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Weekend Predictions: Will the Box Office Rock?

June 14th, 2012

It could be a really close race for the top of the box office chart between Rock of Ages, That's My Boy, and last week's winner, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. All three films have a shot at a weekend haul in the mid-to-high $30 million range. That's the good news. The bad news is, none of them really have a shot at matching Green Lattern's $50 million opening from this weekend last year. Because of this, 2012 will need to rely on depth to earn a win in the year-over-year comparison and while there are some positive signs, it could be a close race.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is the most likely candidate for top spot on the box office chart this weekend. Not only did it earn $60.32 million during its opening weekend, but it is a family film with good reviews and no competition. A 40% drop-off would leave the film with just over $36 million from Friday through Sunday, while lifting its total of $122 million.

Rock of Ages has the best chance at breakout success. It depends on how well the studio can market the movie to guys. Generally speaking, musicals tend to appeal to women more than men, but the music in this film is all 1980s era band Rock'n'Roll. If it can find that demographic, it could end up earning more than $100 million during its theatrical run. On the other hand, it could turn off the usual fans of movie musicals while not being able to attract males who grew up on bands like Def Leppard, Guns N' Roses, etc. The buzz is not bad, but the reviews are not exactly good, while neither of the two main stars have much in the way of box office drawing power. I still think it will perform well with $35 million, which means it should top the chart on Friday, but slip to second place on Saturday, and end the weekend behind Madagascar 3.

Adam Sandler is practically critic-proof at the box office. In fact, there's some compelling evidence that the films of his that earn terrible reviews perform better than those that earn good reviews. While there are not enough reviews on Rotten Tomatoes to know for sure, That's My Boy looks like a typically bad Adam Sandler flick, which might actually be a good sign. Also, it is an R-rated comedy, and there haven't been a lot of those to come out recently. On the other hand, Jack and Jill also looked like a typically bad Adam Sandler flick, and it missed expectations. Granted, it was really, really, really bad, so it isn't entirely fair to compare the two films. However, there's a chance his fanbase has finally decided they want good movies, or perhaps his fans might not have forgiven him yet for that film. Regardless, I think this one will bounce back at the box office opening with $32 million.

Despite earning good reviews, the Fanboy Effect will likely cause Prometheus to take a serious hit at the box office this weekend. A 60% drop-off to just $20 million is possible, while reaching $25 million is likely too much to ask for. I'm going with $23 million, which would put it on pace to become the first film in the Alien franchise to reach $100 million, and it should do so on Thursday or Friday of next week.

Snow White and the Huntsman should add about $11 million over the weekend for a total of $121 million after three. It was a very expensive movie to make, so it will need help internationally and on the home market to break even, but it could still get there.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Rock of Ages, Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus, That's My Boy