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Hunting for an Easter Weekend Win

April 14th, 2006

We should have a new winner atop the box office this Easter weekend with two new films opening wide. Strangely, it is not the digitally animated film from Disney that is leading the charge to the top.

In fact, Scary Movie 4 is almost guaranteed to win the box office race just like two of the previous three films have done with they opened in theatres. As far as reviews go, the film is currently sitting at 43% positive, which is about average for the franchise and more than enough to not adversely effect the film's box office. On the other hand, the film isn't generating the same amount of buzz I would expect, and that will hurt the film. Look for just under $39 million over the weekend and nearly $100 million in total.

Coming in second should be Ice Age: The Meltdown, despite the fact that there is another digitally animated movie aimed at kids opening this weekend. It will be able to pull of a second place finish due to a combination of strong holds and really weak competition. It should recover greatly from last weekend given the school holidays and that will allow it to drop 40% to just over $20 million.

On the other hand, all signs point to The Wild being a complete bomb. Several retailers and toy manufactures were given a sneak peak at the film to see how interested they were in obtaining the merchandising rights, but they all passed. They thought the movie looked so bad that it wouldn't be profitable to sell toys based on the characters; I don't know of any other time that that has happened, especially in this day of over-merchandising. Granted, the reviews are not as bad as I was expecting, but with better product already in theatres, this film will have to settle for third with $16 million.

Coming in fourth, almost by default, will beThe Benchwarmers. The Benchwarmers, which had the biggest opening ever for a baseball movie... wait a minute, that can't be right. Wow, beat The Rookie by more than $3.5 million. Anyhoo, with reviews that are bad even compared to other wide releases to come out this year, The Benchwarmers should fall close to 50%, adding just over $10 million to its running tally over the next three days. That will give it $35 million after just 10 days, which is how much it cost to make. That means the studio should be happy and everyone involved will continue to get work.

Rounding out the top five should be Take the Lead with roughly $7.5 million. That will give the film $22.5 million after two weeks of release, and puts in on pace to top its production budget as well. It's not a big hit by any stretch of the imagination, but in the end it should be a money maker.

If Take the Lead tumbles, then Thank You For Smoking has an outside shot and taking a place in the top five. But I wouldn't bet on it. It should, on the other hand, climb a couple of places on the top ten and have its best weekend of its run with $5 million, or more.

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Filed under: Ice Age: The Meltdown, Scary Movie 4, The Benchwarmers, The Wild, Take the Lead, Thank You For Smoking