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Battle of the 80s Superstars

June 10th, 2010

It's The A-Team vs. The Karate Kid in a battle of 1980s cultural icons. Analysts seem to be evenly split on which of these will spawn the box office champion this weekend, but most expect both of them to at least be mid-level hits. Almost all of them expect them to both top last year's two new releases, probably combined. They might even do well enough to help 2010 end its slump.

The A-Team TV series was very popular, but in my mind, it wasn't very good. It felt like a TV show that was trying to be an action movie, but didn't have the freedom a theatrical release has. This actually makes it an ideal property to adapt into a movie, as it can keep its big, loud, silly action elements and make them bigger and louder thanks to the big screen budget. Additionally, it doesn't have to worry about appeasing network censors. So how well did the adapting process go? Not bad, actually. Granted, just over 50% positive is hardly Oscar-worthy, but for its genre, it's very solid. As for The A-Team's box office chances, it could come close to $50 million, on the high end. Even on the low end, it should top $30 million. If the film can top $40 million, I think the studio will be ecstatic. If it can top $50 million, then the whole industry will cheer as all talk of a slump would likely end. Even if it just misses $40 million, with say $38 million, that should be enough to cross $100 million in total.

The only other new wide release of the week is The Karate Kid. Admittedly, I was not bullish about this film's chances, nor did I think it would do well with critics. However, I'm willing to admit its Tomatometer Score is better than I thought it would be. In fact, it was flirting with the overall positive level and while it has slipped back to 55% positive, this is still strong enough to be a selling point. Will this translate into box office success? I'm still not 100% convinced it will. For one thing, this is well behind the 1984 original's score. On the other hand, there's some serious potential for nostalgia here and people who watched the predecessor when they were kids might have kids of their own today that are the right age to see this movie. Pie in the sky, this film could make $50 million during its opening weekend. It could also crash and burn and not make $50 million in total. I'm going to predict second place with $37 million, but be aware, there's a lot of uncertainty here.

After three weeks on top, Shrek Forever After will be pushed into third place, but it will celebrate a major milestone along the way. Look for $15 million over the weekend and a running tally of close to $210 million. This will make it the fourth film of 2010 to reach the $200 million milestone and it still has a shot at $250 million. Granted, this is lower than expected, but it is still enough to make a profit.

Get Him to the Greek had the best reviews in the top five last weekend, and it will be in the same situation this weekend. That said, despite the strong reviews, it might take a big hit at the box office, since it will be dealing with direct competition. It could add $10 million over the weekend, but $9 million is more likely. This would lift its running tally to $34 million and leave it on pace to surpass $50 million before the end of its theatrical run.

Killers should round out the top five, practically by default. Its reviews suggest a 50% drop-off is likely, which would leave the film with roughly $8 million over the weekend and give it a total to $30 million after two.


Filed under: The A-Team, Killers, Shrek Forever After, The Karate Kid, Get Him to the Greek