Friday, March 5, 2010

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Mar 5 - 7): Alice poised to shatter the March opening record

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Alice in Wonderland100.0$26,820 PTA
2. Shutter Island13.0-42.6%
3. Cop Out8.8-51.7%
4. Brooklyn's Finest8.0$4,130 PTA
5. The Crazies7.5-53.3%
6. Avatar6.5-52.4%
7. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief5.0-47.8%
8. Valentine's Day4.3-52.5%
9. Dear John2.5-48.0%
10. Crazy Heart2.0-18.7%

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is obviously the most relevant comparison for Alice in Wonderland, as it represents director Tim Burton's previous collaboration with Johnny Depp to bestow his own fingerprint on a classic fairy tale. Here is the comparison of their respective Box Office Mojo poll numbers:

Opening WeekendSometime in TheatersOn DVDOn TVNever
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory33.2%28.8%20.1%5.1%12.8%
Alice in Wonderland46.6%28.7%12.7%2.9%9.1%

Being even more of a well-known commodity, one could expect the anticipation for Alice in Wonderland to be higher, and it is reflected in the above polls. The Opening Weekend + Sometime in Theaters number is (46.6+28.7) / (33.2+28.8) - 1 = 21.5% higher for Alice than Chocolate Factory. The latter's $56.2m opening would translate to $66.7m using today's ticket price, and with 2,242 3D + 188 IMAX screens, Alice could add another 20% or more to the figure for an $80m+ opening by just having the same amount of admissions. That should be the absolute floor, meaning 300's March opening record of $70.9m is 120% gone, while Passion of the Christ's $83.8m is in serious jeopardy as well. Furthermore, since more people are expressing interests in seeing this early comparing to Chocolate Factory, along with the fact that the current market is devoid of family attractions, a 20% higher in admissions would not be asking much, putting the Harry Potter-esque $100m number squarely in play. On the other hand, a leggy run after the opening is highly unlikely given Burton and Depp's devoted fanbase, the divisive reviews, and serious 3D competitions from the 4th weekend on. Nonetheless, this weekend is surely going to be exciting to watch.

With the massive loss of 3D and IMAX screens, Avatar will certainly suffer its biggest drop to date. However, most theaters are simply switching it to 2D screen instead, so the total reduction of screens is not as big. It had a per-theater-average of $5,560 last weekend, which translates to about $4,277 if we deduct the 30% 3D surcharge. A 30% decline in average from there would yield a round $3000 and $6.5m total for the weekend.


  1. You are starting to really come in last minute with your predicts ... if you hung around more you could've seen Alice midnight numbers. You are a great predictor but still

  2. All my predictions are the same as my derby entry at BOM, which I would enter on Thursday night, so I'm not incorporating any late info into my analysis. Some people have privately suggested me to not reveal my full set of predictions early so that others won't be able to copy, especially for competition where real prize is involved, so I can't really win either way. To me personally it doesn't matter, as by having a public blog, I made the decision to give up on any secrecy, and myself is totally fine with it.

  3. No I didn't mean it like that ... I would never copy your or for that matter anyone's predicts.I remember going to do the derby on thursday night right before the deadline and later going to your blog to see what do you think about the weekend but your predicts weren't there ...

    btw I read your blog all the time

  4. great predictions and also it's great you "show your work" (like with math problems) as your thinking makes a ton of sense. for example, Tooth Fairy's great holds are much less about the Rock's movie and more about the darth of titles for kids in the marketplace. It's great you factor those kinds of things in, as you did with your Alice analysis. Families need something to all see together, and Alice will clearly do that for them. I also agree about the legs being iffy for Alice.
    Great Job

  5. Good call on Alice, few will have predicted it to go so high. Any Oscar predictions before the big night?