JoBlo.com's Box-Office Predictions! (December 16-18)
It's always fascinating to observe the box office competition, the bloody Hollywood gladiatorial clash. To cheer for champions and underdogs, to speculate on tactics, or to hail the demise of the dreadful. And, of course, to witness the weekly reminders that success (or failure) isn't always an indicator of quality.
All through the week, JoBlo.com delivers news, reviews, rumors and opinions on everything about the movies. But when the weekend arrives, eyeballs tend to fall on the business side of show business to see how those all-important numbers tally.
Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are back to face nemesis Moriarty in director Guy Ritchie's sequel SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS, although it appears that the brilliant sleuth's showdown with his arch rival involves more cross-dressing and excessive explosions than actual cerebral detective work.
After last week's flaccid performance, the box office will unquestionably rise for Robert Downey Jr.'s star power -- that's just elementary. The first SHERLOCK HOLMES was a Christmas blockbuster in 2009 with a $62.5M opening and a $213M total, and even if I'm not sure that SHERLOCK as a brand is of particular interest to audiences, RDJ sure is (especially when he's wearing red and gold armor, judging from the $98M and $128M summer openings of IRON MAN and IRON MAN 2).
Still, the box office has taken a serious pounding ever since the summer (TWILIGHT excluded, obviously), and even with Downey's undeniable charisma, I'll say...
My guess: $48 million
The digital varmints and their human buddy Jason Lee are back for more lucrative antics in ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED, leaving rational people wondering just what the next inevitable sequel could possibly be subtitled.
This same weekend last year featured a similar clash between a big-budget action movie and a live-action/CG family flick as TRON LEGACY faced YOGI BEAR, and while the number should be bigger this time (TRON opened to $44M to YOGI's $16.4M, and both were available in 3D), ALVIN and his critter chums will definitely take second to SHERLOCK. Again.
The previous ALVINS dug up plenty of dough this time of year -- ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS opened to $44M this weekend in 2007 (and went on to $217M), and THE SQUEAKQUEL started with $48.8M over the Christmas 2009 holiday, when it also had to contend with the charm of Downey as the jaunty London brainiac.
Besides accounting for the recent slump, there could also be some major fatigue for this type of material after the recent onslaught of family-focused fare hitting theaters.
My guess: $26 million
Tom Cruise and his spy buddies go on the run and into IMAX theaters when MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL (aka NOT M:I4) makes a big debut on 425 huge screens before it goes wide next Wednesday.
But it won't just be the boosted IMAX ticket cost and positive buzz that will help M:I-GP make a notable entrance in its limited release -- many theaters will premiere footage from next summer's highly anticipated THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, and the rabid Nolan faithful will undoubtedly travel whatever distance is required to see Bane on a massive screen several months before the rest of humanity.
My guess: $9 million
The rest of the chart should really just see last week's list take a big slide down. The Jason Reitman/Diablo Cody comedy YOUNG ADULT spreads onto almost a thousand screens, but it doesn't seem to have much momentum or awards clamor after its limited release last week, so I don't envision it even finding the way to the Top 5.
The only real surprise would be to see THE MUPPETS, HUGO or ARTHUR CHRISTMAS get a holiday season bump and supplant Jonah Hill's largely rejected comedy THE SITTER in the upper half of the chart.
My stab at the Top 5:
1. SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS - $48M
2. ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED - $26M
3. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL - $9M
4. NEW YEAR'S EVE - $6.5M
5. THE SITTER - $6M
POST YOUR PREDICTIONS BELOW...!!!
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