Thursday, August 6, 2009

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Aug 7 - 9)

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra47.0
New
2. Julie & Julia22.7New
3. G-Force10.0-42.9%
4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince9.5-47.0%
5. Funny People9.5-58.1%
6. The Ugly Truth7.0-46.9%
7. A Perfect Getaway5.5New
8. Aliens in the Attic4.5-43.8%
9. (500) Days of Summer4.3+54.8%
10. Orphan4.1-45.5%
11. The Hangover3.5-32.6%
-. Ice Age 32.7-51.1%

Due to viewer's disinterest in Funny People, August is off to an inauspicious start. The top 10 films grossed just $13.1m in total on Wednesday, the lowest since May 28th, and G-Force was able to take the pole position with $2.3m, something we hadn't seen since the end of April. It is natural to think the market is ripe for a surprise breakout, or two. Could G.I. Joe, a film filled with question marks until recently, be the one that benefits and fills the void? The tracking (MTC - $50m) and BOM polls (36.6% Opening Weekend, 24% Sometimes in Theaters) are certainly backing the claim up. The OW number of BOM poll is about 20% higher than what Mummy 3, a film with similar uncertainty and opened around the same time last year, had. It could definitely challenge $50m, but I still believe a high 40 is more likely.

The older female demo hasn't had a film truly targeted at them since The Proposal, and Julie and Julia boasts an excellent casting duo in Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Streep had two $100m grosser in the past three summers, and she is going for another one here, although this has a premise that is a little tougher to sell. The final theater count of 2,975, way up from the estimated 2,300, is encouraging. As for the polls, Mamma Mia! turned 13.4% OW + 15.6% SiT into a $27.8m opening, while Devil Wears Prada earned a similar number with 15.0% OW + 19.9% SiT. By comparison, J&J is weaker at 11.2%+14.0%, so breaking $25m is quite unlikely, but a low $20m remains very much achievable.

The other new release of the week, A Perfect Getaway, is getting overshadowed and will not be able to take advantage of the subdued market, as people have more desirable choices for a two-hour escape. No signs are pointing to an opening higher than the tracking of $5-6m.

Among holdovers, the ones to keep an eye are Funny People, which could suffer a huge drop with very mixed WOM and competition from G.I. Joe, and (500) Days of Summer, which Fox Searchlight continues to handle superbly with another three-fold increase in theaters. The rest should experience standard drops.

1 comment:

  1. Xiayun, I agree with you on Julie and Julia, maybe a bit lower at around $21m. I think I'm more optimistic about G.I. Joe. For some reason it reminds me of when SWAT opened to larger than expected figures in August of 2003. Except that this has more brand name recognition. Maybe $52m or so.

    I'm quite disappointed with this summer post-Harry Potter. Here's hoping for some excitement.

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