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Weekend Preview: Going Wild

March 1st, 2007

March starts off this weekend with three releases, two of which are currently earning overall positive reviews. However, it is the third wide release that is tracking well above the other two and is the clear favorite to win the weekend box office race.

With four stars and Disney backing it up, Wild Hogs is the easiest of the three new films to advertise. This is very good because it won't make it on its merits. The film is tracking well and could crack $10,000 on the per theater chart, which would give it $33 million, but that's on the high end. Low end still has the film topping $25 million, but just shy of $30 million looks to be the most likely figure. This is more than enough to ensure a profit by sometime on the home market and more than enough to make sure everyone involved keeps getting work.

The next film on our list is Zodiac, which is battling with Bridge to Terabithia for the best reviews of the year. Right now, the film is slightly ahead, with 86% positive to Terabithia's 83% positive. At the box office, on the other hand, Bridge to Terabithia has the edge. Zodiac should pull in somewhere between $15 million and $20 million, according to tracking numbers, so $17.5 million seems to be the best bet.

After two weeks at number one, Ghost Rider will get knocked out of top spot. In fact, it is going to have a tough time staying north of $10 million. It will probably not quite make it there this weekend, but that will still give the movie roughly $93 million during its run and will put it on pace to reach $100 million by next weekend and $110 million in total.

Strong reviews have helped Bridge to Terabithia maintain strong legs so far, and that trend should continue this weekend. The film should have the best week-to-week drop-off in top five, perhaps even the top ten. Sub-40% is almost guaranteed and the would give it $8.5 million, but just north of $9 million is my prediction.

After stumbling a bit during its opening, Number 23 will see a big drop this weekend. Losing 60% of its opening would not be out of the question, but I think it will just avoid that fate while pulling in just over $6 million this weekend.

The third wide release of the week is Black Snake Moan, which is opening in just 1,250 theaters to better than expected reviews. I can see a lot of people itching to see this movie. After all, it does have Samuel L. Jackson in it and he has a big fan base. Then again, it also has Justin Timberlake and he's only had a 50 / 50 track record getting his movies into theaters. Pie in the sky, the film could make it into the top five with as much as $8 or $9 million. Worst case scenario has it missing the top ten altogether. Best bet is sixth place with $6 million, which is not a great start, but it should be enough to give the film a legitimate shot at success on the home market.

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Filed under: Wild Hogs, Ghost Rider, Bridge to Terabithia, The Number 23, Zodiac, Black Snake Moan