Thursday, March 11, 2010

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Mar 12 - 14)

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Alice in Wonderland60.0-48.3%
2. Green Zone17.5$5,830 PTA
3. She's Out of My League12.0$4,060 PTA
4. Remember Me11.0$4,970 PTA
5. Our Family Wedding9.0$5,610 PTA
6. Shutter Island7.9-40.3%
7. Cop Out4.9-47.3%
8. Brooklyn's Finest6.0-55.1%
9. Avatar5.5-32.3%
10. The Crazies3.5-50.6%

Alice in Wonderland shocked many with its gigantic $116.1m opening, but what surprised me the most is its internal multiplier. Even though I am fortunate to be among the few who foresaw its $100m potential, my daily breakdown was more along the line of 39-36-25. Given that we are still in March, I thought it could achieve a small Friday-to-Saturday increase without counting the midnight gross, but certainly did not expect a bump even when it is included. Considering the film earned around $5m during midnight, the real Saturday increase was in fact over 20%, and the overall IM for the weekend would be 3.1, an excellent figure for a Tim Burton film. Furthermore, with an A- from CinemaScore and A- at Yahoo, the word-of-mouth also does not appear to be as mediocre or divided as initially anticipated. Then there is the 3D/IMAX factor, which has shown to help stabilize a film's descent at the box office. The only 3D releases to drop over 50% on its second weekend so far are a R-rated horror film (My Bloody Valentine) and two concert movies (Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana). With a $6.77m Wednesday, it needs 150% Wed-to-Fri jump and 3.6 IM to avoid a 50% drop. By comparison, Monsters vs. Aliens had 192% and 3.7 respectively, so it is definitely achievable. When all said and done, look for Alice to have a hold right around what Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (-49.7%) and Corpse Bride (-47.6%) experienced.

As Syriana, Lions for Lambs, and Body of Lies have demonstrated, contemporary politically-charged thriller set in Middle-East is a hard sell. Knowing that, The Universal has focused more on Damon and director Greengrass for Green Zone, hoping the Bourne connection could entice a bigger audience. The strategy has helped some, although a $20m opening remains unlikely. The tracking (MTC - 17, RS - high teens), twitter activity, and BOM poll numbers (on par with what The Kingdom had) are all pointing to a narrow range of $17-18m.

Two romantic films with much different tones will be competing for the last spot on this weekend's podium. Online-wise Remember Me has an enormous advantage thanks to Pattinson's following, and it does appear to have a leg up on advance sales according to reports from Fandango and MovieTickets. However, it will likely be more frontloaded as well, and She's Out of My League is no slouch itself, especially with many college students on spring break. Both should hit low double-digit.

The wild card of the week will be Our Family Wedding. Comedies targeted at African American audience are notoriously difficult to track. It could be another Something New ($4.9m in 1,265) or, just as easily, be another Johnson Family Vacation ($9.4m in 1,317). Our Family Wedding leans toward a lighter tone, and I trust Fox Searchlight much more than Focus when come to handling their films at the box office, so I look forward to seeing a healthy PTA for the film.

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