Weekend Predictions: Will Holdovers Keep Control of the Box Office?

For the third weekend in a row, holdovers are expected to dominated the box office. In fact, there are many analysts that think Playing For Keeps won't even reach the top five. That doesn't mean there won't be a race for top spot, as Skyfall, Lincoln, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 were within $100,000 of each other on Wednesday. Will Lincoln finally gets its place at the top? Or will Skyfall return to the clouds? Meanwhile, how will the overall box office compare to last year, which was led by the one-two punch of New Year's Eve and The Sitter. That was a pretty weak effort from 2011, so 2012 does have an opening for a victory, despite the lack of significant new releases.

I think Skyfall will reclaim top spot on the box office chart, but there are five films that could finish within $1 million of each other. It really is a coin toss weekend. I'm predicting Skyfall will win with just over $10 million, but I'm nowhere close to confident in that prediction.

Some thought Lincoln would win last weekend, but its week-to-week decline was surprisingly steep and it didn't even come close. This weekend there are again people who think it will win, but as of Wednesday, it was still behind Skyfall on the daily chart. Granted, that difference was only about 5% at $60,000 and I think the difference will be even smaller over the weekend. Look for second place with $10 million.

As the only major family film, Rise of the Guardians should have better than average hold in the top five, which should help it climb to third place with just over $9 million. It is still struggling compared to its production budget, but if it can stick around in theaters till Christmas, then it should break even sometime on the home market.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 has already broken even, so falling from first to fourth with just under $9 million isn't an issue.

Life of Pi should round out the top five with $8 million. It was an expensive movie to make and it is disappointing so far, but its international numbers are brighter, so profitability is still likely.

The only wide release of the week is Playing for Keeps. At the beginning of the month I had low expectations. I thought it would be a sitcom quality romantic comedy with only marginal appeal. I was wrong about the first part. So far there are 40 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and the film hasn't earned a single positive review. The two most common phrases I've seen are, "dull" and, "misogynistic". Perhaps it will be a positive surprise earning a spot in the top five with just over $8 million. However, it is just as likely it will miss the Mendoza Line. I'm going with sixth place and $6 million.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2012-12-07