Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscar Winner Predictions: The King's Speech/David Fincher split?

Nikki found a way to discover the presentation order for the big night, so I'll arrange my predictions accordingly:

Best Art Direction - Inception
Best Cinematography – True Grit
Best Supporting Actress – Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Best Animated Feature Film – Toy Story 3
Best Animated Short Subject - Day & Night
Best Adapted Screenplay – The Social Network
Best Original Screenplay – The King's Speech
Best Foreign Language Film – In a Better World
Best Supporting Actor – Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Original Score – The King's Speech
Best Sound Mixing – Inception
Best Sound Editing – Inception
Best Make-Up – The Way Back
Best Costume Design – The King's Speech
Best Documentary Short Subject – Strangers No More
Live Action Short Film – Na Wewe
Best Documentary Feature – Exit through the Gift Shop
Visual Effects – Inception
Best Film Editing – The Social Network
Original Song – "If I Rise," 127 Hours
Director – David Fincher, The Social Network
Actress – Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Actor – Colin Firth, The King's Speech
Best Motion Picture - The King's Speech

Tally for the Best Picture nominees:
The King's Speech - 5
Inception - 4
The Social Network - 3
The Fighter - 2
127 Hours, Black Swan, Toy Story 3, True Grit - 1

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Feb 25 - 27): Hall Pass, Drive Angry, and the Oscar

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Gnomeo and Juliet15.1-21.2%
2. Unknown14.5-33.7%
3. Hall Pass12.0$4,068 PTA
4. Just Go With It11.3-38.8%
5. Drive Angry11.2$4,891 PTA
6. I Am Number Four10.0-48.6%
7. Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son8.0-50.9%
8. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never6.9-48.2%
9. The King's Speech6.7+2.6%
10. The Roommate1.9-51.4%

Neither new wide release is showing much promise online or in advance sales. Drive Angry has more tweets this week, but the presence of Nicholas Cage tends to drive up Twitter traffic some, as indicated by the high ratio of Season of the Witch (1,102), The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1,618), and Kick-Ass (1,420). Faster (1,863) would also have been a useful comparison if not for the fact that it opened on a Wednesday, while a couple of other ratios to note are The Mechanic's 684 and 857 from Sanctum, the previous R-rated 3D film. A low theater count should push Drive Angry's ratio to the 1,200-1,300 range, which, with an estimate raw count of 5,000, would put its Friday at around $4m. Its Opening Weekend interest from the Box Office Mojo poll stands at 14%, a solid figure that indicates a sub-$10m weekend is rather unlikely, especially when 3D surcharge is taken into account. With some luck, it may in fact come out ahead of the other opener Hall Pass this weekend, as the signs for the latter film are quite worrisome.

R-rated, male-oriented comedies normally shine in Box Office Mojo polls. Even the ones which didn't break out much performed well there, for example, Get Him to the Greek had 14.6% OW interest ($14.6m), Hot Tub Time Machine 17.6% ($14.0m), and I Love You, Man 17.3% ($17.8m). Hall Pass is sitting at 9.6%. The Twitter front isn't looking any better. It is on track to receive around 3,500 tweets from Monday to Thursday, and given the ratio history of similar films, it is basically looking at a $4m Friday as well, if not less. In addition, the reviews indicate the film will have a tough time attracting female audience or developing any sort of legs.

Weakness from openers is good news for the holdovers. Gnomeo and Juliet has displayed remarkable strength thus far, with a Wed-to-Wed jump of 49.8%. As past family films such as Tooth Fairy and Coraline showed, the post President's Day Friday increase will be a few notches smaller, but even a 170% bump would put Gnomeo and Juliet on track for a $15m weekend, good enough to win the frame. Unknown will put up a fight to retain the crown though, helped by the good word-of-mouth as well as both openers being R-rated, something that will positively affect a number of other holdovers in the top 10.

Sunday is Oscar night, and while adult-oriented films will see their gross dip that day, the event will also provide extra awareness as interested viewers may want to catch those nominated films they have not yet seen. The biggest beneficiary will fall on this year's frontrunner and one which appears to enjoy the best word-of-mouth, The King's Speech. It will add another 300 locations (Both The Social Network and Winter's Bone are re-expanding as well to take advantage of the opportunity), and look for a slight uptick in the weekend gross.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

China Weekly Box Office (1/31 - 2/6): Lunar New Year holiday

MovieWeekly Gross (yuan/dollar)Change# of showingsadmissionsTotal (yuan/dollar)
1. All's Well, Ends Well 2011(最强囍事)82m ($12.51m)New44,6422,414,60582m ($12.51m)
2. My Own Swordsman(武林外传)62m ($9.46m)-26.2%39,6021,710,344146m ($22.22m)
3. What Women Want(我知女人心)28m ($4.27m)New21,361780,59628m ($4.27m)
4. Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf 3(喜羊羊与灰太狼之兔年顶呱呱)27m ($4.12m)-41.3%25,720842,433128m ($19.46m)
5. Little Big Panda(熊猫总动员)26m ($3.97m)New14,009643,26526m ($3.97m)
6. Shaolin(新少林寺)24.7m ($3.77m)-67.1%21,301667,026209.7m ($31.87m)
7. Mr. and Mrs. Incredible(神奇侠侣)23m ($3.51m)New17,448692,14523m ($3.51m)
8. I Love HongKong(开心万岁)11m ($1.68m)New10,082334,85511m ($1.68m)
9. Tron Legacy(创:战纪)7.1m ($1.08m)-54.5%3,296135,599123.7m ($18.77m)
10. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader(纳尼亚3)4.6m ($0.70m)-58.2%2,863105,625121.6m ($18.45m)
(Source, 1 chinese yuan == $0.1525)

China Weekly Box Office (1/24 - 1/30): My Own Swordsman took advantage of the pre-Lunar New Year frame

MovieWeekly Gross (yuan/dollar)Change# of showingsadmissionsTotal (yuan/dollar)
1. My Own Swordsman(武林外传)84m ($12.76m)New52,1532,350,96584m ($12.76m)
2. Shaolin(新少林寺)75m ($11.39m)-31.8%62,8942,092,633185m ($28.10m)
3. Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf 3(喜羊羊与灰太狼之兔年顶呱呱)46m ($6.99m)-16.4%54,3781,513,655101m ($15.34m)
4. Tron Legacy(创:战纪)15.6m ($2.37m)-49.7%11,797351,668116.6m ($17.69m)
5. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader(纳尼亚3)11m ($1.67m)-52.2%10,580293,020117m ($17.75m)
6. Let the Bullets Fly(让子弹飞)5.9m ($0.90m)-60.7%7,834159,330674.9m ($101.83m)
7. If You Are the One 2(非诚勿扰2)2.05m ($0.31m)-77.2%3,70356,072493m ($74.59m)
(Source, 1 chinese yuan == $0.1519)

Friday, February 18, 2011

President's Day Weekend Box Office Predictions (Feb 18 - 21): I Am Number Four, Unknown, Big Mommas 3

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. I Am Number Four27.0$8,561 PTA
2. Unknown24.0$7,887 PTA
3. Just Go With It23.5-23.0%
4. Gnomeo and Juliet23.0-9.3%
5. Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son21.0$7,444 PTA
6. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never11.0-62.7%
7. The King's Speech8.0+10.6%
8. The Eagle5.6-35.5%
9. The Roommate4.7-42.2%
10. No Strings Attached4.2-27.7%

Saturday, February 12, 2011

China Weekly Box Office (1/17 - 1/23): domestic films opened strong, and Let the Bullets Fly crossed $100m

MovieWeekly Gross (yuan/dollar)Change# of showingsadmissionsTotal (yuan/dollar)
1. Shaolin(新少林寺)110m ($16.71m)New59,5913,015,350110m ($16.71m)
2. Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf 3(喜羊羊与灰太狼之兔年顶呱呱)55m ($8.35m)New30,8981,766,21755m ($8.35m)
3. Tron Legacy(创:战纪)31m ($4.71m)-55.7%26,636711,833101m ($15.32m)
4. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader(纳尼亚3)23m ($3.49m)-43.9%22,021588,837106m ($16.08m)
5. Let the Bullets Fly(让子弹飞)15m ($2.28m)-53.1%21,539415,512669m ($100.93m)
6. If You Are the One 2(非诚勿扰2)9m ($1.37m)-60.9%15,944249,031491m ($74.18m)
7. Midnight Beating(午夜心跳)1m ($0.15m)-65.5%2,73235,65031.1m ($4.72m)
(Source, 1 chinese yuan == $0.1519)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Feb 11 - 13): Just Go With It, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Gnomeo and Juliet, The Eagle

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Just Go With It35.0$9,865 PTA
2. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never20.0$6,441 PTA
3. Gnomeo and Juliet18.0$6,012 PTA
4. The King's Speech6.8-11.8%
5. The Roommate6.5-56.7%
6. No Strings Attached5.3-33.8%
7. The Eagle5.0$2,178 PTA
8. Sanctum4.7-50.3%
9. True Grit3.5-24.6%
10. The Green Hornet3.1-48.0%

After falling to the lowest level since September of last year and the lowest for a winter weekend since 2007, the box office is certainly more than ready for a healthy rebound, something the post Super Bowl frame is known for. Since 2004, the average of improvement over the Super Bowl weekend is 28.8%, highlighted by the gigantic 89.7% jump experienced last year with the help of two holidays coinciding (Valentine's Day on Saturday and President's Day on Monday) and three new films covering a wide range of audience. The four new wide releases this week are a little narrower in term of the demographics they appeal, as older males do not have much additional choice besides seeing The King's Speech and True Grit again, and there won't be direct help from holidays, but bringing the top 10 back to over $100m (40%+ increase) is a realistic goal.

This is not the first time Adam Sandler co-stars a romantic comedy for Valentine's Day. In 2004, 50 First Dates opened to $39.9m in 3,591 theaters, a figure Just Go With It would love to match, although the signs are saying it will fall short. The tweets count is indicating a $11-12m Friday, and the Box Office Mojo poll matches that prediction quite well by falling right between what I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and You Don't Mess with the Zohan received. Having V Day fall on Monday will help Saturday as a date night, but the impact will definitely be a couple of notches less than if it had fallen directly on Saturday as it was the case for 50 First Dates, so a mid-30s opening should still be considered satisfactory and put it on track for a $100m+ total.

Bieber fever is real, but how much it could translate to the box office remains a big question mark, especially when his appeal is mainly limited to teenage girls. Jonas Brothers, after all, saw their 3D concert film open to only $12.5m in 1,271 theaters. The fact that Never Say Never is more of a documentary like This Is It than a straight-up concert movie could also make a few fans stay at home. Being in over 3,000 theaters will help the top line but hurt the per-theater-average. Saturday drop will be significant, and a daily breakdown of 9-7-4 would not be surprising. In addition, the music fans could have another matter in mind for Sunday: Grammys.

Few paid much attention to Gnomeo and Juliet, until Major Theater Chain put out a "stunning" tracking number of $20m for the opening weekend, but as the week progressed, the number no longer appears that outrageous. The number of tweets is very healthy, considering the low ratio family films usually gets, and any time an animated feature could get over 5% Opening Weekend interest at Box Office Mojo poll (6.1% as of Thursday night), the prospect of it tanking becomes very slim. $5m seems to be the minimum it will get on Friday, and $17m+ over the first three days is a reasonable expectation.

The Eagle picked a terrible release date, as its main (and probably only) drawing card Channing Tatum will be largely negated by the presence of Justin Bieber. A 2,200 tweets would translate to a meek $2m Friday due to the expected high ratio, and a weak internal multiplier will give it only a $5m weekend.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Super Bowl Weekend Box Office Predictions (Feb 4 - 6): The Roommate, Sanctum

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. The Roommate14.0$5,525 PTA
2. Sanctum10.0$3,586 PTA
3. No Strings Attached8.2-38.9%
4. The King's Speech7.8-29.5%
5. The Green Hornet6.2-44.6%
6. The Rite6.0-59.4%
7. The Mechanic5.1-55.3%
8. True Grit4.7-37.5%
9. Black Swan3.3-35.5%
10. The Dilemma3.2-43.5%

1. There are three prime reasons why we are on track to have the worst February weekend since 2007: another set of uninteresting openers, the worst winter storm in decades that have affected many states, and Super Bowl XLV. For the third time in five weeks, We could be looking at a frame where no film would earn over $15m, and we hadn't witnessed such lousy start to the year since 2000.

2. Screen Gems is no stranger to handling a release on the Super Bowl weekend. However, The Roommate is tracking much closer to The Messengers than Boogeyman or When a Stranger Calls. The Box Office Mojo poll is a hair worse than what The Messengers had, and although the tweets count is solid in raw numbers, the generic title and attraction to younger females could mean a high ratio. In addition, Super Bowl, as big as it already is, has experienced a upswing in rating and is putting more hurt on the box office; several films last year saw 70%+ Sunday decline.

3. There isn't much going for Sanctum other than James Cameron's name as the producer and 3D surcharge. Universal understood the situation and is focusing the campaign on those two positives, but that is unlikely to elevate the return much beyond what films such as The Cave and The Descent grossed in their opening weekend ($6.1m and $8.9m respectively), especially with it also being rated R.