Grizzly Bomb’s Dartboard Box Office Predictions – Nov. 16-18

Welcome back to our second week of the Grizzly Bomb Box Office Dartboard Predictions which means I survived the first one with barely a few scratches. Okay, with one giant gash to be ego because of my stupidity and lack of attention to detail. First, let’s review what happened last week.

My prediction of Skyfall ended up being pretty close. I predicted it would get 82 million during the weekend and ended up with 88 million. I honestly thought I was overpredicting and even included a statement about the snow storm that might reduce the numbers but really, I did that to cover my bases because in my mind, I thought there was no way the movie would get that high past 85 million. However, I am glad that it did and it was well deserved.

Ya damn straight.

As for the other movies, Wreck-It Ralph went above my prediction by scoring 33 million, Argo was on target with 6.7 million made versus my 7 million dollar prediction, Taken 2 was in at 4 million, just above my 3 million prediction, and Cloud Atlas was right on with my 2 million prediction.

However, this also pointed out my giant glaring flaw in last week’s prediction list: I never mentioned Flight. That was just a stupid bonehead move and I apologize for that. I’ll try to do better this week. With that, we have some work to do with Grizzly Bomb’s favorite movie franchise…

That’s right you Twi-hards, the final Twilight is coming out in theaters. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 comes out and it’s already doing massive business overseas. So much that I took a picture here in the Philippines to show much crazy people are flooding the theaters overseas…

Now, this movie will explode. Predicting the actual final tally, however, might prove difficult. In my opinion, the buzz on this movie seems far more muted than the previous films. The movie series only came out four years ago, and I think that people have already been overexposed to the series. Five movies in four years can make people happy that this is the last one, but it might also bring those wonderful fans out of the woodwork to cheer on their favorite vampire couple.

Speaking of, remember that whole Robert Pattinson/Kristen Stewart scandal? The one where she cheated on him with the director of Snow White & The Huntsman? Yeah, that’s been brushed under the rug thanks to strategic PR and red carpet appearances (brilliantly I might add). Despite the awesome posters that show the both of them and the word ‘Forever’, I don’t think irony will hold this movie down. I think the constant numbers of teenagers and girls in their twenties will overlook the stupidity (for her, once a cheater, always a cheater and for him, how embarrassing to get back with her after being publicly humiliated like that with her BS public apology and I hope this isn’t a stunt because I actually respect Pattinson in the way he has handled it post-scandal). We have this out on the table now: There’s no snowstorm, people already forgot who Rupert Sanders was and it’s a big finale that people want to celebrate and say goodbye to as we send it off in the moonlight. Mostly because if we sent it into the sunlight, they would burn up like they were entering the atmosphere from space. Wait…in the sunlight, they don’t burn into a crisp and they…sparkle? Who the hell wrote this garbage…

Let’s get into the math portion of the segment. The Twilight series has always opened in November with the exception of the third movie, Eclipse, which opened in June of 2010. Amazingly, the movie had the lowest opening weekend gross of 64 million and the lowest per screening average of 14k.  Granted, it also opened during Fourth of July weekend and grossed 85 million over the 5 day period but still, Summit Entertainment knows that life is easier in the November market where competition is less fierce and people know not to open against a behemoth. (On that note, The Last Airbender opened that weekend and did 40 million. I have no clue where I was that weekend but I must have avoided the theater like it was full of walkers.)

We are going to use three movies as comparisons: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Parts 1 and 2. The first Breaking Dawn offers a good comparison because it’s the same franchise opening in the same weekend the year before, and HP Part 1 because it also opened the same weekend in 2010 and HP Part 2 because it was the final installment, albeit opening during the summer season. Looking at HP Part 1, that movie opened to 125 million dollars with a per screen average of 30k for the 4100+ theaters. HP Part 2, in comparison, opened with a record-breaking (at the time) 169 million dollars with a per screen average of 38k for almost 4400 theaters. Granted, it took place in the summer season, but it will also mimic the lack of competition that Breaking Dawn – Part 2 will encounter this weekend. Also to be noted is that HP Part 1 and 2 both carry a 79% and a 96% in Rottentomatoes.com scores, far better than what the Twilight films are tracking at but we’ll delve into that later. Basically when you split up the last film of a series into two films, you’ll see an increase from the first film to the last one. This is called ‘Hollywood Moneymaking 101’. We saw an increase of 44 million in the opening weekends (a 35% increase) and an 8k per screening increase as well (a 27% increase despite a slight increase in theater count as well).

Let’s look at the first Breaking Dawn. During the same weekend last year, in 4000+ theaters, it debuted at 138 million with a per screen average of 34k. That figure is slightly larger than the 125 million and the 30k per screen that HP Part 1 took in. Now, if we apply the same reasoning of the 35% increase on the total revenue brought in and the 27% increase on the per screen, we come to 186 million and 43k per screen.

However, I find that to be extremely unrealistic as that would make it the 2nd highest opening weekend of all time behind The Avengers. However, the shorter running time might make the final figure a lot closer to that. Despite the film tracking at 56% at the time of this writing, this movie is critic proof and actually is garnering some of the best reviews of the series so far. Take from that as you will.

As the final film, the idea that any publicity, whether good or bad, is good publicity, I believe that Breaking Dawn – Part 2 will end up with an extremely healthy 40k per screen average. In 4070 theaters, that means the final vampire epic will gross about 162 million. A crazy amount in my mind because that will make it third highest grossing weekend behind The Avengers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part – 2. However, the Twilight folks will come out in force before the Thanksgiving weekend to send out the series with a bang.

Lost in the shuffle is the wide release opening of Lincoln. It destroyed my prediction last week of a 20k per screen with a 85k per screening resulting in a 900k limited opening gross. The reviews have been phenomenal as it lines up to be the premier awards season contender in all the major categories. But enough about that, let’s do some numbers. The movie is expanding to 1775 theaters and is perfect counter programming to Twilight and its only competition is the returning Skyfall adult demographic. At least it will have more of an appeal than The Master opening with more advertisements touting its awesomeness in the past few weeks. I look for a modest start in the per screen average of 8k for a final total of 14 million. This movie is going to be more reliant on the awards season buzz so the majority of its money will be made later.

The last three returning movies we’ll talk about is Skyfall, Wreck-It Ralph and Flight. (which I won’t ignore this week). Skyfall will most likely mirror the Casino Royale decline rather than the Quantum of Solace. It doesn’t have to worry about the Twilight effect so you won’t see people going to that instead of the Bond film. With Casino Royale, we saw a 25% decline although that took place during Thanksgiving weekend. With Quantum, we saw a more steep decline of 60%. The movie still getting great word of mouth so maybe a 40% decline seems more likely which will result in a 52 million dollar weekend.

Wreck-It Ralph will still carry its good run with no direct competition and we’ll see its bigger weekends soon with school going into holidays. I see only a 35% decline with a final weekend tally of 21 million. Finally Flight should wrap up the top 5 of the next weekend. It made 14 million last weekend but with Skyfall and Lincoln taking more of its numbers away, look for 45% decline to result in a 8 million return. With that’s let’s recap:

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1.)  The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2: 162 million
2.)  Skyfall: 52 million
3.)  Wreck-It Ralph: 21 million
4.)  Lincoln: 14 million
5.)  Flight: 8 million

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And with that, let’s find out how completely off base I may be!

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