JoBlo.com's Box-Office Predictions! (December 23-25)
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.
Not gonna lie -- I'm not entirely sure what to expect from the box office this week. The big new releases are all over the place, opening on Wednesday (and even Tuesday night), Friday, and Sunday. And with Christmas and its Eve on the calendar when people might otherwise be moviegoing instead of engaging in yuletide cheer (plus the continuing box office woes), it could be a slender weekend. But here goes nothin'...
Tom Cruise and his rogue spy chums already had a slick start when MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL opened last week to $13M at just 425 IMAX locations, and now the energetic actor is climbing tall buildings on 3500 screens more regular across the country. The flick is drawing positive audience response and has the momentum to put it at the top, even if it's unlikely to scale the heights of M:I3's three-day $47M take back in May 2006. Still, I'm betting it can drag another $30M over the "normal" weekend and will have at least $65M total in its pocket by Monday. Ho ho ho!
Santa's got a bag full of... rape? THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO comes with the anticipation of a David Fincher film and source material that's sold millions and millions of copies. It also comes with a chunky 160-minute running time and some seriously dark subject matter for a typically cheerful time of year.
That should balance out, though. People avoiding kiddie crowds and who are curious to see how Rooney Mara fills the shitkickers once worn by Noomi Rapace (and/or their own imagination's depiction of the Salander character) should help it get close to $20M over the 3-day frame and potentially hack over $40M by Monday.
Meanwhile, Steven Spielberg probably isn't too thrilled about having to compete for his own box office bucks, but THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN's Wednesday opening gives it a head start (and a healthy $240M already generated overseas) on the Christmas Day release of WAR HORSE. Joey the faithful steed will have to battle through some major competition when he arrives -- despite the accolades of the stage production, I don't see WAR HORSE galloping off with much more than $5M on its first day (even if it does have the simplest title on a marquee busy with subtitles).
TINTIN should manage a little more than $15M over the 3-day and maybe $25M by Monday. Fortunately for Senor Spielbergo, both movies should do respectable business until 2012, especially if there's any significant awards talk for either (TINTIN could well be the animated Oscar choice this year).
And then there's the rest of the pack. Cameron Crowe's WE BOUGHT A ZOO is shooting for the family audience that's sick of CG, but there doesn't seem like a ton of buzz for Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and their flesh-and-blood animals.
In fact, I'd be surprised if the comedy-drama (which opens Friday) cages more than last week's holdovers SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS and ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED, both of which are more probable selections for families who will capriciously make their moviegoing decision on the holidays. They're certainly not likely to pick THE DARKEST HOUR, the Russia-based alien invasion thriller opening on Christmas as obvious counterprogramming (that one will be lucky to blast off with $2-3M).
As a point of comparison, last year (with Christmas falling on Saturday) had LITTLE FOCKERS leading the chart with $30.8M, followed by TRUE GRIT riding off with nearly $25M. The rest of the Top 10 was all stragglers aside from GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, which aptly flopped in 8th with just $6.3M.
My stab at the Top 5 for the three-day period:
1. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL - $30M
2. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO - $19.5M
3. SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS - $16.5M -
4. THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN - $15.5M
5. ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED - $14M
POST YOUR PREDICTIONS BELOW...!!!