Thursday, January 21, 2010

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Jan 22 - 24)

Predicted Gross (m)
1. Avatar
2. The Book of Eli
3. The Tooth Fairy
$4,100 average
4. Legion
$5,500 average
5. Extraordinary Measures
$3,200 average
6. The Lovely Bones
7. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
8. Sherlock Holmes
9. The Spy Next Door
10. It's Complicated

The Rock had success opening PG-rated family comedy in the past with Race to Witch Mountain ($24.4m) and The Game Plan ($23.0m), but the pre-release numbers for The Tooth Fairy are nowhere near as positive. Only 4.1% of voters at Box Office Mojo poll said they are interested in seeing it this weekend, comparing to 13.0% for Witch Mountain and 8.1% for The Game Plan. The distribution is in fact very similar to what The Spy Next Door had last week. The tracking numbers are also not encouraging, and at the moment, an opening of $15m+ appears unlikely.

Legion has the unenviable position of being the 3rd male-focused R-rated film in as many weeks. Both the BOM poll and the number of tweets this week put it behind Daybreakers and closer to The Fourth Kind instead. Look for a number somewhere in the middle.

CBS has given Extraordinary Measures all the marketing push it could by showing the commercials of the film on its channel since December. If it fails, it won't be due to the lack of effort, but rather the generic title and uninteresting plot. Outside Indiana Jones 4, Harrison Ford hasn't opened a film to over $13.7m since 2000, and it would be considered an achievement if Extraordinary Measures could break double digits.

Post-MLK Fri
Post-MLK Sat
Post-MLK Sun
King Kong

From a few comparable films listed in the above chart, we could expect Avatar to have a Friday increase similar to last week's, a 10-15% better Saturday increase, and finally a 10-20% worse Sunday hold. Given the Wed-to-Wed drop was 20%, the pattern would yield a weekend decline in the range of 15-20%.

With The Book of Eli, Denzel Washington showed once again that he could pretty much guarantee a $20m+ opening, with occasional shot of $30m+ given the right combination. What is even more consistent is his films' second weekend drop. Not counting The Great Debaters, which was a December holiday release, his last 5 films have an average drop of 47.1% on the second weekend, with a tiny standard deviation of 1.44%. However, coming off a holiday weekend could inflate its drop by a few percentages, so expect a decline of around 50%.

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