JoBlo.com's Box-Office Predictions! (January 13-15)
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.
After the long skirmish among the holiday holdovers (with only Satan sticking his head in theaters), it's a busy weekend at the box office. Some people will also have Monday off for Martin Luther King Day, so it seems like a good week for a variety of releases to slug it out.
Disney's recent reissue of THE LION KING in 3D proved there's still plenty of interest in their traditionally animated features introduced to a new generation, and the re-release of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (now 20 years old!?) in an additional dimension should follow suit. It's unlikely to reach THE LION KING's $30M opening last September, but Belle should still be our guest at the top of the chart.
In solo action mode, Mark Wahlberg isn't a particularly effective draw on opening weekend (SHOOTER - $14.5M, MAX PAYNE - $17M), but CONTRABAND is the first straight adrenaline injection since MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL, so it should gather enough interest for second place. But Tom and his team could still have plenty of kick (and the benefit of a PG-13 rating to CONTRABAND's R), so at least they won't be too far behind.
I suppose the appeal of something like the musical comedy JOYFUL NOISE shouldn't be underestimated, with its feel-good gospel story and the peculiar pairing of Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton. As for last week's shocker success THE DEVIL INSIDE, considering it seemed to be almost universally despised by everyone who helped it hit a record-setting $34.5M opening, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it plunged as much as 75% -- horror movies tend to have huge second-week drops anyway, and I can't recall the last genre movie that incited such open contempt. Although I'm sure plenty have deserved it.
The postapocalyptic thriller THE DIVIDE also opens in just a handful of cities, but the Streep-as-Thatcher drama THE IRON LADY goes wider onto another 800+ screens. Award-buzz curiosity should help it crack the Top 10, as did last week's expansion of TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY. While it hasn't received the same accolades as that spy thriller, I'm guessing it'll do around the same business, maybe $5M.
My stab at the Top 5 (for the 3-day span):
1. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 3D - $23.5M
2. CONTRABAND - $16M
3. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL - $14.5M
4. JOYFUL NOISE - $13M
5. THE DEVIL INSIDE - $10.5M
POST YOUR PREDICTIONS BELOW...!!!