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Will Moviegoers Give This Weekend a Pass?

February 24th, 2011

It's the end of the month and considering how poorly the year has started, for a lot of people it's good riddance. We are coming off of the first win in several months, but that streak could be over before it really starts. Firstly, the win was mainly due to President's Day long weekend coming a week later than it did last year. Secondly, the two films coming out this week are rather weak. The only good news is that this time last year wasn't exactly big at the box office either.

It's been a while since the Farrelly Brothers had an unqualified hit. In fact, you have to go all the way back to There's Something About Mary. Meanwhile, their last three films averaged just $12 million during their opening weekends and about $37 million in total. Hall Pass should improve on their recent history, but not by much. Its review are hardly better than The Heartbreak Kid's, making this film one of the worst in the pair's careers. Additionally, the box office track records of its stars range from inconsistent to practically non-existent. On the other hand, it should open with $15 million, give or take $1 million, which might still be enough for first place at the box office this weekend.

This weekend will be key in determining whether or not Gnomeo and Juliet will reach the century mark at the box office. So far its legs have been great, but last weekend it was aided by the holidays, which could hurt it this weekend. If it manages $11 million over the weekend, it will have a running tally of $73 million, which might be enough to get to $100 million in total. However, $11 million seems to be on the low end of expectations, with some predicting it could pull in $15 million. This would give it a shot at first place. I'm not going to be that bold, but $13 million and second place is very reasonable.

Last week, theater count estimates for Drive Angry had the movie opening in 3,000 theaters. That's not happening. In fact, it's opening in barely more than 2,000 theaters. Its reviews are better than expected, but even so I don't think they will be enough to compensate. It should open better than Season of the Witch, but that's not saying much, and it will likely have to settle for third place with $12 million.

Unknown should be able to make the same amount over the weekend. Since it is very close to matching its production budget after just seven days of release, the studio should be happy with this result. Granted, it's not earning the same legs Taken, but $12 million over the weekend and $42 million after two should be enough to make the studio happy.

On the other hand, I Am Number Four has been a disappointment at the box office and any attempt to turn the movie into a franchise will end this weekend when it places fifth with $10 million. Unless it is a much bigger hit internationally, the next book in the series won't be turned into a movie.


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Filed under: Weekend Preview, Gnomeo and Juliet, Drive Angry, I am Number Four, Unknown, Hall Pass