Two films get released this weekend with the goal of dethroning Green Lantern from the top of the box office. The two films are the animated-adventure Cars 2 and the Cameron Diaz comedy Bad Teacher. I can tell you right now that Cars 2 will top the box office, but it will be interesting to see whether or not Bad Teacher can finish in 2nd place. Here’s how I predict the weekend will go down:
Cars 2 opens this weekend and it is going to be the big film of the weekend. The Cars franchise is one of the most popular in the Disney//Pixar canon of films, even though the original is not considered to be one of Pixar’s best films (I don’t agree with the critics on that point). This time Lightning McQueen and Mater travel around the world to take part in the World Grand Prix while getting caught up in an espionage operation. I’ll admit that the plot is a complete 180 degree turn from the original, as the original was about a small town that got left behind over the years. It was a nice, simple film with great voice work from Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy and Paul Newman, and there was potential to continue the franchise. Unfortunately for fans of the original and Pixar, Cars 2 is getting the worst reviews of any Pixar film ever released as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 40% positive as of this writing. Even though the reviews are not that strong, this is a Disney//Pixar film and they open very well. See below:
1995 – Toy Story – $29.1 million opening weekend
2001 – Monsters Inc. – $62.1 million opening weekend
2003 – Finding Nemo – $70.2 million opening weekend
2004 – The Incredibles – $70.4 million opening weekend
2006 – Cars – $60.1 million opening weekend
2007 – Ratatouille – $47 million opening weekend
2008 – Wall-E – $63 million opening weekend
2009 – Up – $68.1 million opening weekend
2010 – Toy Story 3 – $110.3 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $64.4 million
A few Pixar films (Toy Story 2 and A Bug’s Life) are not in the list above as they started out in limited release. Cars 2 is getting an ultra-wide launch as it is being released in 4,115 theatres and as I said above, the brand of Cars is very popular so it will overcome the negativity of critics and dominate the box office this weekend. I’m predicting that Cars 2 will gross $90 million and finish in 1st place.
Bad Teacher stars Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake and Jason Segel and is about a terrible, foul-mouthed teacher who only dreams of marrying a rich man so she can quit her job teaching students that she loathes. When a new teacher arrives, she does everything to win his affections in the hopes that he will marry her, but to get his attention, she will have to be something that she has never been before, a good teacher. The ad campaign for the film has been funny, so I think that will generate interest in the film, but I have my doubts about how well it will do because Diaz and Segel are not “A” list box office stars whose names can open a film. I’ve included some films that star Diaz and Segel as well as some other romantic-comedies to help make my prediction. See below:
2008 – Forgetting Sarah Marshall – $17.7 million opening weekend
2008 – What Happens in Vegas – $20.1 million opening weekend
2009 – I Love You, Man – $17.8 million opening weekend
2009 – The Ugly Truth – $27.6 million opening weekend
2011 – No Strings Attached – $19.6 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $20.56 million
The average listed above is around where I see Bad Teacher opening. Critics are mixed on the film as it has a 48% positive rating as of this writing, but I don’t think audiences who want to see this film care much about what the critics have to say. Bad Teacher will benefit or suffer from word-of-mouth, and we won’t find out the answer to that until next weekend. Opening in 3,049 theatres, I’m predicting that Bad Teacher will gross $21 million and finish in 3rd place.
Among last weekends holdovers that will still be in the top five this weekend, here are my predictions:
Green Lantern had a decent debut last weekend, but this weekend we will find out if audiences have embraced the film. Unfortunately I don’t think it will be the massive hit that Warner Bros. had hoped for as I’m predicting a drop of 55% giving Green Lantern a gross of $23.9 million and a 2nd place finish.
Super 8 had a great hold last weekend and there is no reason to think that it will suffer a huge drop this weekend. I’m predicting that Super 8 drops 35% from last weekend, giving it a gross of $13.9 million and a 4th place finish.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins had an average debut last weekend and with Cars 2 entering theatres this weekend; it is going to be taking away a lot of Mr. Popper’s Penguins audience. I’m predicting that the Jim Carrey comedy will drop 47% giving the film a gross of $9.8 million and a 5th place finish.
In limited release the following films are opening: Beginning of the Great Revival, A Better Life, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, Double Dhamaal, General Orders No. 9, If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Leap Year, The Man Who Fell To Earth, The Names of Love, Raw Faith, Strangers Online and Turtle: The Incredible Journey.
A Better Life, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front and Leap Year all have ratings above 75% positive at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
Cars 2 – $90 million
Green Lantern – $23.9 million
Bad Teacher – $21 million
Super 8 – $13.9 million
Mr. Popper’s Penguins – $9.8 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!