Friday, March 4, 2011

Weekend Box Office Predictions (Mar 4 - 6): Rango, The Adjustment Bureau, Beastly, Take Me Home Tonight

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Rango45.0$11,488 PTA
2. The Adjustment Bureau29.0$10,211 PTA
3. Unknown7.0-44.3%
4. Hall Pass7.0-48.3%
5. The King's Speech6.9-6.0%
6. Beastly6.5$3,330 PTA
7. Gnomeo and Juliet6.2-53.7%
8. Just Go With It5.9-44.0%
9. I Am Number Four5.5-50.1%
10. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never3.7-60.6%
11. Take Me Home Tonight3.2$1,598 PTA

Yes, I am going bullish on the top two films, especially The Adjustment Bureau. The general predictions on it are around $20m, but all the signs are pointing to a much higher opening. It is entirely possible that the sci-fiction aspect is skewing the figures, but they are impressive. It is on track to grab 7,000 tweets from Monday to Thursday, and given the ratios Hereafter (509), Unknown (648), and Green Zone (650) ended up, $10m Friday seems very much achievable. Its 24% Opening Weekend interest at Box Office Mojo poll is also better than what Unknown, the strongest opener among those films, received. The fact that its tracking number from Major Theater Chain far exceeds the one ReelSource reported does not hurt either, even if the hypothesis has been less reliable in predicting overachievers than underperformers. Furthermore, the advance sales are robust, as it accounted for 16% of tickets as of Thursday noon, and the reviews are solid enough to convince a few more bystanders to give it a shot. Look for the film to repeat the success of past March adult dramas such as Panic Room, Inside Man, and Erin Brockovich to make a run at a $30m opening.

Still, the victory for this frame will belong to Rango, one which also enjoys healthy online signs. Some of the strength could be contributed to the presence of Johnny Depp and the connection to Pirates of the Caribbean films with him and director Gore Verbinski, but even with the factors taking into account, a $12m Friday and $40m+ start are legitimate expectation. In addition, being exclusively in 2D could in fact help the family-friendly film after the recent struggle of many 3D adventures.

The other two openers will experience much less success. Beastly is promoting hard to its targeted teenage audience, but there is little buzz beyond the core demo, and Take Me Home Tonight has been delayed for so long that it might as well go straight to DVD. Neither is showing up on the advance sales chart (more worrisome for the latter than the former), and the screen allocations are likely weak for both of them.

With 4 new wide releases occupying more than 10,000 screens, the holdovers will mostly see harsher declines. The ones facing the toughest challenge are Gnomeo and Juliet, I Am Number Four, and Justin Bieber. Animated films are notorious suspect to competition because it takes away the entire family and doesn't generate spillover business as the short runtime allows enough showings to avoid soldouts. A classical example would be Flushed Away dropping 60.3% against Happy Feet after having a wonderful 11.7% hold on its sophomore weekend. This frame has also not been very kind to animated holdovers in general. Two years ago, Coraline declined 54% without facing much new competition after a couple of excellent holds prior. For I Am Number Four, The Adjustment Bureau will snatch away some sci-fi crowd, and Beastly will attract its Twilight audience. Never Say Never, on the other hand, had its last weekend inflated by the release of Director's Cut and, combined with the double-attack of Rango and Beastly, will see a much more subdued Friday jump this time, leading to a possible 60%+ tumble.


  1. What does PTA stand for? I think you will be wrong about Beastly! That movie is going to rock.