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Is it the Weekend Already?

July 1st, 2008

It's a really, really long weekend as Hancock starts its box office run tonight. Additionally, Kit Kittredge expands tomorrow, while we have limited releases opening on Thursday and Friday. Busy week, so let's jump right in.

Hancock is the fourth Independence Day release for Will Smith. The movie is about a flawed super hero who tries to rehabilitate his image after his 'crime-fighting' methods destroy so much property that he becomes hated in the city he is trying to protect. This is a great premise and there should be a lot of action, comedy, and even drama one could mine from it. However, while the premise is great, the execution is flawed. That said, I still think the combination of Will Smith and the super hero genre should help the film win the weekend box office. However, after the weekend, the word-of-mouth won't be at the level needed to last much longer. Look for a combined $40 million from tonight to Thursday and $60 million from Friday to Sunday. That will give the film an opening "weekend" total of $100 million, which will put it on pace to earn $200 million domestically, while it should earn another $200 million internationally. This is more than enough to keep the studio happy.

After a very solid opening, WALL-E looks to settle into second place this weekend. Given the film's target audience, its stellar reviews, and Pixar's track record, few expect a massive decline this coming weekend. In fact, with the holidays upon us, a 40% drop-off is probably as bad as it will get. That would give the film roughly $38 million for the weekend while finishing just north of $40 million seems more likely. Regardless, the film should hit $100 million early in the weekend, if not sooner.

On the other hand, Wanted is up against direct competition and that could hurt the film's box office chances this weekend. I don't expect a complete collapse, after all its reviews are strong and it is a long weekend. However, it could drop 50% over the Friday to Sunday period, which would result in a $25 million weekend haul. On the other end, $30 million is likely the best the film can hope for while the most likely scenario has the film earning $28 million.

The only other film poised to top $10 million over the weekend is Get Smart. Given the film's run so far, it looks likely that it will earn $12 million over the weekend and reach $100 million by Sunday. We haven't had a plethora of $100 million hits this year, so if Get Smart can make it there over the weekend, it will be impressive indeed.

There will be a two-way race for fifth place between Kit Kittredge: An American Girl and Kung Fu Panda, both of which are aiming at between $7 and $8 million. So far, Kit Kittredge has made close to half a million dollars in limited release, and it did it in just 10 days. That said, when it expands into close to 2,000 theaters on Wednesday, it will be entering a whole new game. The film has earned reviews that are overwhelmingly positive and it is going after a demographic that tends to be underserved, so if all goes well, it could earn $10 million over the weekend and close to $40 million in total. I think just under $5 million over the next two days, just over $7 million over the weekend, and $25 million in total is a lot more likely, but it is still a great start. It might not be great enough to reach fifth place over the weekend, but it will be close.


Filed under: Hancock, WALL-E, Kung Fu Panda, Wanted, Get Smart, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl