Man, that was a rough week last week. Not so much with my predictions but the box office has really taken a dive with new releases. Nothing is connecting with the audience as we saw Brad Pitt bomb with his latest and there is not a savior on the horizon until probably next week once The Hobbit comes out. Instead we get a Gerard Butler movie that fails to distinguish itself from other Gerard Butler movies. Guess what? 300 happened six years ago. Probably need to call Jason Statham and ask how he’s stayed relevant. Better yet, call Jude Law and ask him now not to be the next Jude Law. Talented actor but man, I feel his stupid crap is being projected more than say, Coriolanus. We’ll get to his prediction on his mark at the box office this weekend in a bit but first, as always, let’s see how I did last weekend.
I may have said that Skyfall was going to regain the top spot of number 1 at the box office with 21 million. Unfortunately, my love of the James Bond film isn’t matching the numbers. The actual number one was The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, which opened with 17 million, which was on par with my target. Skyfall came in second with 16.5 million, which still projects pretty good because it is at 245 million total domestically and may top out at 280-290 million by the end of its record-setting run. Rise of the Guardians did better than my 12 million dollar prediction and scored 13 million but still stands to lose money as this is a very underwhelming number for Dreamworks Animation.. I also thought Lincoln would continue its strong run but it also dipped a bit to 13 million, which was down from my 17 million dollar prediction. Life of Pi also did not reach my prediction of 15 million, instead getting 12 million. This film will be interesting to follow because with The Hobbit coming in and taking from the demographic and the 3D screens, we might see whether this film has legs to earn its cash back or not. Wreck It-Ralph went way under my prediction of 11 million and scored 7 million after the final tally. Killing Them Softly opened weak with only 7 million as well, coming under my prediction of 9.5 million. What didn’t help was the Cinemascore, which measures audiences grades after the movie, where it scored an abysmal ‘F’. I find that extremely hard to believe but apparently people hated this movie and without a doubt, this movie will disappear from the theaters very quickly. Red Dawn came in on par with my 6 million dollar prediction and The Collection actually scored 3 million dollars, beating my 2 million prediction but like Brad Pitt, expect a quick exit from the theaters.
With that, let’s tackle the one new release coming out, Playing For Keeps. I just watched the trailer and…it’s just…I don’t even want to describe it. It would be a waste of time trying to come up with words that wouldn’t feel like a studio executive doing Mad Libs for a romantic comedy/drama. I’ll quote the IMDB description just so I don’t make it sound generic: A former sports star who’s fallen on hard times starts coaching his son’s soccer team as a way to get his life together. His attempts to become an adult are met with challenges from the attractive soccer moms who pursue him at every turn. Yeah, that doesn’t sound generic at all. It also stars Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherina Zeta-Jones and Dennis Quaid and holy crap, this doesn’t even try to sound interesting. However, I don’t think it will do as poorly as some of Gerard Butler’s previous movies. Chasing Mavericks totally bombed but we can’t look at that because the marketing on that was just horrendous. I thought of two movies released pre-Christmas time that had about the same amount of marketing and names that weren’t A-list elite but no one could sneeze at neither. Those two movies for comparison? How Do You Know and Did You Hear About the Morgans. I figured this movie is getting about the same star power as those movies and the marketing matched Morgans closely in terms of exposure. Plus they both opened in the same amount of theaters. How Do You Know carried a 3k per screen average into 2400 theaters to score a 7.5 million debut and Morgans opened with a 2.5k per screen average in 2700 theaters to get a 6.6 million debut. Playing For Keeps is opening in about 2700 theaters so I think it’s safe to say we’re going to get a 3.5k per screen average because there’s just no competition out there whatsoever. However, this movie will still open a bit softly because that will equal out to a 9 million dollar debut. Not bad I guess compared to Chasing Mavericks but please, I bet Clive Owen is laughing somewhere because you’re taking the crap he was offered and turned down.
Now to the holdovers this week with Twilight leading the way as the returning champion. It’s tracking exactly like Breaking Dawn – Part 1 so look for a 55% drop which will result in a 8 million dollar result. Skyfall, however, I think will have a shorter drop, with a 45% decline resulting in a 9 million dollar opening as well. I guess I’m just trying to will this movie back to the number one spot with my predictions lately. Rise of the Guardians will see a 50% drop resulting in a 6.5 million dollar weekend. Lincoln will probably see a 45% drop to reach 7 million for the weekend. Life of Pi should carry a 50% drop which will get it 6 million as the buzz begins to fade before everyone’s best of lists are revealed by the end of the year. Life of Pi is getting a lot of visual recognition but is not making the impact quite yet amongst the critics in their top awards. Again, we shall see as the year draws to a close. With that, let’s see how this tepid box office weekend prediction shakes out:
[box_dark]1.) (tied) Skyfall: 9 million
1.) (tied) Playing For Keeps: 9 million
3.) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2: 8 million
4.) Lincoln: 7 million
5.) Rise of the Guardians: 6.5 million
6.) Life of Pi: 6 million[/box_dark]
I’m aware that I just put Playing For Keeps tied for first after I totally bashed it but it’s the only new release this week and everyone wants something new to see. I think it will be a modest opening before it gets swallowed up by the Peter Jackson crew next week. So call it a lack of options for the moviegoer. Who knows, maybe Butler proves me wrong and just dominates this weekend. I highly doubt it but there’s only one way to find out…