Thursday, January 14, 2010

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Jan 15 - 18)

Predicted Gross (m)
1. Avatar
2. The Book of Eli
$12,215 average
3. The Lovely Bones
$6,633 average
4. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
5. The Spy Next Door
$4,446 average
6. Sherlock Holmes
7. It's Complicated
8. Daybreakers
9. The Blind Side
10. Up in the Air

The tracking is quite positive for The Book of Eli, but the poll numbers at Box Office Mojo are not much different from Washington's past endeavors, with around 20% of voters interested in seeing it the opening weekend. Balancing the two, we could see a 3-day opening on the higher end of what Washington has consistently opened his films (inflation adjusted) and over $35m for the full 4 days.

Avatar's dailies post New Year have been tracking similarly to what The Return of the King had. ROTK then turned a 45% Wednesday-to-Wednesday drop to a 28% decline on the MLK weekend, a 31% improvement. Avatar is facing more direct competition, but having 3D screens and the PG-13 rating should allow it to deflect most of the attack from The Book of Eli. Look for it to improve the 31% Wed-to-Wed drop to 23% for the weekend, breaking its 4th weekend record in a row by making close to $39m over 3 days and another $8m or so on Monday.

Personally, it's sad for me to see Jackie Chan relegated to take on a film like The Spy Next Door, which reviews are lambasting for its lame script and insufficient use of Chan's talent. Liongate's marketing has been weak as well, possibly due to the realization of the film's quality. Even though the weekend is generally kind to PG rated comedies, and Paul Blart broke out just last year with a $31.8m opening, it is difficult to envision a successful scenario for this one.

Before December, The Lovely Bone was expected to be a heavyweight contender for Oscar, and with Peter Jackson at the helm and the best-selling source material, its box office prospect looked bright too. Then all those expectations came crashing down in the middle of December, when the mixed reviews were pouring in and the film was struggling even in limited release. The Oscar aspiration is not coming back, but the box office potential remains. It could simply have been a film better fit for releasing wide, as the general public pays more attention to the cast and the source instead of reviews. From the polls and tweeting activity this week, it indicates many people, especially younger females, are anticipating the film. It could become the mini-surprise of the week by maintaining its per-theater-average much better than usual when having such a large expansion.


  1. I'm with you on Jackie Chan. This is unfortunate.

  2. I hope that The Lovely Bones will bring more.

  3. congrats on spy next door and book of eli predicts