Sunday, July 29, 2012

Early thoughts on the upcoming weekend's openers

Even before the tragedy in Aurora, I wasn't feeling bullish on the Total Recall remake. The project seems pointless and has not generated much buzz. Now the environment is more challenging. IMO, the shooting did not necessarily make people afraid of going to theaters, but rather dampened the enthusiasm of watching a movie with friends or families a great deal. Going to movies is meant to be an escape, and with such heavy event associated with the activity, it requires some time before we get back to normal, especially when there is the Olympics where people could relax and follow at home. Not surprisingly, London 2012 is setting rating records for a non-American Olympics. As for Total Recall, the number of user ratings at Flixster/Rottentomatoes currently stands at just over 28K, a decent figure, but the rate of increase this week has been slow. I'm seeing a $25m or lower opening weekend.

The first two Diary of a Wimpy Kid adaptations opened to $22.1m and $23.8m respectively, and no reason to believe the third one would deviate much from them. It currently has 8.7K user ratings at Flixster, a healthy number as family films tend to see a much lower ratio in term of ratings vs. OW (most are around 600, meaning 12K would translate to a $20m start). The family movies have also rebounded better than average this past weekend, with Braves and Ice Age both declined less than 35%. Look for a $20m+ start for Dog Days, and it is certainly possible to see it beat Total Recall next weekend.

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