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Weekend Predictions: Lightning Likely to Strike Twice

May 12th, 2011

With no blockbuster releases this weekend, Thor seems set to repeat at the box office champion. This will likely result in a pretty big decline from last weekend's total box office, and there's almost no chance the box office will keep pace with last year. Hopefully next weekend things will turn around.

Thor has to deal with direct competition and the Fanboy Effect this weekend. On the positive side, it also has strong reviews and neither of the new films are expected to be monster hits. The combination of factors makes a 50% drop-off likely, while a fall as much as 60% would not be a large surprise. This gives the movie a range of $26 million to $33 million, while a sophomore stint of just under $30 million is the most likely. This would give it $114 million after two weeks of release and put it on pace to earn $150 million to $175 million in total. That's close enough to original expectations to be considered a victory, while putting it on pace to earn a profit early in its home market run.

Comedies aimed at women tend to be hard sells at the box office. Bridesmaids could have an advantage over most previous such films. Several advantages, in fact. Firstly, it stars Kristen Wiig, who might be the next big comedy star. She has yet to have the big hit that will take her to the A-list, but her track record with critics suggests it's coming. Also, the film is produced by Judd Apatow, whose track record at the box office is as impressive as Kristen Wiig's critical record. Finally, its reviews are simply fantastic. There were two female-centric films released last weekend, so the competition is a little higher than normal. That said, I think it will surprise and open with $21 million over the weekend, and its legs will be better than average.

After bouncing around a few release dates, Priest finally hits theaters this weekend. Sadly, it seems most critics don't think it was worth the wait. The target audience for this film is not likely to be swayed by critics, but a Tomatometer Score of just 19% positive is below acceptable, regardless of the genre. Also, the film has to deal with not one, but two films that represent direct competition, plus it doesn't have a bankable star. Maybe it will surprise and earn nearly $20 million and score second place. On the other hand, it could really struggle and barely top $10 million and land in fourth place. I'm going with third place and just under $16 million.

Fast Five had the biggest opening of the year, so far, but then fell off a cliff the second weekend. It is likely to continue that steep decline this weekend falling more than 50% to just over $15 million. However, with a running tally of $165 million, it will make more in roughly three weeks than it cost to make and advertise.

Jumping the Broom and Something Borrowed should be in a close battle for fifth place. Nearly all factors favor Jumping the Broom, including better reviews, better opening weekend, etc. However, Jumping the Broom is also more of a niche market film and those tend to suffer in terms of legs. In fact, Something Borrowed was already ahead of it on the daily charts by Monday and has extended its lead. I think Jumping will bounce back and grab fifth place with just over $8 million, but Borrowed will be right behind with just under $8 million.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Thor, Priest, Fast Five, Bridesmaids, Jumping the Broom, Something Borrowed