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Weekend Predictions: Will There Be Box Office Magic?

June 28th, 2012

There are three new releases and a holdover looking to battle for top spot over the weekend. Magic Mike will likely be the best of the new releases, but Ted could be close behind. Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection is a wild card and could earn first or could struggle to reach $20 million. The only one of the four new releases that will not have a shot at first place is People Like Us, which at its lowest might not reach the top ten. Brave will also be in the race for first place and many believe it has the advantage over the newcomers. As for the year-over-year comparison, forget about it. This weekend last year was the Independence Day long weekend and the misalignment will result in 2012 taking a beating. In fact, the combined openings of the four wide releases will likely not be as much as Transformers: Dark of the Moon opened with last year. June is going to end on a really soft note, but July should start strong due to the same holiday misalignment.

Brave beat expectations last weekend, and with very strong reviews and a family-friendly target audience, it should hold on rather well. A sub-40% drop-off is possible, which would give the film a sophomore stint of just over $40 million. On the low end, it could fall 50%, giving it $33 million. Look for $38 million over the weekend for a total of $135 million after two.

It seems most analysts think Magic Mike has the best shot at unseating Brave, and there are some reasons to be optimistic. For starters, the film's reviews are surprisingly strong and are currently at 78% positive. Additionally, the film's writer / star, Channing Tatum, is coming off back-to-back $100 million hits, so his star power is certainly rising. On the down side, it is an R-rated film aimed at women, and that's a combination that doesn't have strong track record at the box office. It's not that this combination has been tried over and over again and has produced a lot of flops. It's just not a very common combination. The buzz is good enough that it has a realistic shot at first place, and it could manage to win on Friday, but I think by the end it will settle for second place with $33 million. It might earn first place over the weekend, it if performs a little better than expected and Brave slips a little faster.

Ted is Seth MacFarlane's first foray into live action films after earning much success for his animated TV series. In this regard, the film is very much like Mike Judge with Office Space. The two films have more in common, namely their reviews. Ted's Tomatometer Score is currently 71% positive, which is lower than Office Space's 79% positive, but still within a similar range. Hopefully the box office will be a lot better with this film. In fact, it should make more during its opening day than Office Space made in total. I think given its target audience, it will earn first place on Friday, but have the weakest legs of the top three films and by Sunday finish third with $32 million. This is close enough that it has a real shot at top spot. On the other hand, R-rated comedies have not done well this year, and the market for such films could still be really weak. If this is the case, it might not reach $25 million during its opening, and that could leave it in fourth place, depending on how well the next film does.

Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection is a Tyler Perry film with the multi-hyphenated filmmaker donning the fat suit to play Madea once more. Madea movies tend to be solid mid-level hits, and the previous films all earned more than $50 million at the box office. Given that consistency, there's little reason to doubt this film's chances; however, with no reviews and Good Deeds really missing expectations, there's a chance this could be the first Madea movie to bomb. Expectations range from the mid-$20 millions to perhaps just under $20 million. I've learned not to underestimated Tyler Perry, so I'm going with $24 million, which is basically the average of the previous two Madea movies, but the movie could be a surprise hit and earn more than $30 million. The lack of reviews does make judging the film's potential trickier.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted should round out the top five with just over $11 million over the weekend for a total of just under $180 million. It is on pace to reach $200 million before it is done.

The final wide release of the week is People Like Us, although it is barely opening truly wide with a theater count of 2,055. The film's reviews are good, but there's almost no buzz and the theater count suggests the studio doesn't have a lot of faith in the film. Almost no one is expecting it will reach the top five, and the consensus seems to be $5 million, plus or minus $1 million. There's nothing about the movie that suggests it deserves to bomb like this, but like last week and the opening of Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, it looks like it will be lost in the crowd.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Brave, People Like Us, Ted, Magic Mike, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection