Scotty G’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of May 13th, 2011

Now that the summer movie season has started up, you would expect to be getting another weekend of strong releases. I wouldn’t say this weekend’s releases are strong, but one has the potential to be a surprise hit at the box office this season. The two new releases are the comedy Bridesmaids and the action film Priest. What the big question of the weekend will be is whether or not Thor can repeat as box office champion? Here is my take on how the weekend will break down:

Priest stars Paul Bettany as a man who lives in a post-apocalyptic universe where vampires rule the world. When his niece is kidnapped Bettany goes on a journey, along with some friends, to kill the vampires responsible for taking her. The ad campaign for the film is not strong, and when I saw the original trailer, I immediately thought there were a ton of similarities to another Paul Bettany film – Legion, which wasn’t a good thing for me as I was not a fan of that movie. When making my prediction, I used Legion and some other films featuring vampires and demons to get a gauge on how Priest could do this weekend. Here is what I came up with:
2005 – Constantine – $29.7 million opening weekend
2005 – Doom – $15.4 million opening weekend
2006 – Ultraviolet – $9 million opening weekend
2007 – 30 Days of Night – $15.9 million opening weekend
2008 – Max Payne – $17.6 million opening weekend
2010 – Legion – $17.5 million opening weekend

Average Opening Weekend – $17.5 million

I really do think that the films I used are bang on with the prediction of how this one will do. Even though Priest is in 3-D, I don’t think that is going to help its chances, and actually will only bring it to the level that the films listed above average out to. Critics are tearing apart Priest (no surprise there) as Rotten Tomatoes has it listed at 20% as of this writing. The film will have an audience because of the source material it is based on, but I see this film as being an opening weekend picture for its core audience, and quickly fading away. Debuting in 2,864 theatres, I’m predicting that Priest will gross $17.5 million and finish in 3rd place.

Bridesmaids stars Kristen Wiig in her first leading role on the big screen. She plays a woman dealing with her best friend getting married and she is determined to be the best maid of honour ever. The film has a lot going for it –  besides Wiig in the lead, there are some other recognizable faces in the cast. Maya Rudolph and Jon Hamm star, Kristen Wiig co-wrote, Judd Apatow is the producer and Paul Feig (who created the show Freaks and Geeks and has directed many episodes of The Office) is the director. When making my prediction for this film, I took a look at some female skewing films to help make my prediction. Here is what I came up with:

2008 – 27 Dresses – $23 million opening weekend
2008 – Baby Mama – $17.4 million opening weekend
2009 – Bride Wars – $21 million opening weekend

Average Opening Weekend – $20.5 million

The grosses are very good for those films, and there is every reason to believe that Bridesmaids will do better than them. The critics are in love with Bridesmaids and that will play a huge factor this weekend, as I think a lot of people were not sure about the film based on its advertising campaign. Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 90% positive as of this writing, which is great news for the film and the studio will be prominently displaying those reviews in the ad campaign of the film going forward to help bring in people to see it. Bridesmaids is opening in 2,917 theatres and I’m predicting that it will gross $25 million and finish in 2nd place.

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

Thor had a good, but not great debut last weekend. The good thing about the opening weekend gross not being as high as I projected, is that I don’t think the percentage drop this weekend will be as huge as it would be for a film that grosses $100 million on its opening weekend. I don’t see Priest really stealing much of Thor’s audience because I just think audiences would want to see Thor more than Priest. I’m predicting that Thor drops 47% this weekend, giving it a gross of $34.8 million and a 1st place finish.

Fast Five had a large drop on its second weekend, and I think this weekend, the drop will not be as large, but it will not be doing the film any favours overall. I’m predicting that Fast Five will drop 54%, giving the Vin Diesel film a gross of $14.9 million and a 4th place finish.

Jumping the Broom and Something Borrowed will be battling for 5th place at the box office and I’m going to give the edge to Jumping the Broom as it had a strong opening weekend and a way better per theatre average last weekend. Something Borrowed might have more star power in Kate Hudson but Jumping the Broom is the better film. I’m predicting that Jumping the Broom will drop 44% this weekend, giving the film a gross of $8.5 million and a 5th place finish.

In limited release the following films are opening: Cameraman: The Work and Life of Jack Cardiff, City of Life and Death, Everything Must Go, The First Grader, Go For It, Hesher, Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill A Mockingbird, How To Live Forever, L’Amour Fou and Skateland.

City of Life and Death, Everything Must Go, L’Amour Fou and Cameraman: The Work and Life of Jack Cardiff are the only films in limited release to have a positive rating above 75% at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.

So to recap, here are my predictions:

Thor – $34.8 million
Bridesmaids – $25 million
Priest – $17.5 million
Fast Five – $14.9 million
Jumping the Broom – $8.5 million

Think you can do better than me in making predictions? Go to http://www.boxofficemojo.com 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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