Two comedies get released this weekend with the goal of overthrowing Transformers: Dark of the Moon from the top of the box office. The two films are Zookeeper which stars Kevin James and will appeal to younger audiences while Horrible Bosses will be going after adult audiences. Unfortunately, I think the fact that two comedies are going up against each other on the same weekend will hurt both films chances of major success at the box office, which gives Transformers: Dark of the Moon an easy victory at the box office this weekend. Here’s how I predict the weekend will go down:
Zookeeper stars Kevin James and is about a zookeeper who loses the girl of his dreams when he proposes to her and gets rejected. A few years later, he gets a shot at winning her back, but only if he quits his job as a zookeeper. The animals of the zoo are upset by the news of their favorite zookeeper leaving, so they do everything they can to make sure he remains at their zoo. The animals reveal to the James character that they can all talk, and help him in his quest to win back the girl of his dreams. I will not lie, I think the ad campaign makes the film look terrible, but I am not the target demographic for the film. Young kids are, and I think they should turn out in pretty solid numbers to support the film. I looked at some recent Kevin James films to come up with a prediction and here are the numbers:
2007 – I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry – $34.2 million opening weekend
2009 – Paul Blart: Mall Cop – $31.8 million opening weekend
2010 – Grown Ups – $40.5 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $35.5 million
Paul Blart: Mall Cop is the only one of the three films where Kevin James is anchoring the film solo, so the $31.8 million gross is a more accurate estimate for Zookeeper in my opinion. The film is getting a wide release in 3,482 theatres, but is receiving some extremely negative reviews from critics, as Rotten Tomatoes has the film listed at 11% positive as of this writing. Audiences won’t care what critics have to say, as the target audience would be young male adults. I’m predicting that Zookeeper grosses $25 million and finishes in 2nd place.
Horrible Bosses stars Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell and is about a bunch of friends who all have one thing in common – they hate their bosses. So they plan to kill all their terrible bosses to exact revenge for all the ways they have been mistreated. The film is hoping to continue the trend of “R” rated films scoring big at the box office this summer (The Hangover II, Bridesmaids and Bad Teacher spring to mind). When I looked at films to help make my prediction, I didn’t use The Hangover II because it was a sequel and had a built in audience. Here is how the other two films I used did on their opening weekend:
2011 – Bridesmaids – $26.2 million opening weekend
2011 – Bad Teacher – $31.6 million opening weekend
Average Opening Weekend – $28.9 million
I think Horrible Bosses will suffer a little bit because so many comedies have been released this summer that audiences maybe fatigued of seeing “R” rated comedies. I also think Horrible Bosses does not have a lot of star power (even though it has a lot of stars) as I wouldn’t consider any of the stars in the film box office draws at this point in their respective careers. What the film does have going for it is the fact that it is getting a decent launch, as it will be released in 3,040 theatres. Critics are enthusiastic about the film as well as it currently has a 78% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing. I’m predicting that Horrible Bosses will gross $18 million and finish in 3rd place.
Among last weekends holdovers that will still be in the top five this weekend, here are my predictions:
Transformers: Dark of the Moon had a strong opening weekend, but as we all know, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, and I’m predicting a substantial drop for Transformers: Dark of the Moon this weekend. It is a sequel, which means the drop will be higher, and the film doesn’t seem to be a film that people are excited about anymore. It seems to me that more people are excited about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two opening next weekend then seeing Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I’m predicting a drop of 64%, giving Transformers: Dark of the Moon a gross of $35.2 million and a 1st place finish.
Cars 2 suffered the worst second weekend drop in Disney//Pixar history last weekend and I don’t think the news will be any better this weekend as Zookeeper poses some serious competition for the film. I’m predicting that Cars 2 will drop 54%, giving the film a gross of $12.1 million and a 4th place finish.
Larry Crowne had an extremely disappointing debut last weekend, but I’m predicting that it will finish ahead of Bad Teacher for 5th place at the box office this weekend because it is an adult dramedy and films for adults tend to post steady declines, while Bad Teacher has to deal with Horrible Bosses stealing its audience. Larry Crowne is the safer bet and I’m predicting that Larry Crowne will drop 38%, giving the film a gross of $8 million and a 5th place finish.
In limited release the following films are opening: Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest; Chillar Party; Falling of the Cries; The Ledge; Project Nim; Ranchero; Rapt and Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness.
Project Nim; Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest; Rapt and Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness all have ratings above 75% positive at Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.
So to recap, here are my predictions:
Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $35.2 million
Zookeeper – $25 million
Horrible Bosses – $18 million
Cars 2 – $12.1 million
Larry Crowne – $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!