. Dracula – All I have to say about this film is that it has the best title of the week because I think the plot is summed up in the title. Bonnie vs. Clyde vs. Dracula is being released in 3 theatres and does not have a rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

Black Death – This film stars Sean Bean as a knight who is put in charge of finding a place that is said to be able to protect people from the plague that killed much of Europe. On his journey, he discovers horrors that test his faith in God and himself. Black Death is being released in 2 theatres and has a 76% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

3 Backyards – This film stars Edie Falco and is about three people who live in the suburbs and whose lives intersect on a fall day. 3 Backyards is being released in 1 theatre and has a 71% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

Making The Boys – This documentary is about the controversial play “The Boys in the Band” which depending on who you talk too is a landmark play for gay rights, or is a play that reinforces stereotypes of gay people. Making the Boys is being released in 1 theatre and does not have a rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

So to recap, here are my predictions:

Battle: Los Angeles – $31 million
Rango – $23.4 million
Red Riding Hood – $17 million
The Adjustment Bureau – $12.2 million
Mars Needs Moms – $11 million

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

Leave a Reply