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Weekend Predictions: Will There Be Any Change on Top?

July 7th, 2011

While there are two wide releases coming out this week, it seems unlikely that either of them will seriously challenge Transformers: Dark of the Moon for top spot at the box office. In fact, it's more likely that Horrible Bosses and Zookeeper combined won't make as much as Dark of the Moon will make this weekend. The new releases are certainly weaker than those from last year and there's no hope any film will make more than Despicable Me did during its opening weekend. Worse still, June 2011 sold the fewest number of tickets for any June since the year 2000; we really can't afford another slow week at the box office, but that's likely to be exactly what we are going to get.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon reached $200 million on Wednesday during its eighth day of release. Only two films have reached that milestone faster, one of which was Revenge of the Fallen, which tied the record at just five days. Dark of the Moon is already behind its predecessor's pace by $35 million, but it might avoid further declines this weekend. Its reviews are weak, but still a whole lot better than the abysmal reviews Revenge of the Fallen managed and that might help the film show better legs at the box office. Dark of the Moon will most likely avoid a 60% drop-off, but a 50% is all but assured. Split the difference, and you get $45 million over the weekend and over $250 million after two.

Surprisingly, Horrible Bosses appears to be the stronger of the two wide releases and it could continue the impressive run for R-rated comedies. It is certainly the winner with critics and so far its Tomatometer Score is 80% positive, which is close to Bridesmaids' score of 89% positive. Bridesmaids opened with $26 million and that's something Horrible Bosses should top by a little bit. On the other hand, I don't expect it to have the same long legs. Look for $27 million over the weekend and close to $100 million in total.

Keven James started his movie career with a cameo in 50 First Dates, which made more than $100 million at the box office. And so did the next four live action films he starred in. That streak was broken earlier this year with The Dilemma, but even after that film struggled, many thought James would bounce back with Zookeeper. However, as the release nears, that appears that won't be the case. The reviews are nothing short of disastrous and have slipped below the double-digit level. Tracking has also gone south in a dramatic fashion and while many were expecting it to open with $30 million or more, now some analysts think it won't manage to hit $20 million during its opening weekend. I'm not that pessimistic, after all, Grown Ups was a terrible movie and it opened with $40 million, but I'm also not willing to discount the possibility. I'm predicting $22 million during the opening weekend, but it could surprise and earn second place with just over $30 million, or it could earn barely half of the high end figure.

Cars 2 missed expectations with critics and it is doing the same at the box office. (At least it is domestically. It is off to a fast start internationally and should top its predecessor overseas.) Look for between $13 million and $14 million over the weekend to give it close to $150 million after three. It should hit that milestone by this time next week, and a week or so later top A Bug's Life on Pixar's all-time chart. Taking into account ticket price inflation and the massive production budget, it is clearly the studio's weakest film at the box office. On the other hand, merchandising alone will probably cover the $200 million they spent making the movie.

Bad Teacher should round out the top five with roughly $8 million over the weekend. It looks like it will end its run with close to $100 million, but it is still too soon to tell if it will just get to that milestone, or if it will fall just short.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Zookeeper, Cars 2, Bad Teacher, Horrible Bosses