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New Releases Won't Get in the Way

December 2nd, 2010

The weekend after the Thanksgiving long weekend is historically one of the weakest weekends of the year, and by far the weakest during the winter holiday season that runs from November to New Year's. This year it is no exception with only one wide release, The Warrior's Way, and it's not even opening truly wide. This means for the second weekend in a row, there will be a holdover leading the way. However, it might not be the same holdover as last weekend. As for last year, there were three wide releases, none of which did well, but all of which provide some indication on how The Warrior's Way might perform.

Tangled and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I will battle for top spot at the box office this weekend. Tangled has had to settle for second place during the week, but it also has a much younger target demographic, which can't see movies on school nights. It also has better reviews than Harry Potter earned and it doesn't have to deal with the Fanboy Effect. On the other hand, the sophomore stint tends to be the sharpest drop off (until the film starts shedding theaters) and as a family-friendly film, it was boosted by the holiday last weekend to a more exaggerated degree. It might be able to avoid a 50% drop-off this weekend and earn $25 million over the next three days for a total of $100 million after twelve. However, falling just over 50% to $22 million is more likely. This means it will have to wait another couple of days to reach the century mark, but $150 million in total will still be a solid target.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I will see its box office take another hit this weekend as the Fanboy Effect does its work. A 50% drop-off is all but guaranteed. In fact, a 60% drop-off to just under $20 million is very likely. That wouldn't be quite enough to overtake The Prisoner of Azkaban on the franchise chart, but it will be close. Meanwhile, as long as it can last in theaters long enough to get a minor boost from Christmas, it will remain on track to top $300 million before long.

The drop from second to third will be massive with MegaMind remaining in third place with close to $6 million over the weekend and just over $137 million in total.

Amazingly, it looks like Unstoppable will climb to fourth place with $5.5 million, more or less. This would give it $68 million in total, but that's still quite a bit behind its production budget.

Burlesque will add $5 million over the weekend, which may or may not be enough for fifth place. Both Love and Other Drugs and The Warrior's Way will be looking to grab fifth place instead.

It is very unlikely that The Warrior's Way will earn enough to match its production budget, even if its production budget was at the low end of reports. It was filmed in late 2007 / early 2008, but it's hitting theaters more than two years later and that's a bad sign. It's star is mostly unknown here, while his supporting cast create more questions than they answers. It is opening in just 1,622 theaters, which is not enough to be considered truly wide. Finally, there are still no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Practically the only thing the film has going for it is the total lack of wide release competition. Maybe that will be enough to match Brothers, which opened wide this time last year. On the other hand, it could also miss the Mendoza Line, which would mean it would make about the same as Everybody's Fine, maybe even less. Somewhere in-between is more likely, and I'm going with sixth place and $5 million.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Tangled, Burlesque, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, Unstoppable, The Warrior's Way, Megamind