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Chicken to Remain Large

November 11th, 2005

Three new wide release hit theatres this weekend, but none seem likely to overtake Chicken Little for top spot on the charts. It also seems likely that the overall box office will continue to fall well behind last year's pace with the combined total of the new releases being less than The Incredibles' sophomore stint.

Chicken Little beat almost all predictions last weekend, but the real challenge now is to have the same strong legs as The Incredibles. The latter film dipped by only 28.7% during its second weekend and it is very unlikely Chicken Little will be able to perform up to that level. A sub-40% drop-off is a more reasonable expectation. Give it $27 million for the weekend and just shy of $75 million during its run.

Next up is Zathura, which is opening in more theatres than expected at 3,223 and is opening to much better critical acclaim as well. So far the film is earning a Tomatometer rating of 73% positive, double what I was expecting. The only real concern now is whether or not Columbia has effectively marketed the film to its target audience. I don't think that they have, and that means a sub-$20 million opening is in store, but it will be close.

Opening on Wednesday, Get Rich or Die Tryin' didn't exactly die at the box office (it was a another story with critics), but it also missed expectations by a bit. Not enough to reduce the weekend portion of the prediction from $18 million, but it could be a warning sign.

Jarhead was one of several films to outperform analysts' predictions last weekend, but with reviews that suggested it is not Oscar-worthy, it might see a steeper drop-off this weekend. A 40% drop-off would give the film a nearly $17 million weekend, but I think $16 million is more likely. Anything less than $15 million will spell trouble for the movie.

Rounding out the top five should be the final new release of the week, Derailed. The film is earning terrible reviews, and out of all the wide releases this week, this film is the one that would be the most affected by negative reviews. (Kids don't read reviews and 50 Cent's fan base won't care what critics say.) Look for just over $10 million over the weekend and just under $30 million during its run.

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Filed under: Chicken Little, Jarhead, Derailed, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Zathura