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Weekend Predictions: Will Dark Knight Complete Threepeat, or Will Recall Rise to the Top?

August 2nd, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises should have a relatively easy time earning first place this weekend, but the new releases are stronger than last week. There are some that think Total Recall will earn first place, but there are also some who think it won't open with as much as the original opened with, despite more than 20 years of inflation and a change in the business that favors bigger opening weekends. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is playing counter-programming and while there's not a lot of direct competition in theaters, it is still aiming for a midlevel hit, and no more. Last year, Rise of the Planet of the Apes opened with more than $54 million and there's really no chance that will be replicated this weekend and August will very likely start out on a losing note.

The Dark Knight Rises should recover somewhat from last weekend's 61% decline and some think it will avoid a 50% drop-off. That's a little too optimistic for me, but earning first place with $30 million over the weekend is more likely. That would boost its running tally to $350 million putting it on pace to reach $400 million in total. As huge as that total is, it is still more than $100 million below expectations.

The evidence suggests that Sony's decision to remake Total Recall could prove to be a costly decision. There are some reports that this version of Total Recall cost $200 million to make. That probably includes the P&A budget. I hope that includes the P&A budget. I saw reports of $138 million, which is a lot more reasonable. Unfortunately, I don't think it will make a real difference in the end, as its box office chances are weak enough that even paying back $138 million might be asking too much. The film's reviews are terrible and expectations at the box office range from the low $30 million range to the low $20 million range. The higher end is more likely in my opinion and I'm going with a prediction of $28 million, but I am more bullish than most.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is the latest adaptation from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book franchise, although this film is based on two books, The Last Straw and Dog Days. Early reviews are a little weaker than the previous installments earned and might be weak enough to hurt the film at the box office. Granted, family films tend to survive weaker reviews better than dramas, for instance, but if it continues to fall and hits below 30% positive, it is troubling regardless of its target demographic. If it holds strong, or improves a little, then earning just over $20 million during its opening weekend is the most likely result. If it falls too much more, then just under $20 million becomes more likely.

Ice Age: Continental Drift will be pushed into fourth place with between $8 million and $9 million lifting its running tally to $132 million. This is a disappointing total compared to the average for a digitally animated film released this year; however, it has performed a lot better internationally.

The Watch should round out the top five with just over $6 million, while Step Up Revolution should be right behind with just under $6 million.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Dark Knight Rises, Total Recall, Ice Age: Continental Drift, The Watch, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Step Up Revolution