Thursday, May 20, 2010

Weekend Box Office Predictions (May 21 - 23)

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Shrek Forever After87.2$20,000 PTA
2. Iron Man 227.3-47.5%
3. Robin Hood19.2-46.8%
4. MacGruber8.0$3,140 PTA
5. Letters to Juliet7.8-42.4%
6. Just Wright4.6-44.5%
7. How to Train Your Dragon2.6-48.0%
8. Date Night2.5-34.6%
9. A Nightmare on Elm Street2.3-50.6%
10. The Back-Up Plan0.9-62.3%

I expressed my thoughts on Shrek Forever After earlier this week, and my opinion has not changed since then, despite its record-breaking count of 2,373 3D and 194 IMAX screens (the overall count of 4,359 makes it the 4th widest opening ever). The buzz has picked up somewhat, but not enough to justify a prediction near $100m.

MacGruber has good vibe online, but as we have seen numerous times in the past, targeting exclusively to the 18-30 years old males may not translate to exciting box office return. Its Box Office Mojo poll trails other R-rated films such as Hot Tub Time Machine and Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. The positive reviews should prevent it from being another Repo Men, but I am not exactly seeing a double-digit opening.

A CinemeScore of B- did not suggest great word-of-mouth for Robin Hood; however, its dailies have been a little better than comparable films like Kingdom of Heaven and Troy. The PG-13 rating and being the only major adult-oriented film on the market could also help its second weekend's hold.

Iron Man 2 will recover better than how Spider-Man 3 did on its third frame while also facing a Shrek film. Its demo is more balanced, and with Shrek Forever After turning 3D, Iron Man 2 will benefit from being exclusively on 2D since it means less screen competition.

On the competition front, it'll be very interesting to see how How to Train Your Dragon performs this weekend. On one hand, it faces Shrek's double-edge sword of taking both its audience and its 3D screens, but on the other hand, both are from Dreamworks, and past history showed us that the holdovers of similar genres from the same studio tend to benefit when one of its tentpoles opens, because studio could put them together as double-feature for drive-ins or try to help each other through other means.

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