Archive for the ‘October 16-18’ Category

Weekend Fix: Wild Things Ain’t That Wild, Law Abiding Citizen Does Well, Paranormal Activity AMAZES

October 18, 2009

Weekend Preview: Will Where The Wild Things Are Be The Blockbuster Everyone’s Hoping It Will Be?

October 16, 2009

Okay guys, there have been a couple requests for a traditional Weekend Preview, so this week I decided to do one.  The video above is asking for some feedback on which format you like the best, so please chime in with your opinion in the comments!  This week, three new films hit theaters, but based on buzz,  it almost seems like there’s just one new release.  On the docket we have the very low profile Law-Abiding Citizen and The Stepfather, and the very high profile Where The Wild Things Are.  Keep reading to see my predictions of how each of these movies will perform this weekend.

Where The Wild Things Are – 3,735 theaters – $31.5 million

1. Sorry popular media, but I still say this Warner Brothers movie is too hipster and weird to be a huge mainstream success. 
2. Between the built in fans of the book, the strong advertising campaign, and the ultra-wide release into 3,735 theaters, a solid opening weekend is guaranteed.
3. Reviews are fairly good, but that’s from snobby critics who actually appreciate artistic themes and dour characters (think Donnie Darko).  This film will have masses of teenage fans who say it is the best piece of art they have ever seen, but for the common middle American family, I’m not so sure this plotless dreamscape will be beloved.

Law Abiding Citizen – 2,889 theaters – $9.5 million
1. This film stars Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler, two movie stars who aren’t exactly box office draws.
2. Unlike the above release, I have seen almost no advertising for this drama, which is about a tyrannical prisoner and a harsh district attorney.
3. The wide release will garner at least some attention, but abysmal reviews will keep the target audience of this (adults) away.

The Stepfather – 2,734 theaters – $6 million

1. I feel like some Screen Gems producers were sitting in a room and said, “Hey, lets make a cheap horror remake and just throw a good looking Gossip Girl star in it!  It’s almost no work on our part!”
2. Unfortunately for the above producers, these poorly reviewed, cheap retreads only do well when supported by a major advertising campaign, which this has not had.
3. The good news for Screen Gems is that I’m sure this movie was inexpensive to make, so even if it fails financially, I’m sure it was a small investment.

Paranormal Activity – 760 theaters – $17 million

1. The little horror film that could expands into 600 more theaters this weekend, and I’d expect a full wide release from Paramount next weekend.
2. Because of the expansion, the blazing $49,000 per theater average of last week is going to come down a bit, but a $21,000 average would still give this an amazing $17 million for the weekend.
3. Based on Paranormal Activity‘s shockingly effective “Demand It” campaign, I’d expect a slew of films to begin trying to use Eventful to make their movies break out.  This seems like a rather unique case, though, and I don’t expect lightning to strike twice.

Among holdovers, Couples Retreat, since it is a widely accessible comedy, should see a friendly second weekend drop of about 45% to $18 million. Zombieland and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs should keep riding the wave of fantastic word-of-mouth to small drops of 40% and 30%, respectively. My full predictions are below:

Box Office Predictions for October 16-18, 2009
Rank Movie Theaters Predicted Gross
1 Where The Wild Things Are 3,735 $31.5 million
2 Couples Retreat 3,009 $18 million
3 Paranormal Activity 760 $17 million
4 Law Abiding Citizen 2,889 $9.5 million
5 Zombieland 3,171 $9 million
6 Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 3,037 $8 million
7 The Stepfather 2,734 $7 million
8 Toy Story / Toy Story 2 (3D) 1,467 $5 million
9 Surrogates 2,326 $2.7 million
10 The Invention Of Lying 1,624 $2 million