Friday, February 5, 2010

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Feb 5 - 7)

Movie Predicted Gross (m) Change
1. Dear John 26.2 $8,820 PTA
2. Avatar 25.5 -18.5%
3. From Paris with Love 9.1 $3,340 PTA
4. Edge of Darkness 8.9 -48.3%
5. The Tooth Fairy 7.0 -30.0%
6. When in Rome 6.0 -51.4%
7. The Book of Eli 4.7 -47.3%
8. Crazy Heart 4.6 +99.1%
9. Legion 3.1 -56.8%
10. Sherlock Holmes 2.5 -44.6%

Avatar has seen its share of challengers during its seven-week reign at the top of the domestic box office and even lost Friday a couple of times, but with its consistently superb internal multiplier, none has come close to overtake it for the entire weekend. However, this Superbowl weekend could be different, as Avatar will attempt to fend off its toughest opponent yet to extend the winning streak to 8.

The two newcomers could not be any more different, both in term of the movie itself and where each is headed at the box office.  Dear John is a romantic comedy, and it has one big advantage over the two January releases of Leap Year and When in Rome:  it is the latest adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novels.  On the other hand, is the author's name big enough to make the film challenge for the weekend crown?  After all, the biggest opening any of the previous four adaptations could achieve was $16.8m (Message in a Bottle, on the Valentine weekend of 1999), and the last one, Nights in Rodanthe, only opened to $13.4m despite the marketing also focused on highlighting "the author of The Notebook."  The difference this time, I believe, is that comparing to Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John's audience is much closer to The Notebook's, and the message will resonate a great deal more.  And there is the contrast in cast.  Instead of Diane Lane and Richard Gere, it has Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum, both of whom are young rising stars with past box office success.  Seyfried caught many people's eyes with her performance in Mamma Mia, while Tatum is fresh off his role in G.I. Joe.  The anticipation among teenage girls is very high, and the rush factor should propel the film to a clear victory on Friday, likely earning around $12m.  Saturday should see a decline of over 10%, but it will have one of the better holds on Superbowl Sunday.  Whether the internal multiplier will be good enough to hold off Avatar remains to be seen.

From Paris with Love will have no such luck competing for the top spot.  In fact, it may be a struggle to just get on the podium, even though John Travolta has had a steady box office run in recent years.  5 of his last six wide releases opened to over $20m, but the numbers have been trending downward, from $39.7m of Wild Hogs in 2007 to the $16.9m of Old Dog last November.  This one looks to accelerate that trend further.  At Box Office Mojo, the percentage of voters who are interested in seeing the film this weekend is 36% less than what Edge of Darkness had, and by Thursday afternoon, it had not yet broken into the top 5 sales of either Fandango or MovieTickets sites.  A Friday in the $3-3.5m range appears likely, and with Sunday getting hit by Superbowl, that start will not allow it to hit double digit for the weekend.

If we are to use one word to describe Avatar's daily pattern for the past several weeks, it would be "consistent".  The week-to-week drop has been between 15 to 20% for 10 of the last 16 days, and just like the last couple of Fridays, it will recover a little more both Friday and Saturday comparing to the previous week, especially with the help of nine academy award nominations on Tuesday.  Sunday drop will be the biggest to date, but the number will be in the 50-55% range instead of the 65%+ many other films will experience.  Overall, it is on pace for another $25m+ frame and claim one more record, the biggest 8th weekend ever.


  1. How much will Avatar make when it finishes?

  2. Nicholas Sparks movies never do more than 15 million if this movie (dear John) is an exception i don't think than do 20 millions thus far, i don't think it do more than Avatar

  3. Never underestimate power of stupidity