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Weekend Race Looks Crazy

February 25th, 2010

February ends with a couple of wide releases, both of which have a shot at taking first place. However, while both new films have a shot at top spot, Shutter Island will probably remain there over the weekend. This is not to say that the new releases are particularly weak, especially compared to the new releases that came out this time last year. In fact, the top three films from this year might all perform better than the top film last year, so 2010 has a real chance to stop the slide and maintain its record-setting pace.

Martin Scorsese's films tend to have good legs at the box office. However, I'm not sure that will be the case for Shutter Island, for a couple reasons. For instance, this is not exactly a great time of year for long legs, unlike the Christmas break, which is when Aviator and Gangs of New York were released. Also, most of Scorsese's films earned better reviews than Shutter Island. That's not to say its reviews are bad, but at 67% positive, it's not at the same level as The Departed. Odds are it will take the top spot with $22 million, which should still be enough to reach $100 million in a couple of weeks.

Cop Out is the first film that Kevin Smith has directed for which he didn't also write the screenplay. In this way, film is interesting. But it's not enough on its own for me to think that it has a real shot at the box office. The buddy cop comedy stars Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. The former has a huge resume in movies while the latter is beginning his movie career. Again, this helps, but it is not enough. What it needs is good reviews, and it doesn't have them. In fact, at just 13% positive, it's the worst movie in Kevin Smith's directing career. Ironically, it could also be his biggest hit. (That is ironic, right? Ever since that Alanis Morissette song, I've been paranoid about using the word improperly.) The movie is a big studio release with a lot of advertising support and that could be enough to push it into first place with $25 million. On the other hand, it could land in third place with $15 million. I'm guessing second place, with a take of just a hair over $20 million.

Next up is The Crazies, which is a remake of a George A. Romero film of the same name. A lot of horror remakes have been made in the past few years, most of which have sucked. This is not the case here, as the reviews are very strong so far. This could help it finish first with just over $22 million. That said, the reputation of recent horror remakes could hurt this film during its opening weekend, and that could prevent it from rising above third place with $12 million. I'm looking for a third place finish with just under $19 million, which would be a big start for a relatively low budget film.

It will be another week in the top five for Avatar, which should have no problem hitting yet another milestone over the weekend. Look for $11 million over the weekend and more than $700 million in total. It will be the first film to ever reach $700 million domestically and that won't be the last milestone for the film.

Finally, there should be a close race for fifth place between Valentine's Day and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief with each earning between $8 million and $9 million. If Valentine's Day beats expectations, it could hit $100 million by the end of the weekend. If not, it will reach $100 million by the next weekend.


Filed under: Cop Out, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Shutter Island, The Crazies, Valentine's Day, Avatar