Two new films are vying for your dollars this weekend and I’m predicting one of them is going to wind up topping the box office. So let’s get real and see what I think will go down:
The first of our two big debuts this weekend is Real Steel, staring Hugh Jackman in a futuristic world where robot boxing is big business. Judging by the commercials, Real Steel wants to be a lot of things – a sci-fi film, a father/son tear-jerker and even a romance (with Jackman’s leading lady, Evengeline Lilly). The film has some decent buzz going for it, thanks in large part to Jackman’s willingness to spread the word about the film; the guy even showed up on an episode of WWE Monday Night Raw! Kids love robots, even when they stink (I’m looking at you, Transformers) and I’m guessing we’ll see Real Steel do some real business this weekend, with a first place finish and $29 million.
The second film of note debuting is the George Clooney directed The Ides of March, staring a stellar cast that includes Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Adapted from the play Farragut North, The Ides of March is the story of a presidential candidate staff member and his introduction into the world of dirty politics. The film has been getting strong reviews since its debut in August at the Venice International Film Festival. While it does have great actors, other than Clooney, none of them equal box office gold; look no further than Gosling’s here and gone staring vehicle, Drive for the proof. I’m predicting a third place opening at $10 million for The Ides of March, with the possibility of a longer shelf life if the reviews remain strong.
As for the rest of the top five, they’ll all be holdovers from previous weeks. The surprisingly popular Dolphin Tale should be able to keep families entertained this weekend, though Real Steel could take away some of its audience. I’m predicting a second place showing with $11 million. Moneyball has been holding strong throughout the course of the week, even managing to take first place for a few nights. Look for it to wind up in fourth with $9.5 million. This week, The Lion King hit Blu-Ray/DVD, so look for its numbers to drop significantly for a fifth place finish and $6 million.
So, to recap, here are our predictions:
1) Real Steel – $29 million
2) Dolphin Tale – $11 million
3) The Ides of March – $10 million
4) Moneyball – $9.5 million
5) The Lion King – $6 million
Check back on Sunday to see how the weekend turned out!