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Weekend Forecast for January 8-10, 2010

By Reagen Sulewski

January 8, 2010

One vampire investigates the sparkliness of another clan of vampires.

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Finally, we have Youth in Revolt, Michael Cera's attempt to stretch his acting legs as a lead. He plays a mawkish teen (wait, I'm getting to the stretching part) who adopts a rebellious split persona in order to win over the heart of the local dream girl. A sort of "early '80s John Cusack" turn, Youth in Revolt has the chance to be a touchstone cult film for teens of this generation, but is far too weird and quirky to have any immediate success. Opening at 1,873 venues, it'll be lucky to bring in $5 million this weekend.

This all clears the stage for the fourth straight weekend on top for Avatar, which has turned into a juggernaut over the holidays. Now with $375 million in the bank domestically and over a billion worldwide, it's now not ridiculous to start talking about the all-time record.

Projections remain pretty difficult at this point, as the film's yet to have a weekend that indicates what its drop-off might be, or even if it will have drop-off. It's already blown the doors off the record for biggest third weekend, biggest January weekend, and biggest single day in January by around 50%. Even the end of holidays doesn't seem to have brought it down that much, as its first weekday was off only 60% from the holiday week, when 75% could have been expected.

Essentially, no one really knows for sure what's going to happen this weekend. All the signs point to people still being enraptured by the spectacular visuals of James Cameron's world, with 3-D and IMAX theaters driving the business of the film to a significant extent. A fairly safe prediction is that it will steal another record away from Titanic with the biggest fourth weekend ever. I'll predict a weekend of $42 million, which puts it well within striking distance of The Dark Knight's $533 million with some big weekends, including potential Oscar nominations, to come.




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Somewhat lost in this hoopla is that Sherlock Holmes turned into a tidy hit. Sitting just shy of $150 million, the action-adventure take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective novels has more or less assured itself a sequel, even if word-of-mouth isn't the greatest. Next time, work on that mystery a little more, okay? Perhaps that'll come with saving Moriarty for it, a la The Joker and The Dark Knight. I'd look for about $19 million this weekend.

We also still have The Squeakquel to deal with, though its main target audience has now gone back to school. This was the point where the first Chipmunk's movie really started to fall off, and we can all hope and pray that this phenomenon will repeat itself this year. It seems certain that it'll surpass the $217 million of the first film (sitting as it does with $160 million in the bank already) so a third film seems sadly inevitable. Then again, so does the next round of H1N1, and life goes on. Give it about $17 million here.

It's Complicated continues the Year (or Two) of Streep, as she's sort of inexplicably become a box office superstar at the age of 60. The romantic comedy also starring Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin seems set to be her third $100 million film in the last three years, and fourth if we can fudge things a little for Julie & Julia. In any case, it's one of the three leggy "adult" films out there, along with The Blind Side and Up in the Air, all of which should find the $9 to 13 million range this weekend. In the case of The Blind Side, it appears to be unstoppable, and this weekend passed the almost absurd figure of $200 million, making it the highest grossing sports movie of all time, and the first film with a female headliner to cross that milestone. Up in the Air gets a small expansion, following the Juno pattern, and with the strong potential of an Oscar win might be headed for around the same $140 million box office total.


Forecast: Weekend of January 8-10, 2010
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Avatar 3,422 -39 42.7
2 Sherlock Holmes 3,626 0 19.8
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel 3,641 -106 17.2
4 Daybreakers 2,523 New 14.8
5 It's Complicated 2,954 +57 13.2
6 Leap Year 2,511 New 11.6
7 The Blind Side 2,880 -46 10.0
8 Up in the Air 2,218 +323 9.8
9 The Princess and the Frog 2,620 -708 6.0
10 Youth in Revolt 1,873 New 4.8

Continued:       1       2

     


 
 

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