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Room for Improvement

February 3rd, 2011

It's a new month and the industry is hoping for a fresh start, as January was not a month that will remembered fondly. Unfortunately, a fresh start likely won't be the case. There are two wide releases coming out this week, but they are best described as middling. Conversely, this time last year, Dear John opened with more than $30 million, and there's almost no chance that will happen this weekend, so 2011 will fall further behind 2010.

The film with the best shot at earning first place is The Roommate, but this is more a sign of weakness in the overall box office than any real strength in this film. So far there are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, neither of the two stars have a lot of box office drawing power, and it's Super Bowl weekend so the competition is extra strong. Maybe it will draw in more women than normally see horror films and perhaps it will crack $20 million. But just over $17 million over the weekend and close to $45 million in total is more likely.

The only other wide release of the week is Sanctum. Its reviews are in, mostly, and they are better than expected, but not exactly great at 34% positive. (I heard some early reports that it was so bad that hitting double-digits was not a sure thing.) That said, there's still almost no star power here, the subject matter of cave exploration is not one that easy to market, while there's competition from The Roommate and the Super Bowl. 3D ticket prices could give it an advantage, helping it sneak into top spot with $15 million, if its competition struggles. But $12 million during its opening weekend and $30 million in total is a lot more likely.

The King's Speech is looking to secure $100 million and it can go a long way to making that goal a reality this weekend. Anything close to $8 million over the weekend should be enough, even if it fails to connect for the rest of Awards Season. Fortunately, getting shut out at the Oscars seems very unlikely, while earning more than $8 million at the box office over the weekend is quite likely. It will take a few more weeks to hits the century mark, but it will get there. It should hold on incredibly well this weekend, helping it secure fifth place with $8 million over the weekend and giving it $70 million in total. At this pace, hitting $100 million is becoming quite likely.

No Strings Attached should also earn $8 million over the weekend, give or take, putting it in a tight race with The King's Speech for third place. In fact, it could be so close, the two films might change places on the daily chart over the weekend. Look for $8 million over the weekend and a total of $51 million after three.

The Green Hornet is looking to become the first $100 million hit released in 2011 and while it has a solid shot at doing so, it is far from a sure thing. If it adds more than $7 million over the weekend, its chances will be much higher than they are now. On the other hand, if it earns less than $6 million, then it will be no better than a toss-up. Somewhere right in the middle is the most likely scenario, which means we still won't know which side of the $100 million line it will finish.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Green Hornet, The Roommate, Sanctum, The King’s Speech, No Strings Attached