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Weekend Predictions: Can 3D Stop a Threepeat? Or Will Reunion Rule?

April 5th, 2012

A trio of films are looking to grab top spot on the box office chart this weekend. Some think American Reunion will win. It is the latest installment in a very popular franchise, one that hasn't had a theatrical release in almost nine years. Some think Titanic 3D will lead the way. It is a 3D re-release of the second-biggest hit of all time. While still others think The Hunger Games will win for the third weekend in a row. It is by far the biggest hit of the year and topped the chart on Wednesday, despite the debut of Titanic. All three films are have a chance to make more than $30 million over the weekend. On the other hand, this weekend last year, no films made more than $30 million and only one, Hop, made more than $20 million. This means 2012 should win with ease.

It has been nine years since American Pie was last in theaters, but that changes this weekend with the release of American Reunion. There is a chance that nostalgia will boost this film's box office numbers and maybe those who loved these movies when they were in high school / college will want to see them as they enter their 30s. The reviews are only mixed; then again, the franchise has always earned mixed reviews, so I don't think this will hurt the film's box office chances. Right now, the majority of analysts think the film will earn between $25 million and $35 million, while I think the higher end is more likely, as there's not a lot of direct competition. Look for $33 million over the weekend and a first place finish. However, I'm not overly confident about either prediction.

The Hunger Games is racing toward $300 million, and there is a slim, slim chance it could get there this week. It would need about $33 million over the weekend, which would represent a 44% drop-off. That's too optimistic for me. However, a sub-50% drop-off to just over $30 million is more likely. There's not a lot of direct competition coming out this weekend, and films tend to level out after the sophomore weekend.

Roughly 15 years after it first hit theaters, Titanic returns with a 3D Re-release. The film was the biggest box office at the time of its release and there are some who think it will be a massive box office hit again topping the chart during the opening weekend. If it did so, it would tie E.T.'s record for most weekends on top of the box office chart. It's possible, especially given its very strong reviews. There are a few things going against it. Firstly, it opened on Wednesday, so its weekend numbers will be a little softer than they otherwise would. Secondly, there is a bit of a backlash against 3-D films, because there have been so many of them recently. Thirdly, it's not the biggest movie out there. It only managed second place during its opening day. Look for third place and just under $30 million, which is more than it earned during its opening weekend way back in 1997.

Wrath of the Titans will likely get crushed at the box office. A drop-off greater than 60% is possible, which would leave the film with $13 million over the weekend and $56 million after two. I think it will avoid that fate, but not by much. Look for $14 million over the weekend.

There should be a close race for fifth place between Mirror Mirror and 21 Jump Street. Both should pull in about $10 million, but the former has a slight advantage over the latter.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Titanic, 21 Jump Street, Wrath of the Titans, The Hunger Games, Mirror Mirror, American Reunion