JoBlo.com's Box-Office Predictions! (November 18-20)
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.
The purportedly epic story of a chick who can’t decide between two monsterish dudes continues with yet more melodramatic romance, questionable hair, sparkly fangers and sketchy CG werewolves. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN (PART 1) introduces a new relationship complication in the form of a problematic human-vampire pregnancy.
For its first weekend in theaters (over 4000 of them), BREAKING DAWN PART 1 will be massive, and the only question is “How big?” There’s obviously no reason to expect the TWILIGHT phenomenon to lose any steam now – this latest entry in the unstoppable franchise has already been selling out theaters for quite some time.
The whole saga (that word just seems so diminished now) began comparatively small with the series-starting TWILIGHT ($69M opening/$192M total), but the fanatical followers have only grown in numbers since then, with the second and third movies ultimately pulling in nearly the same overall amount (NEW MOON: $296M domestic, plus another $413M overseas; ECLIPSE: $300M domestic/$397M overseas).
NEW MOON opened two years ago on this same pre-Thanksgiving weekend and (including midnight/preview screenings) generated $142M, while ECLIPSE opened on Wednesday June 30, 2010 and went through the July 4th weekend with a 5-day haul of $157M.
The TWILIGHT crowd is dedicated enough that the economy shouldn’t even be a factor, but I’m still not entirely sure BREAKING DAWN will be a record-setter. Or at least I’m betting it will lead the series, but BREAKING won’t be breaking the $169M opening of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2.
My guess: $144 million
Elijah Wood is back in animated form as dancing penguin Mumble, who in HAPPY FEET TOO must help his own son Erik find the rhythm. But all the adorable antics are interrupted by environmental hazards causing havoc in the arctic community.
The original HAPPY FEET started out with $41M and ended up tapping to the tune of nearly $200M. But is the first movie so beloved that there are enthusiastic Mumble fans anxiously waiting for more frigid fun after five years? Or did the first movie just happen to hit during a public penguin craze?
This also hasn’t been a great year for CG toons on their first weekends – CARS 2 peeled away with $66M, but the rest of the rendered landscape isn’t quite so shiny: GNOMEO & JULIET ($25M opening), RIO ($39M), RANGO ($38M), KUNG FU PANDA 2 ($47M), and HOODWINKED TOO! and MARS NEEDS MOMS barely even registered at the register (PUSS IN BOOTS made up for its reasonably low $34M opening by making nearly the same amount in its second week).
Director George Miller’s latest has an eco-friendly Important Message and guest voices like Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, but 3D fatigue or CG fatigue could make many parents out there unwilling to cart the kiddies off to the cinema for yet another animated animal adventure, especially so soon after PUSS IN BOOTS.
My guess: $33 million
Realistically, the rest of the recent releases don’t stand much of a chance against the onslaught of teen girls and adult women who apparently think like teen girls, but at least guys can still find some sanctuary in the macho carnage of IMMORTALS.
Facing another new 3D computer-animated family movie, PUSS IN BOOTS will probably need to have its claws sharp to make a mark. I also don’t think you’ll see J. EDGAR holding strong, and there can’t be too many more Adam Sandler fans left out there willing to subject themselves to JACK AND JILL… can there?
George Clooney’s drama THE DESCENDENTS is looking for some critical attention, but don’t expect an easy time finding it yet if you’re interested – it’s only starting out in around 30 theaters.
My stab at the Top 5:
1. TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1 - $144M
2. HAPPY FEET TOO - $33M
3. IMMORTALS - $14M
4. PUSS IN BOOTS - $12M
5. JACK AND JILL - $11M
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