Welcome to the Thanksgiving version of the GB Box Office Prediction show! I’m your host Chris Tansuche and we are doing an early version of this because of the holiday long weekend as we have some films going wide on Wednesday to take advantage of the bigger weekend. With families gathering, Thanksgiving weekend is prime real estate as people need places to avoid Black Friday and all the other crazies out and about. That said, we here at GB have been doing these predictions for the last two weekends and it’s safe to say we’ve had mixed results so far. Mostly because the first weekend, I did pretty darn good. The second weekend, however, I sucked. Bad.
For The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, I predicted 162 million. I was 21 million high. That’s a lot. Apparently I got blinded by the millions of screenings here in the Philippines and just didn’t think clearly. The movie actually opened very much in line with the previous sequel and saw no major improvement that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 did ahead of its predecessor. My overconfidence in Twilight fever got the best of me and it resulted in my gross overestimation of how the finale was going to perform. Good thing is I never have to mention this film again over several paragraphs for an article again.
Other predictions didn’t go so hot for me either as Skyfall dropped a lot more than I anticipated and ended up with 41 million versus my estimate of 52 million. I figured word of mouth will carry it into its second weekend as it continues to dominate critically, but when you have such an outstanding debut, it’s only bound to fall a bit. But it’s also the perfect movie made for Thanksgiving weekend so more on that in a bit. Wreck-It Ralph just missed my projection of 21 million with an actual gross of 18 million, Lincoln surged past my prediction of 14 million to end with 21 million for the Oscar-bait flick, and Flight came in with 8 million which was in line with my prediction. After last week’s debacle, it’s time for redemption…right?
Total Prediction Differential: -28 million
(Last Week: -10 million)
There are three major films going wide in the marketplace and each are targeting audiences vastly different from each other which should make the long weekend an eclectic mix of new movies. Let’s start off with Rise of the Guardians. This Dreamworks 3D animated adventure will be competing against Wreck-It Ralph for the families during this holiday. It involves Santa, The Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Jack Frost saving the world. Guillermo del Toro produced the animated flick so naturally, all the advertising is making sure that they play that up and the characters’ new “edge” in order to pull in the older kid demo. In 3500 theaters, it will have the widest impact of all the new releases and will do its best in order to capture the top crown. For this exercise, we’re going to look at the Dreamworks animated catalogue, more specifically, Bee Movie and Megamind.
Bee Movie and Megamind both opened in early November and did not have a built-in audience like other franchises in the Dreamworks stable, most notably Shrek. Bee Movie opened to the tune of 38 million with a per screen average of 9.6k. Megamind opened better with 46 million and a 11k average per screen. Animated movies have a history of opening very well in November. However, the last successful animated movie to open on Thanksgiving weekend was Tangled. That dropped 48 million with a per screen average of 11k for the weekend. During the total Thanksgiving weekend, it added another 20 million for 68 million total. I can guarantee you, that it will not happen for this movie (Arthur Christmas technically was the last animated movie to open on Thanksgiving and that dropped a measly 12 million). I get a sense of apathy for this movie because it doesn’t look funny nor edgy enough to want to see. However, it does carry bunches of holiday characters that kids are attracted to so we’ll just have to do our best here. Rise of the Guardians opens in 3600+ theaters so I can see a per screen average for 9k. That means for the Friday-Sunday period, we’re looking at 32 million and maybe about 45 million for the 5 day weekend. With Wreck-It Ralph still out, I just don’t see it taking advantage and overshadowing it too much like Tangled.
The next wide release we’ll talk about is Red Dawn. First off, I want to say I really want to see the movie because it was filmed in Michigan and it’s a remake of the cult movie from the 80s. However, I know that not everyone shares the same kind of nostalgia that I do. Yeah, the marketing campaign is concentrated on how much we loved Thor and the short guy from Hunger Games, but that alone is not helping the visibility of this movie. Looking at action remakes, I can’t help but look at Dredd 3D as the comparison benchmark. That movie collected 13 million in business with a horrific 2.5k per screen average. I’d like to think that Red Dawn will perform better seeing that it’s PG-13 so I looked for another comparison that opened during Thanksgiving weekend. That would be The Transporter 3. That opened to 12 million with a per screen average of 4.5k with 18 million for the 5-day period. So in 2700+ theaters, I feel that Red Dawn will replicate both movies and come in with about a 4k per screen average resulting in a 11 million dollar gross. Maybe over the holiday weekend with a total of 15 or 16 million. It doesn’t help that it’s tracking HORRIBLY on RottenTomatoes with a 15%.
The last wide release is Life of Pi and I’m not going to lie, I have no clue how to predict this one. My gut says Cloud Atlas and I’ll actually use that and Stardust. Cloud Atlas because the buzz reminds me of the same track pattern and Stardust which I thought asked for the same buy in for suspending your disbelief and taking the plunge. Now, Cloud Atlas bombed horrifically. It opened at 9.6 milion with a 5k average per screening. It was also confused in the marketing aspect and didn’t create the impact it was intended to when they started running TV spots during the last 2 weeks before opening. Stardust did about the same with a 9 million dollar open and a 3.5k per screen average. However, the 3D looks spectacular and the RottenTomatoes score is tracking at 82% as of writing and it’s PG. 3D screenings usually mean more money charged and PG means everyone can watch it. And man, it does look gorgeous and Dr. Kronner knows I love me some Ang Lee. I’m going to be ambitious and say in the 2700 theaters it will open with a decent 7k average for a 19 million dollar opening. With the 5 day weekend, it should come in with a total gross of 25 million. Word of mouth will determine the fate of this movie in the weeks to come. Or it could just implode like Cloud Atlas.
Of the returning movies, we’re going to look at just the Twilight movie, Skyfall, Wreck-It Ralph and Lincoln. For Breaking Dawn – Part 2, expect the same decline as Part 1, with a 70% despite the Thanksgiving weekend with a weekend total of 42 million and a 60 million 5-day total. The staying power will not remain as these flicks tend to drop like a rock after the opening weekend blitz. As for Skyfall, we’ll look at Casino Royale again. It declined only 25% during the holiday weekend and Skyfall should follow suit easily. Look for Skyfall to drop 30 million for the weekend and the 5-day total to be at 50 million which will allow it to become the top grossing domestic total for every Bond movie. Wreck-It Ralph will see a modest decline of 40% because of the new Rise of the Guardians movie and should end at 11 million during the weekend frame and 20 million for the 5 day total. Lincoln should maintain its strong hold with a 30% decline for the presidential picture and end with 14 million and a 5 day of 20 million. With that, let’s recap with the 5-day weekend totals:
1.) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2: 60 million
2.) Skyfall: 50 million
3.) Rise of the Guardians: 45 million
4.) Life of Pi: 25 million
5.) Wreck-It Ralph: 20 million
6.) Lincoln: 20 million
7.) Red Dawn: 16 million
With that, everyone here at Grizzly Bomb wishes you a happy and safe Thanksgiving and hopefully these results will actually make me look less stupid.