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Weekend Predictions: Will the Box Office Footlose or Footwin?

October 13th, 2011

Firstly, I would like to apologize for the Footloose / Footlose pun in the title. It is unacceptable, even by my standards. Secondly, we are going to lose. This weekend last year Jackass 3D broke the record for biggest October weekend and there's no chance that feat will be replicated this weekend. In fact, there's almost no chance this weekend will match Red's opening last year. Footloose, The Thing, and The Big Year won't earn $50 million over the weekend combined. We really need the win, but all evidence points to a tough loss in the year-over-year comparison.

Footloose might be the lone bright spot as far as new releases go. Not only is it the widest new release of the weekend, it is also earning the best reviews. The film is generating quite a lot of buzz, and that buzz has turned positive. Much earlier, a lot of fans of the first film were calling this movie sacrilege. Now more are admitting this film could actually be an improvement over its predecessor. On the other hand, it's box office chances are much less rosy. Best case scenario has this film earning just over $20 million, but it could also fail to reach $15 million. I'm going with first place and $17.5 million.

Real Steel showed surprising strength last weekend, especially in terms of its internal multiplier. This implies that the film was a bigger his amongst kids than previously anticipated and this could help its legs. That theory will be tested this weekend. If the film drops 40%, it will be all but confirmed. If it drops more than 50%, then it will be called into question. A 40% drop-off would give the film more than $16 million during its sophomore stint. This is possible, but $15 million is more likely. This would be a good result, except that the film cost a lot to make and profitability is a long ways away.

The Thing is the second widest release of the week, but its reviews are weaker than the other two releases. Even most of the positive reviews are arguing this movie isn't as good as the original was. Expectations are all over the place for this film with some predicting it will battle for first place with just over $16 million all the way down to barely more than half that figure. I'm going to go with $13 million, but I'm unsure how accurate that will be in the end.

The final wide release of the week is The Big Year. This film also has a wide range of expectations with some predicting it will earn third place with $10 million, while others are going with sixth place with just $6 million. Its mixed reviews and low theater count suggest the lower end is more likely. Look for fourth place with $7 million, but it could be a close race.

Both Dolphin Tale and Ides of March will be looking to grab the final spot in the top five with between $6 million and $7 million. It will likely be a coin toss in the end and they might flip places over the weekend. On the other hand, if The Big Year struggles, they could both land in the top five.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Footloose, The Thing, Dolphin Tale, The Big Year, Real Steel, The Ides of March