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Solace the Solitary New Release

November 13th, 2008

We only have one new release this week, which should help it maximize its box office potential. It also helps that the one new release, Quantum of Solace, is the latest film is arguably the most successful movie franchise of all time. (It wins with total number of movies released in the US* and worldwide gross, but not on a per movie box office.) Quantum of Solace should win the weekend with ease and will make more than the number one movie from this weekend last year. In fact, it could make more than the top four films from this weekend last year combined.

Without doubt, Quantum of Solace is the biggest movie event of the month, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be the biggest box office hit of the month. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive, outnumbering the negative reviews by a three to one margin, but that's still a step back from Casino Royale's stellar peformance with critics. That said, Quantum of Solace has more buzz, as moviegoers were reluctant to jump into the re-launch of the franchise and its new Bond right away. This will not be an issue here, and that should help the film open faster. $60 million seems to be the lower end of expectations here, with $70 million not out of the question. The lower end seems to be the more popular estimate, but I'm a little more bullish than most and I'm going with a final prediction of $66 million.

Next up should be Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. In fact, there shouldn't be another film within $20 million of this film over the weekend, and it is more likely to finish in first place than third. The first film fell 40% during its second weekend of release, and if this film can do the same, it will add nearly $40 million over the weekend. This film earned better reviews, which is a plus. But is also has stronger competition, albeit not direct competition, and has to deal with sequelitis. It appears those two forces are more or less balancing out, which should lead to a second place $39 million sophomore stint for the film.

Despite earning better than expected reviews, Role Models will likely take a hit this weekend as it is running up against rather direct competition. Granted, Quantum of Solace is aiming at a more mature target audience, but it will still steal a lot of moviegoers away from it. A 50% drop-off is not out of the question, which would leave the film at just under $10 million over the weekend, however, earning just over $10 million is more likely.

High School Musical 3 is marching toward $100 million, but it is not guaranteed it will get there. If it can earn $7 million over the weekend, which is not likely, it should reach the century mark. On the other hand, if it earns less than $5 million, which is also not likely, it will have trouble making more than $90 million. I think it will earn just under $6 million over the weekend and $95 million in total.

The final film in the top five should be Changeling, which should hold on better than most films in the top ten. However, it appears its Oscar buzz is dissipating, which is not surprising given its mixed reviews. This weekend it should slip below $5 million, which will lift its total to $29 million, more or less. This is not a bad result so far, but it is below original expectations.

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Filed under: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Quantum of Solace, High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Role Models, Changeling