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Will Seventeen Rise to Number One?

April 16th, 2009

Not a lot of competition for the top of the box office chart as nearly all analysts are expecting 17 Again to come out on top. The real question is whether or not the film will top last year's number one film, The Forbidden Kingdom, and whether or not 2009 will continue its domination over 2008.

This could be a surprising weekend for 17 Again at the box office and it could help Zax Efron become a viable box office star, and not just the product of High School Musical. The film has already beaten expectations with critics by earning 67% positive, which is about 40% more than I was expecting. Its trailer was exceptionally bad, and given its release date, I had little hope that this would be a high quality film. That said, I don't think the reviews will make much of a difference during its opening weekend, but it could help it stick around longer than it otherwise would. The film could open with $17 million over the weekend, which would make writing the headline on Monday rather easy, but $21 million is more likely. This should be more than enough to earn first place.

Hannah Montana the Movie got off to a faster than expected start last weekend, but the Fangirl Effect could be in play here. A 50% drop-off is almost guaranteed, which would mean the film would make less during its second weekend of release than it made during its opening day. There is a chance the film will fall more than 60%, which could leave it in danger of falling further than second place, but that's not particularly likely. It should come close, however, and $14 million over the next three days is likely.

Monsters vs. Aliens should land right behind with $13 million over the weekend to give it $163 million in total. The film has already climbed ahead of Paul Blart: Mall Cop for the year, and it is still possible that it could become the first $200 million hit of 2009.

Fast & Furious, on the other hand, is fading and it won't be long before it starts seeing its theater count plummet. Strangely, it is actually adding theaters this weekend, and that could help it land in fourth place with just under $13 million over the weekend. That would give the movie $137 million so far, and put it less than a week away from topping The Fast and the Furious for the number one spot in the franchise.

Crank 2 - High Voltage could finish anywhere from second to sixth, as there should be a very tight race with only a few million separately those films. Since it is a Jason Stratham movie, an opening of $12 million seems likely, as his last two movies have made that much. However, with no reviews it is hard to judge this film's box office chances compared to Transporter 3 or Death Race. I expect reviews that are between 30% and 40% positive, while it should open with just over $12 million. This could be enough for a top five finish, but it might be close.

Trying to squeeze its way into the top five will be State of Play, the political thriller starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams, among others. The film has a great cast, and the best reviews of the week, but there's not a lot of buzz here. Additionally, many of the actors in the movie have struggled recently at the box office. That trend is unlikely to turn around with this movie. In fact, it could miss the top five with less than $10 million. On the other hand, it could finish in second place with $15 million. Look for a sixth place opening with $12 million, but it might have better than average legs thanks to its reviews.


Filed under: Monsters vs. Aliens, Fast & Furious, Hannah Montana the Movie, 17 Again, State of Play, Crank 2: High Voltage