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Saturday, August 30, 2014



Weekend Predictions: Twilight Dawns for the Final Time

As The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 prepares to re-write the record book, it would be easy to overlook the rest of the top five. However, there are a few other films of note. Firstly, Lincoln, which is expanding this weekend and will nearly be at the truly wide level. Nearly everyone thinks this film will grab a spot in the top five. Also, despite a lot of people predicting Breaking Dawn will break records, a lot of people think Skyfall will hold up pretty well over the weekend. By comparison, last year, Breaking Dawn, Part 1 had an impressive opening, but it was the only thing about the weekend that was impressive, as Happy Feet 2 crashed and burned. There's a slim chance Breaking Dawn, Part 2 will open with more than the combined openings of those two films. Adding in Skyfall and 2012 should come out with a major win this week.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 is the final film in the franchise, at least until they get the spin-offs going. So far the films have averaged about $250 million domestically and $600 million worldwide. This film will very likely finish on the high end of that average, as it will be the last time Bella, Edward, and Jacob will be featured. The film's reviews are mixed, but so far they are the best in the franchise ahead of the 49% positive rating earned by Eclipse. As for its box office chances, nearly everyone thinks it will have the biggest opening in the franchise, so $140 million is the lower end of expectations. Anything above $160 million will be seen as impressive. Just over $150 million is probably the safest bet. Amazingly, if it gets there, it will be the fourth film to open with more than $150 million this year alone. That would be more $150 million opening weekends in one year than the rest of film history combined.

With a monster hit like that, one would expect the rest of the box office to take a dive. However, there's not a lot of crossover appeal between Breaking Dawn, Part 2 and Skyfall, so it shouldn't be hurt too much. (For that matter, there's not a lot of crossover appeal between Breaking Dawn, Part 2 and any other movie playing this weekend.) Add in reviews that are 92% positive and this film might just avoid a 50% drop-off. That would give the film $45 million over the weekend, $165 million after two, and a clear path to $200 million.

Wreck-It-Ralph should hold on even better falling less than 40% to just over $20 million over the weekend and close to $124 million after three. At this pace, it should top its $165 million production budget and assuming it can at least match that internationally, it should earn a profit early in its home market run.

After a fantastic opening in limited release, Lincoln will be expanding its theater count to 1,775. (They could add one more theater for a more patriotic number, couldn't they?) Given its reviews and its Awards Season buzz, the film could earn third place with just over $22 million. I would be shocked it if earned a per theater average of less than $9,000 and I think $10,000 is more likely. I am a little more bullish than most, but $18 million over the weekend and close to $20 million after two is not a crazy prediction.

Flight will round off the top five with $8 million over the weekend for a total of $60 million after three. It will likely finish with $80 million, or close to it.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2012-11-15

Movies 
 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2
 Skyfall
 Wreck-It Ralph
 Lincoln
 Flight