Friday, January 14, 2011

MLK Weekend Box Office Predictions (Jan 14 - 17): The Green Hornet, The Dilemma

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. The Green Hornet44.0$12,277 PTA
2. The Dilemma22.0$7,480 PTA
3. True Grit12.5-14.4%
4. Black Swan9.5+17.1%
5. Little Fockers8.9-34.0%
6. The King's Speech8.3+29.4%
7. The Fighter6.5-7.2%
8. Tron6.0-40.5%
9. Season of the Witch5.8-45.3%
10. Country Strong5.5-24.9%

The two new wide releases are heading in the exact opposite direction of what were expected of them a couple of months ago. The Green Hornet had negative buzz since its inception, and when Sony moved The Green Hornet out of the December slot, the consensus was that the film was destined for financial failure. All credits to Sony's marketing team for turning things around, after not putting much effort into The Tourist. The posters and trailers have been very effective, demonstrated by the tracking numbers - 42 from Major Theater Chain and high-30s from ReelSource, and Box Office Mojo poll - 30.9% Opening Weekend interest, comparing nicely to The Ghost Rider's 31.8% (opened to $52m over the long President's Day weekend) and The Wolfman's 27.8% ($35.6m). The additional benefit of 3D and IMAX makes the prospect of making $40m+ this frame even less daunting.

On the other hand, given the recent history of Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, it didn't appear a $30m opening should be much a problem for The Dilemma, until when we were near the release. Now even $25m appears unlikely. Its OW percentage at BOM poll is 30% weaker than what Couples Retreat received (9.7% vs. 14%), and that puts the weekend's upper bound at $24m, correlating with what tracking showed (23 from MTC and mid-20s from RS). In fact, a good possibility exists where The Green Hornet could double what it earns this weekend.

Several films with Oscar aspiration will try to take advantage of the buzz from Sunday's Golden Globe awards, in particular Black Swan and The King's Speech. Both are expanding in a major fashion and should witness good bumps in box office. Monday could be especially strong after each scoops a lead acting kudo (Actress for the former and Actor for the latter).

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