Friday, September 11, 2009

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Sep 11 - 13)

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself27.0$12,000 PTA
2. 99$5,450 PTA
3. Sorority Row8.0$3,000 PTA
4. Whiteout8.0$2,900 PTA
5. Inglourious Basterds7.0-39.8%
6. The Final Destination6.5-47.5%
7. All About Steve5.3-52.8%
8. District 94.6-35.0%
9. Julie & Julia3.8-28.6%
10. Gamer3.7-59.6%


1. Tyler Perry's films that featured Madea in general have exhibited more impressive per-theater-average than the ones without ($16K vs. $8.5K). Smartly enough, the studio is putting Madea front and center in most of its ads, even though the role is small here. The demographics is also underserved at the moment, so expect a very good opening, although the poll numbers indicate that challenging Family Reunion's $30m, let alone Goes to Jail's $41m, will be difficult.

2. At first glance, 9's opening Wednesday of $3.1m looked pretty good, but considering it was taking advantage of the obvious 9/9/9 gimmick, the number no longer appears to be all that impressive. Given the past examples of The Omen and Earth, we should see a 60% drop on Thursday, and the key for a double-digit weekend will fall on its Friday recovery. With Tim Burton attached to the project and heavily promoted in the trailer, its level of frontloadedness is likely to be higher, and the Friday increase should be smaller than what a regular family film would have around this time of the year.

3. Sorority Row has an effective trailer, but it is released in an inopportune time, as the market is overloaded with R-rated as well as horror films. The signs are also mixed, with average BOM poll numbers but better online buzz elsewhere. It is the wild card among this week's openers. In the end, I feel the competition and poor screen allocation per theater will prevent it from grossing more than the $3K PTA a post Labor Day opener typically receives.

4. Whiteout also faces the same problem of entering an overloaded market, only it doesn't have an interesting premise to hook viewers in. One advantage it does possess is having a bigger studio behind it, and Warner Bros has done a decent job to push its poll numbers close to what Sorority Row has (10.3% vs. 11.6% Opening Weekend at BOM) that a complete disaster looks unlikely.

5. Except for Labor Day openers, holdovers historically don't suffer big drops on the post Labor Day weekend. One reason is the lack of new interesting films, and the other is the Friday and Saturday increases become much higher in September. I expect films in general to shed 10% off their Wed-to-Wed drops. All About Steve and Gamer, on the other hand, will suffer 50%+ declines due to the poor WOM for the former and direction competition for the latter.

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