Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of April 15th, 2011

Two new films going after wildly different audiences look to become the box office champion this weekend. In fact, I’ll tell you right now that the two new releases will finish #1 and #2 at the box office this weekend. The question will be which one comes out on top? Will it be the animated adventure Rio or the horror sequel Scream 4? Hop’s two week run as box office champion will come to an end and the final three films that will round out the top five is wide open. Here’s how I see the weekend breaking down:

Scream 4 is a horror sequel that is 11 years in the making. The 4th installment stars familiar faces from the original series (Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette) along with some new ones (Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Anthony Anderson, Adam Brody, Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell). The plot of Scream 4 follows Sidney Prescott returning to Woodsboro to promote her new self help book. When she returns to her hometown, so does the Ghostface Killer and the bodies start to pile up. The film was directed by Wes Craven, who directed all three previous installments and written by Kevin Williamson who wrote the first two films. It will be interesting to see how Scream 4 does as the franchise has been dead for over a decade, but hopefully the tagline of “New Decade. New Rules.” gets fans excited to come see the new installment. The first three films all grossed around the same amount, and with each installment, the opening weekend was bigger. See below:

1996 – Scream – $6.3 million opening weekend//$103 million total gross
1997 – Scream 2 – $32.9 million opening weekend//$101.3 million total gross
2000 – Scream 3 – $34.7 million opening weekend//$89.1 million total gross

Average Opening Weekend – $24.6 million
Average Total Gross – $97.8 million

I made a mistake a few years ago when I said that Fast and Furious was not going to do well because that franchise was dead, and then that film opened to a gross of $70.9 million. I don’t plan to make that mistake again. I think audiences are in the mood for a good slasher film. The critics have the film listed at 61% positive at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing, which is great for a horror film, so that might help generate some good buzz. Opening in 3,305 theatres, I’m predicting that Scream 4 will open in 2nd place with a gross of $35 million, setting a franchise best opening weekend in the process.

Rio is the latest animated film to be released by 20th Century Fox and it hopes to be just as successful as its predecessors. Featuring the voice talents of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway,, Jamie Foxx, Tracy Morgan and George Lopez, the film is about a Macaw who is living a domesticated life with his owner in Seattle. When news breaks that there is another Macaw in Rio de Janeiro, the owner and the Macaw travel there to meet up with the bird. When the two birds meet, they are captured by animal smugglers, and they have to try and escape and get back to their master. The animation looks bright and colourful, the ads give the film a fun vibe, and they have even aligned themselves with the popular game “Angry Birds”, so there is no reason for Rio not to be a success. The previous animated films from 20th Century Fox have all done very well. See below:

2002 – Ice Age – $46.3 million opening weekend
2005 – Robots – $36 million opening weekend
2006 – Ice Age: The Meltdown – $68 million opening weekend
2008 – Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who – $45 million opening weekend
2009 – Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – $41.6 million opening weekend

Average Opening Weekend – $47.38 million

I think that the average above is a good indication of where this film is going to open. It will face some competition from Hop but I think people will want to see Rio more than Hop, so I don’t expect that Rio will lose much of its audience. Critics like the film as it is listed at 74% positive at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing. Opening in 3,826 theatres, I’m predicting that Rio will open in 1st place with a gross of $45 million.

Among last weekends holdovers that will still be in the top five this weekend, here are my predictions:

Hop had a decent hold last weekend as it repeated as box office champion, but I do think that Rio will cause Hop to have a larger drop this weekend, as I think audiences want to see Rio more than Hop. I’m predicting that Hop will drop 46% giving the film a gross of $11.4 million and a 3rd place finish.

Hanna surprised a lot of people last weekend with its debut considering the subject matter of a young girl being an assassin, but the star power of Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett along with director Joe Wright was enough to get audiences to check the film out. The film has been the #2 film at the box office all week long, so there is an audience for Hanna. I think the film will post a decent hold as it really is the only film adults will want to check out in theatres right now. I’m predicting that Hanna will drop 36% giving the film a gross of $7.9 million and a 4th place finish.

Arthur had an average debut last weekend and the success of the original has definitely not been replicated by this remake. The film is holding steady as it was the #3 film at the box office all week long. I said last week that I think that at this point of Russell Brand’s career he is still a supporting actor and should not be headlining a film, even though the part does seem to be tailor made for him. I don’t think Warner Bros. can be upset by the $12.2 million opening weekend for the film and they should be happy if the film hangs around the top five this weekend. Dropping 44% from last weekend, I’m predicting that Arthur will gross $6.8 million and finish in 5th place.

In limited release the following films are opening: Armadillo, Atlas Shrugged: Part One, The Conspirator, Double Hour, Dumb Struck, The Princess of Montpensier, A Screaming Man and The Tenant.

The Princess of Montpensier, Armadillo, Double Hour and A Screaming Man all have ratings above 80% at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

So to recap, here are my predictions:

Rio – $45 million
Scream 4 – $35 million
Hop – $11.4 million
Hanna – $7.9 million
Arthur – $6.8 million

Think you can do better than me in making predictions? Go to and sign up for “The Box Office Derby”. Make your predictions and see if you can beat the man with the I.D. “ScottyG”.

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

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