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It's Going to be a Scary Weekend

August 28th, 2009

There are two horror sequels opening at saturation-level theater counts this week, both of which could open with near identical numbers over the next three days. This close race should add interest to the weekend box office, while 2009 should have little trouble maintaining its lead over last year, which had four wide releases, none of which topped $10 million.

The two horror sequels are Halloween 2 and The Final Destination. Being horror sequels and opening at saturation levels are not the only similarities between the films, as both have a shot at top spot with roughly $20 million. Additionally, neither has a cast that has any box office drawing power, neither has been screened for critics, and both will likely disappear from theaters quite quickly after their opening weekend. Personally, since Halloween made more than any of the previous installments in the Final Destination franchise, I believe Halloween 2 will come out on top with just over $20 million. The Final Destination will come in just under $20 million. On the other hand, most analysts think the 3D aspect of Final Destination will give it the edge, and a win with the same margin. So keep that in mind.

Inglourious Basterds' weekday numbers have not been great, which suggests the film will have almost no chance of avoiding a 50% drop-off during its sophomore stint this weekend. In fact, there's a chance it could fall 60% from its opening. Average out those two extremes and you have a weekend haul of $17 million and a total of just over $70 million. This will put it on pace to become the first Quentin Tarantino film since Pulp Fiction to reach $100 million.

District 9 is also climbing towards $100 million and will get one step closer by adding $10 million this weekend to its running tally of $90 million after three weeks. This will practically guarantee the film's ascension to $100 million, but it might fall out of the top five before then.

Up next will be G.I. Joe or Julie & Julia, both with roughly $6 million over the weekend. The former is trying to grab as much money as possible to cover its massive production budget. For The latter is well on its way to showing a profit, and will do so before it hits the home market.

The final wide release of the week isn't truly a wide release, but Taking Woodstock does have a shot at taking a spot in the top ten. The film is only earning mixed reviews and with an opening theater count of just 1,393, there's little hope it will be a major player at the box office. In fact, there's a chance it could fail to reach the top ten altogether. That said, I think it will place ninth with between $4 and $5 million.

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Filed under: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, District 9, Inglourious Basterds, Julie & Julia, The Final Destination, Halloween 2, Taking Woodstock