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Will Toys Be Taken to the Attic?

June 24th, 2010

Two new wide releases look to unseat Toy Story 3 this weekend, including one that got its start on Wednesday. There's good news, at least for Pixar, as it appears Toy Story 3 will walk away with the win. There's bad news for the industry, as it appears both new releases could struggle to match earlier expectations. And then there's the ugly news. This time last year saw the release of Revenge of the Fallen, so the year-over-year comparison could be... well... ugly.

Toy Story 3 broke records during its opening weekend. Normally films that open with more than $100 million see sharp drop-offs the following weekend. There are some signs that this film will avoid that fate, including its nearly perfect reviews. Also, it's target audience is families, which tend to extend a film's legs, especially since there is no direct competition this weekend. You could compare it to Shrek 2, which also earned excellent reviews and a nearly identical amount at the box office. However, its sophomore stint took place during Memorial Day long weekend, so it is of limited use when making this comparison. The first Iron Man might be a little more useful, but the comic book connection automatically inflates the Fanboy Effect. The best case scenario has Toy Story 3 dropping less than 40% and earning close to $70 million over the weekend. The worst case scenario has it falling more than 50% to just over $50 million. I think the high end is more likely and I'm going with just over $60 million over the weekend and $230 million in total. However, even the low end will see the film top $200 million during its second weekend of release and it will be well on its way to $300 million in total. It it tops high-end expectations, then $400 million becomes a lot more likely.

Adam Sandler leads an all-star cast in Grown Ups, which features practically everyone who has made a movie with Adam Sandler in the past ten years. Sadly, the immense amount of talent involved hasn't helped the end result and the reviews are nothing short of disastrous. It's making Jonah Hex look good by comparison. On the one hand, Adam Sandler has never relied on critical approval to earn $100 million at the box office, and this could be the case here. On the other hand, this is terrible, even by his track record. Also, the film combines lowbrow humor with the relatively mature theme of growing up, which could alienate his core base. On the high end, the film could earn more than $40 million while cruising to more than $100 million in total. On the low end, it opens with just over $20 million and struggles to get significantly past $50 million. I'm going with just over $30 million over the weekend and just under $80 million in total.

Next up is Knight and Day, which got off to a regrettable start on Wednesday. I was expecting just over $7 million during its opening day. It earn barely half of that. There could be mitigating factors at work here. For instance, the film changed from a Friday release to a Wednesday release relatively late, so maybe many people who want to see the film didn't know it opened two days early. If this is the case, it should recover on Friday and with relatively positive reviews it could still earn $25 million over the weekend. On the other hand, there's a chance this will cause such a major negative buzz surrounding the film that it will have a stink of failure about it. This could result in the film earning less than $25 million over its first five days. Look for close to $3 million tonight and just over $20 million over the weekend. It will need to be a bigger hit internationally and on the home market to show a profit any time soon.

The Karate Kid was pushed back to third place on Wednesday by Knight and Day and with the opening of Grown Ups, it will likely be pushed into fourth place over the weekend. (I saw likely, because there is a chance Knight and Day will flame out and finish in fourth place instead.) The Karate Kid should managed $17 million this weekend, maybe a little more, lifting its total to $138 million.

The A-Team will finish in fifth place, mostly by default. It will likely add just over $7 million over the weekend for a total of $64 million after three.


Filed under: The A-Team, The Karate Kid, Grown Ups, Toy Story 3, Knight and Day