Follow us on

Weekend Predictions: Last vs. First

July 21st, 2011

This weekend the battle will be between the last Harry Potter movie and The First Avenger. As long as the two films are close, the box office should be strong. In fact, The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 could break the record for largest week-to-week drop off (in terms of raw dollars) and still top last year's number one film. As long as Captain America comes close and Friends with Benefits doesn't bomb, we should see strong growth on a year-over-year basis.

After shattering records last weekend, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is looking to avoid breaking another record this weekend. No film has ever seen its weekend box office number fall by more than $100 million during its sophomore stint. New Moon came very, very close with a decline from $142.84 million to $42.87 million. However, only the most bullish analysts expect don't expect Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 to become the first. With an opening weekend of $169,189,427, the film would have to avoid a 60% drop-off to not fall $100 million. There are some reasons to feel hopeful, most obviously the Oscar-worthy reviews, but also the sense of nostalgia. Since this will be the last time fans will be able to see Harry, Hermione, Ron, and the others in theaters, some of the more hardcore fans might decide to make a ritual of the film and watch it every week. If these forces prevail, there's a slim chance the film will earn close to $75 million over the weekend for a total of $300 million after just ten days of release, for yet another record. On the other hand, the Fanboy effect might be so great that it will overcome all other aspects and cause the film to collapse by more than 70%, leaving it with just under $50 million for the weekend. Sadly, the lower end seems more likely, but a first place, $55 million weekend is still worth celebrating and would give the film $282 million, which is already more than The Prisoner of Azkaban or The Chamber of Secrets earned in total.

Captain America: The First Avenger has a legitimate shot at first place. In some ways it is tracking just as strong as Thor was before that film opened, which puts $65 million on the table. On the other hand, its competition is obviously much stronger, and the flood of comic book movies so far this summer could be too much for moviegoers to take. That said, while Captain America's reviews are a little weaker that Thor's reviews were, 73% positive is still strong for a summer blockbuster. And given Marvel's track record so far, $50 million is likely on the low end of expectations, while first place with $60 million is not out of the question. I'm going with second place and $54 million, but I'm not exactly sure of that.

The second wide release of the week is Friends with Benefits, which stars Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake as Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher respectively. Comparisons to No Strings Attached are persisting. This film's reviews is better than the reviews its predecessor earned, and it does have a better release date. That said, it also has much stronger competition and it is on the tail end of a string of R-rated comedies. Look for $22 million during its opening weekend and just over $60 million in total.

Horrible Bosses has overtaken Transformers: Dark of the Moon on the daily chart, and it will likely do the same over the weekend, but it should be close with both films making between $10 million and $11 million. For Horrible Bosses, this will be enough to keep it on pace to reach $100 million in total. As for Dark of the Moon, it has already reached its last major milestone on the domestic front.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Captain America: The First Avenger, Friends with Benefits, Horrible Bosses