Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Mar 18 - 20): Limitless, The Lincoln Lawyer, Paul

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Battle: Los Angeles17.5-50.8%
2. Limitless17.0$6,168 PTA
3. Rango16.5-27.0%
4. The Lincoln Lawyer11.0$4,064 PTA
5. Paul10.0$3,570 PTA
6. The Adjustment Bureau7.5-35.3%
7. Red Riding Hood7.4-47.2%
8. Mars Needs Moms5.0-27.7%
9. Beastly3.3-34.3%
10. Hall Pass2.8-44.0%

1. Among the three openers, Limitless is exhibiting the strongest signs, as the number of tweets indicates a 6m+ opening day (I would give it a ratio around 1,000), and Box Office Mojo poll is quite solid for a PG-13 rated action thriller. In addition, with all three openers targeting more or less the same audience, having the least restricted rating could help attract some sneak-in business, not to mention that Limitless is the most likely candidate to branch out and bring in the female demographics.

2. The Lincoln Lawyer launched an one-day Groupon deal on Thursday, the first of such kind (i.e. deal for a specific movie). It could be interpreted as an act of desperation or a last-ditch effort to generate interests on the movie, but we could also expect this to become a trend in the future, because it benefits all parties involved: the consumers will buy the most expensive showings to save the most, the studio will report higher box office number since the ticket will be counted using its full price value (although their actual earning will not grow as much since they have to refund the discount), Fandango will earn more fees from the increase in transactions, and Groupon will get their usual cut from the deal.

3. For a film that should have the strongest pull online, Paul's figures from Twitter and BOM are rather pedestrian. More alarmingly, it had not yet cracked the top 5 on Fandango's sales list by Thursday afternoon. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World keeps coming to mind as a prime example where an over-hyped online film with little appeal elsewhere failed miserably at the box office. The R-rating also does not help, as unlike The Lincoln Lawyer, Paul's audience skews much more to the younger males.

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