Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekend Box Office Predictions (June 24 - 26): Cars 2, Bad Teacher

MoviePredicted Gross (m)Change
1. Cars 258.0$14,095 PTA
2. Bad Teacher24.0$7,871 PTA
3. Green Lantern17.5-67.1%
4. Super 813.5-37.1%
5. Mr. Popper's Penguins11.0-40.4%
6. X-Men: First Class7.0-41.3%
7. The Hangover Part II6.0-40.4%
8. Bridesmaids5.5-22.5%
9. Kung Fu Panda 24.5-50.2%
10. Midnight in Paris4.1-16.1%

Pixar has been as rock solid as it gets both critically and box office wise. Cars 2 already broke the first trend, becoming the worst reviewed Pixar film by far with 39% at Rottentomatoes (5.6 average) and a 58 score at Metacritic, and it is in real danger of becoming a box office disappointment as well. However, the disappointment there will not necessarily be in term of raw gross, but rather relative to many's initial expectations of $80m+ opening arisen from the original's 4.06 multiplier, 15m DVD copies, countless merchandise sales, the good wills obtained from the later Pixar hits, and the additional 3D surcharge. Unfortunately, 3D has shown to become a burden for many films this year, as families are getting more reluctant to pay the premium, and the surcharge could barely cover the loss in admissions, if at all.

As we are getting closer to the release, more signs are indicating a lower opening. At Box Office Mojo, it is clinging to an opening weekend percentage of 30%, lower than original Car's 34.6% or even Ratatouille's 34.4%, which translated to the slowest start of any Pixar's films since A Bug's Life with $47m. Another comparison would be against Kung Fu Panda 2, another 3D animated sequel that opened to $47.7m from a 31.2% OW interest at BOM poll. Considering the much stronger online fanbase Pixar has tends to inflate such polls, one could see why Cars 2's prospect is taking a serious hit. Look for a $21-22m Friday, but a weaker IM will prevent it from reaching $60m for the weekend.

On the opposite side, the signs for the other wide opener, Bad Teacher, appear rather solid. Both the BOM poll and number of tweets for the week outpaced comparable films such as Get Him to the Creek, I Love You Man, and The Ugly Truth. A $20m+ start should be no problem.

There are several ways to look at Green Lantern's daily figures, and none promises even an average sophomore hold by the genre's standard. By Wednesday, it already lost 81.7% of its opening Friday's audience, worse than The Incredible Hulk's 79.0% and Rise of the Silver Surfer's 79.7%, barely ahead of Hulk's 82.1%. Its Tues-to-Wed drop of 21.4% was the worse of the day by a while, as only 3 other films reported had double-digit declines. As for how it will perform this weekend, Hulk increased the smallest on Friday with 39.6% followed by a 3.31 IM, Silver Surfer 59% and 3.20 IM, The Incredible Hulk 59.1% and 3.32 IM. A similar performance would give Green Lantern a $5.5m Friday for a $17-18m weekend.

Super 8 was assisted by Father's Day last weekend, but it will also face less competition this time around, not to mention that Bad Teacher being rated R could provide some sneak-in business. Good word-of-mouth should also help Mr. Popper's Penguins to have a steady hold.

When WALL-E opened 3 years ago, it caused Kung Fu Panda to increase only 11.2% on Friday. With bigger theater drop (-27.2%) and the continuing loss of 3D screens, looks for Kung Fu Panda 2 to have an even smaller jump. A Thurs-to-Friday decline is certainly not out of question either.

Despite the new competition from Bad Teacher, Bridesmaids should continue its amazing march toward a 6+ multiplier. After all, it handled The Hangover Part II just fine. The film in fact saw a Wed-to-Wed increase in PTA this week, so another weekend of $2,700 PTA could be in store.

1 comment:

  1. A bit surprised with how low you have Cars 2, but Bad Teacher sounds pretty good. I myself have it at 22.6m.

    The only thing is that Cars 2 will really take a toll on Mr. Popper's Penguins. It'll drop closer to 50% than 40% IMO.

    -Spaghetti

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