As a Finance major and a Movie Buff, I’ve always had an unhealthy obsession with Box Office results. While there are a multitude of factors that prevent a movie’s domestic and international grosses from accurately representing its actual financial success or failure, a movie’s performance during its theatrical run is still the number one reason why people think of any given movie as a Hit or a Bomb. The analogy of a horse race has often been used when describing the infatuation movie fans have with weekly Box Office results, and what good is a horse race if you’re not betting on anything to win? In the spirit of this metaphorical race, I’ve decided to join my friend Tim the Film Guy over at Tim’s Film Reviews in his weekly efforts to predict the coming weekend’s Box Office numbers. As of right now this is nothing but an informal competition, but if others are interested in participating I may look into expanding the scope of the feature to include some sort of incentive. In any case, here’s how this little game will work.
Each Friday I will post my predictions for the Top 10 Highest Grossing films of the weekend (Friday to Sunday), rounded to the nearest 100k. I’ll give a short explanation for each prediction, including comparison to past films, drops in relation to CinemaScores, and other criteria. On Sunday when the official industry estimates come out, I’ll post an update on how I did along with how Tim and other possible future participants did. As for how the winner is determined, we will take the variances in each category and add them up; the person with the lowest total variance will be the winner.
In any case, here are my predictions for this weekend’s Top 10. New Releases are marked with an asterisk.
1. Monsters University – $49.5 Million (-40%)
2. The Heat – $40.0 Million (–)
3. White House Down – $38.0 Million (–)
4. World War Z – $33.2 Million (-50%)
5. Man of Steel – $22.7 Million (-45%)
6. This Is The End – $8.0 Million (-40%)
7. Now You See Me – $5.1 Million (-35%)
8. Fast & Furious 6 – $2.0 Million (-60%)
9. The Bling Ring – $1.6 Million (-20%)
10. The Purge – $1.4 Million (-60%)
1. Monsters University will take the top spot for a second week in a row. After opening to $82 Million last weekend, an “A” Cinemascore combined with a complete and total lack of other attractions for family audiences should allow it to hold at around a 40% drop
2. With the exception of Identity Thief back in February (check that), 2013 has yet to see a real hit comedy. Many predicted that The Hangover: Part 3 would have taken the top spot by now based on the success of its two predecessors, but the film’s lackluster critical and commercial success stands as further proof that moviegoers still care about quality when it comes to what they spend their money on. Seeing as The Heat is acting almost as a sequel to Director Paul Feig’s 2011 hit, Bridesmaids, it’s not much of a stretch to see The Heat taking the top spot for the week’s new releases with somewhere around $40 million.
3. Honestly this one could go either way. Director Roland Emmerich’s last release, 2012, opened to over $60 million back in the summer of 2009, but that movie had the benefit of a time-appropriate premise and destruction on a global scale. White House Down just hasn’t shown audiences too much to differentiate itself from March’s similar White House takeover flick Olympus Has Fallen. Of course, movie pairings like Deep Impact and Armageddon have shown that it’s entirely possible for two very similar movies to do perfectly decent business when released in the same year. All in all, I’m guessing White House Down will wind up closer to Emmerich’s 10,000 BC than 2012 for this weekend.
4. Last week held a few surprises at the Box Office, but the biggest by far was the unexpected success of World War Z. Between endless production woes, stiff competition from Man of Steel for its target market and the fact that the highest ever opening for a true “Zombie” movie belonged to Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead with just $24 Million, all signs pointed to World War Z becoming a massive flop. With the movie’s fairly strong word of mouth, expect a drop of around 50% from its impressive $66 Million opening last weekend.
5. Between its massive opening weekend and favorable audience ratings, Man of Steel’s steep drop of nearly 65% last week took nearly all industry analysts by surprise. With action-oriented competition from White House Down, it’s entirely possible that a similar drop could be in store for Man of Steel this weekend. My guess, though, would be that Zack Snyder’s Superman pic ends up stabilizing with a drop below 50%.
6. While The Heat will bring in female audiences this weekend, This Is The End’s largely male audience should lead to another soft decline this weekend.
7. In terms of pure percentage declines, Now You See Me has been one of the most surprising movies of the entire year. A 35% drop would be more or less in line with it’s performance over the past few weeks.
8. Strong competition from similar non-supernatural action flick White House Down should lead to a pretty steep decline for Fast & Furious 6, around 60% seems reasonable.
9. The Bling Ring is still working its way around theaters nationwide, but after last week’s lackluster response I can’t see it breaking out of the pack.
10. Since opening to an unfortunately amazing $36 million several weeks ago, The Purge has been following the Horror pattern of dropping like a stone ever since. A drop of around 60% would put it in line with the past few weeks.
Well, there you have them; my predictions for this week’s box office, click here to find Tim’s predictions. Let me know in the comments below if you’d like to take part, either this week or in future weeks.