Thursday, August 13, 2009

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Aug 14 - 16): Three-way battle for the top

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. District 930.0
2. The Time Traveler's Wife
3. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra23.5-57.0%
4. Julie & Julia11.1-44.6%
5. G-Force6.3
6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince5.0-44.0%
7. Ponyo3.8New
8. Bandslam3.8New
9. The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard3.8New
10. Funny People

Gaining buzz since its Comic Con launch and carrying excellent reviews, District 9 has the best shot emerging from the slew of new releases to command the weekend. Tracking from Major Theater Chain and Reel Source puts it at mid-20, while comparing its BOM poll with Cloverfield (44.2% OW vs. 55.9%) shows a higher ceiling, but not in the range of $35m+.

If District 9 falters to below $25m, we could have a surprise winner in The Time Traveler's Wife. Like most everybody, I stared at the screen in disbelief when MTC put out a number of $30m, and this is not something to dismiss easily, especially not when it far exceeds RS's mid-teen. The history has indicated it is highly likely to see an actual much closer in MTC's direction when this happens. The BOM poll is better than what Julie & Julia had, so $20m appears to be a lock. I am not willing to go as high as $30m because I feel MTC may not have taken the potential degree of its frontloadedness into consideration. My Sister's Keeper, another best-seller adapted film, dropped 22.5% on Sat, a number Time Traveler's Wife could definitely match.

None of the other new wide releases look to top $5m, although in the best of world, would have an $8K PTA and go on to earn $30m+, as Miyazaki deserves to become better known in the U.S. Both PonyoBandslam and The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard have some terrible poll numbers that make me hesitant to predict anything higher.

G.I. Joe has held up fine during the week, declining 66.6% from Sunday to Wednesday, right in between The Bourne Ultimatum's 65.2% and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon's 69.5%. Look for it to drop another 10% on Thursday and then have a healthy rebound on Friday. Both Bourne 3 and Mummy 3 increased around 70% on their respective second Fridays, and the former had a lower Monday decrease, while the latter was subdued by Olympics' opening ceremony, so a 70% increase for G.I. Joe should definitely be within reach. District 9 will take away some audience, but since it is rated R, it could also help bring in sneak-in business.

What will happen when great word-of-mouth meet direct competition? We will find out again with Julie & Julia. Films targeting older females normally rely more on midweek business instead of big Friday jump; both Mamma Mia! and The Devil Wears Prada climbed only 31%. Expect similar pattern with J&J.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting predictions. I expect a bit less from TTTW. It's going to be a fun weekend.