Thursday, April 22, 2010

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Apr 23 - 25)

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. How to Train Your Dragon14.7-25.1%
2. The Back-Up Plan13.0$3,960 PTA
3. Kick-Ass10.9-45.0%
4. Date Night9.5-43.2%
5. Clash of the Titans8.3-46.1%
6. Oceans8.0/12.0$6,630 PTA
7. The Losers7.5$2,550 PTA
8. Death at a Funeral7.3-55.0%
9. The Last Song3.8-36.3%
10. Alice in Wonderland2.2-39.8%

I personally have no confidence in The Losers doing well. The buzz is alarmingly small for a comic book adaptation, and the existing chatters are concentrated on the Internet; as we saw from Kick-Ass and Snakes on a Plane, even the highly hyped ones may fail to translate the online buzz to real box office receipt when they were not complemented by awareness from the general public. In some ways The Losers reminds me of Shoot'Em Up and Crank 2. Its poll numbers at Box Office Mojo (14.4% Opening Weekend) are quite weak for such a film (Kick-Ass had 34.1% OW by comparison), so is the pre-sale figure. The only positive factors are the PG-13 rating and a reasonable theater count, but they are unlikely to be enough for a double-digit weekend. Look for a $3m Friday, $7.5-8m 3-day, and no more than $20m total in the end.

Initially I did not expect The Back-Up Plan to perform much better than CBS Films' first feature Extraordinary Measures, but it is releasing at an opportune time, as the weakness of the frame could allow the film to find a bigger audience. Jennifer Lopez had seen some success in the past, in particular with Monster-in-Law where it opened to $23.1m en route to a $82.9m total. However, the movie was almost 5 years ago and helped by being Fonda's first non-documentary film in 15 years. A romantic comedy never does well in BOM polls, but we could make horizontal comparison between it and other similar films, and in the case of The Back-Up Plan, the numbers are better than what Must Love Dogs and The Wedding Date had. A low-teen opening appears to be in store, and it could even win the weekend.

The most natural comparison for Oceans would certainly be Earth last year. Oceans faces a disadvantage in theater count (1,206 vs. 1,804), but it also has a few advantages. First Earth Day has grown more mainstream as people have become more conscious of the environment, and this is its 40-year anniversary. In addition, ocean is an easier sell to kids and families; one reason Finding Nemo remains the most popular Pixar film ever could be that water imagery and its blueness are more attractive than dry dirt and hot earth. Oceans is also directed by Jacques Perrin, the director of Winged Migration, a film beloved within the nature documentary community. Altogether, they could help Oceans to have a similar start with $4m on Thursday and $8m over the weekend.


  1. Agreed, except for your Kick-Ass prediction which seems a bit high. It had a similar Monday drop to Watchmen, which only had a 103% Friday increase.

    Then of course, Zombieland fell 65% on its first Monday, but also had much better dailies and WOM leading up to its 147% Friday increase.

  2. It has much better WOM than Watchmen though, and The Last House on the Left is a bigger and more direct competition to Watchmen than The Losers will be to Kick-Ass. Watchmen was around college spring break time, affecting its Friday increase. I think Kick-Ass could increase 160%.