Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Predictions – Weekend of September 9th

Three new movies are in theatres this weekend, but only two have them have a chance at making it into the top 5 when it’s all said and done.

Sorry, Bucky Larson. You’re not making it into my predictions this week.

The first big new release that should make waves this weekend comes from the team of Matt Damon and Steven Soderbergh, the duo who have worked together on the Ocean’s trilogy and The Informant!. This time, Damon and Soderbergh offer up Contagion, about doctors trying to stop the spread of a lethal disease. The film also stars Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet, so it’s no exagerration to say Contagion is loaded with talent. And while films about deadly outbreaks have been done before (for some reason, the Dustin Hoffman flick Outbreak springs to mind), I think the star power in Contagion should help it post a solid opening. I’m predicting a first place debut with $20 million.

The other noteworthy wide release is the MMA inspired film Warrior, staring Tom Hardy, Joe Edgerton and Nick Nolte. The first big budget film of its kind (to the best of my knowledge, correct with me if I’m wrong in the comments below), Warrior has been getting solid reviews and appeals to a large male crowd (along with their girlfriends and wives who have been sucked into watching mixed martial arts and wind up loving it). While it may not have a name cast (though Tom Hardy is on the cusp of superstardom), the buzz is strong for Warrior so I’m thinking it should have a decent debut at the box office. Look for a second place debut and a $12 million opening.

With those two release holding onto the top spots, the rest of the weekend should be fairly quiet. The Help has been the number one movie for the majority of the week and should continue to hold strong. I’m predicting a third place finish and a gross of $10 million.

Last weekend I made the mistake of underestimating the continuing appeal of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, predicting it would be out of the top 5. This time, I’m playing it safe and predicting a fourth place finish with a $6 million gross.

The Debt with Helen Mirren has received mixed reviews and an underwhelming opening weekend ($9.9 million). Look for it to wind up in fifth place with $5.5 million.

So, to recap, here are our predictions:

1) Contagion – $20 million
2) Warrior – $11 million
3) The Help – $10 million
4) Rise of the Planet of the Apes – $6 million
5) The Debt – $5.5 million

As you can see, it’s not a particularly exciting weekend at the movies, which makes it that much harder to predict. Be sure to check back on Sunday to see how things turn out!

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