Friday, November 5, 2010

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Nov 5 - 7): Megamind, For Colored Girls, Due Date, 127 Hours

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Megamind55.0$13,945 PTA
2. For Colored Girls32.0$15,045 PTA
3. Due Date32.0$9,538 PTA
4. Saw 3D8.4-65.3%
5. Red7.3-32.0%
6. Paranormal Activity 25.8-64.9%
7. Hereafter3.6-43.9%
8. Jackass 3-D3.4-60.0%
9. Secretariat3.2-36.1%
10. The Social Network3.0-33.6%
-. 127 Hours0.28 (in 4 theaters)$70,000 PTA

1. Not only Megamind bears a sense of resemblance with Despicable Me in term of plots, they also share similarities on the box office front. The Box Office Mojo poll on when one will see the film has Megamind at 21.9% Opening Weekend and 25.1% Sometime in Theaters, while it was 21.0% OW and 27.5% SiT for Despicable Me. The tweets count is a little lower for Megamind, indicating a smaller Friday, but it will have a better internal multiplier and could make up good ground in the following two days. Madagascar 2, for example, had a 3.59 IM on the same weekend two years ago. Look for a $16-17m opening day and 3.2-3.4 IM for Megamind.

2. The battle for second place will be fierce and quite closer than most anticipated. In fact, there is a 50/50 chance that For Colored Girls would come out ahead of Due Date this weekend, even though the former will be in 1,228 fewer theaters. The key is that Tyler Perry's films do not need that many theaters; their strategy is to pick and saturate the right locations for their audience, and as a result, they usually have very high per-theater-averages. The BOM poll puts For Colored Girls between Why Did I Get Married Too? ($13,591 PTA in 2,155) and Madea Goes to Jail ($20,192 PTA in 2,032), and the advance sales have been excellent. The tracking tends to underestimate urban-focused films, and even they have the film to open in the mid-$20m range, so it does not appear breaking $30m should be an issue.

3. Due Date, on the other hand, is sold mainly on the drawing power of Robert Downey Jr. and the good will for director Todd Phillips from his previous film The Hangover, so the tracking, which put it at mid-$30m, could be overestimating in this case. The trailer didn't actually generate that much positive reaction, and it is now echoed by the mediocre reviews. In addition, there could be a fatigue factor on R-rated as well as male-oriented films given we have had plenty of them in October (For Colored Girls is also rated R, but its particular audience has been very underserved). The film should still break $30m, but not by much.

4. With three diverse films all expecting to do well, the holdovers will not have much space to hide, especially R-rated films. Jackass and Paranormal Activity 2 have the additional disadvantage of seeing their respective 3D and IMAX screens under assault. On the indie front, a big Oscar contender will enter the market. Danny Boyle's new film 127 Hours has been gathering accolades since its premiere in festivals, in particular regarding James Franco's performance. Opening in only 4 theaters this weekend, it should have a gigantic PTA exceeding $60K.

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